When Levi and I moved George the boar last Thursday, he got to run around a bit while we re-located his hut and the hog panels. We did not put much effort into securing his pen, using only 3-foot lengths of rebar at the corners and plastic tread-in fence posts to hold up the panels, because it was George, after all, and all he does anymore is sleep and eat. I actually said out loud to him “George, I don’t think this pen would hold any hog but you.”
I probably should not have given him any ideas. Saturday morning, Jenifer called the house and said “George is out.” Levi, a friend of his and I go to the barn, get George back in, drive in some metal T-posts, and wire the hog panels a little tighter.
Saturday afternoon around 5, I go to gather eggs and stop and feed George on the way. No problem. I had to clear out some old leftovers from the fridge to make room for more eggs. Around 7 p.m. I go over to check on the 100 broiler chicks brooding in the greenhouse and give George the leftovers as a treat. He is gone.
Jenifer spotted him around noon on Sunday. He was lying up the hill next to my Dad’s cattle pasture. I walked up there, afraid he might be dead, but then I saw he was breathing. I had to poke him three or four times with my foot and then he woke up all startled and I walked him back to his pen, put up more T-posts, and wired everything together a little bit tighter.
A few hours later, I am in my office doing some horizontal thinking with my eyes closed when Levi comes in, pokes me a few times, and I woke up all startled. He said “George is out again.”
I rounded up some U-bolt clamps, the kind designed to hold an axle to a trailer frame, and bolted them to the corners. Then I got a bucket of stainless steel hose clamps and attached the panels to the rest of the T-posts, double-clamping each T-post.
So far, George remains secure and a little smug.
Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield.