Yesterday morning, the phone rang.
“It’s going to be really, really hot today,” Fred informed me. “The temperature’s going to be up around 100, and with the heat index it’s supposed to be close to 110. The pigs have mud in their wallow, but it’s only filled about halfway. Would you go out and run the hose to the hole and let the water run for five minutes or so, so it’s got water in there too, and they can really sink down in it?”
Pigs, for the record, wallow in mud because they have no sweat glands and covering themselves in mud keeps them cool and protects their skin from sunburn as well.
I went out to the pig yard and at first I didn’t see them anywhere and I worried for a moment that maybe they’d sprouted wings and flown over the fence or were piled up in their shelter (I can’t imagine anything less comfortable on a hot hot summer morning than a pile of hay (straw? One or the other) in an unventilated shelter, but then I realized they’d camouflaged themselves. They’re wily ones, those pigs.
I took the end off the hose and opened the gate, sure that the pigs would hear me and come running for their treat. (And I wished I’d thought to bring them a few treats while I was at it.)
They didn’t move.
I walked across the pig yard toward the wallow, sure that they’d turn and grunt at me at any moment.
They didn’t move.
I was about two feet away from the hole where they were sound asleep before the big pig heard me, and he turned his head and was startled by my presence, which in turn startled the little pig, which in turn startled me and all three of us kind of ran in place for a moment. They both stood up out of the mud, accompanied by a loud sucking sound, and they climbed out of the hole and blinked sleepily at me.
I put the end of the hose in the wallow, then went to the spigot and turned it on. The pigs checked their troughs, ate some pig chow, and grunted sleepily at each other.
While I was waiting for the wallow to fill, I wandered off and filled the bird feeders and gave the chickens some bird feed and talked to Maxi and Newt, who were hanging out on the driveway. By the time I got back to the pig yard, about ten minutes had lapsed, and as I got closer, I could see the pigs, happily back in their wallow.
It was filled almost all the way, and they were happily blowing bubbles and telling secrets.
Then I came inside and made a batch of cookies for them. This time, along with the raisins, I tossed in a handful of chocolate chips and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
I call them Piggerdoodles.
We sure have a lot of chickens. And we’re due to have a bunch more – we have 4 broody chickens sitting on 17 eggs right now. Also, we apparently have at least a few roosters from the batch of eggs we hatched ourselves. I haven’t seen it myself, but apparently the little roosters are trying to get some hen lovin’, and McLovin’ isn’t taking it well.
He thinks they’re HIS wimmin, y’know.
When I went outside yesterday at 1:00 to get a bowl of Sungold tomatoes off the plant in the back yard for my lunch, there wasn’t a chicken to be seen in the chicken yard. When I leaned down and looked, I could see them all under the chicken coop, trying to stay cool. I hate seeing them walk around with their beaks open, trying to cool down.
I think they need a window air conditioning unit in the coop.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.