more fiasco farming



Those pigs. They've taught us a thing or two. 

Right when we think we've got it figured out, we're officially registered as a pork producer, we've got a market, we've got the whole paddock to butchery process in hand, they remind us just how clueless we really are. 

On Monday, Adam was due to take two pigs up to our local abattoir. It's pretty straight forward and he's loaded and unloaded a few pigs in the past year. 

The last time, he left the trailer and the loading ramp in the paddock overnight for the pigs to get used to, and with a bit of food at the top of the ramp in the morning had no trouble. It was only when he was unloading the pigs at the other end that he noticed a random cable dangling at the back of the trailer with chew marks on it and realised they'd eaten the cable and the socket off the rear trailer lights. We assume they ate the socket. It was never seen again. 

So this time was the first time he didn't leave the trailer in the paddock overnight. Might have been the first problem. Second was that he was in a hurry. He's usually very calm with the pigs, I'm sure that's why they are so calm, but he was going off to work on another farm for the day and was doing the abattoir run very early. Pigs don't like to be rushed. 

He went out to the paddock at about 5.30am to load them. When he wasn't back inside to pick up his stuff before he left for the day by 7am, I started to wonder. By 7.30am I sent a text asking if he needed help. He replied that no, there was nothing I could do but maybe cancel the abattoir, he might just kill the pigs in the paddock. 

I strapped Ivy into the backpack and went to have a look. There was Adam, not at his calmest, and two pigs not in the trailer. Even with two of us, they were particularly determined not to go up the ramp. 

I pointed out that at least he still had rear trailer lights. 

This point wasn't received with the enthusiasm I'd expected. 

I had three children to get breakfasted and dressed and two to get off to school so I left him to it, assuming he'd be away within half an hour. He's done this a number of times. Never been an issue. 

After the school drop off, he was still out in the paddock. 

I didn't want to ask about cut off delivery times. 

I didn't want to ask about the other farm job. 

I didn't want to think about having to call the restaurant that had booked one pig and tell them it wasn't coming. They had probably built a menu on it for all I knew. 

I was metres and metres away in our loft and I could hear cursing. Loud, loud cursing. It was only then that I saw the film crew's vehicles next to the hayshed, in between me and the cursing, and I had perhaps neglected to tell Ad they were coming (in my defence they called me at 8.30am to say they were coming. I was otherwise occupied.)

Throwing Ivy back in the backpack, I high tailed it down to the paddock where the very loud bad language was coming from and suggested there were microphones on the other side of the hayshed if he needed one. 

So the pigs did not get loaded. 

We tried to organise to deliver to a different abattoir the next day but the fates are conspiring against us this week. I called the restaurant. It's all OK for next week. Adam spent a couple of hours building a pretty impressive loading ramp attached to a pen the pigs'll be confined to next time. The gentleman who Adam was supposed to be working with that day sent a message consoling Adam on his 'boaring' day. Har har.

And youtube footage of one pig UNDER the trailer, another (wrong) pig ON the trailer and Adam thrashing the ground with lantana branches in frustration is yet to show up. 

Chickens are easier.




17 Comments on “more fiasco farming

September 13, 2012 at 1:09 am

You are a great storyteller. I almost felt like I was watching over the fence!

September 13, 2012 at 5:06 am

That’s awesome. Love that man.

September 13, 2012 at 6:46 am

Oh dear, all the trials and tribulations of farm life- hope it all goes better next time!

September 13, 2012 at 7:13 am

WOW. That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said. Thank you!!

Greg Twemlow
September 13, 2012 at 8:57 am

Tears of laughter from a story well told – oink oink!!
I thought I could hear Adam say – “Ill huff and Ill puff and Ill blow you into the #$@! trailer”

September 13, 2012 at 8:59 am

LOL I guess the pigs knew what was coming and decided they didn’t want a bar of it! 😉

Marijke Van der Vlist
September 13, 2012 at 9:49 am

LOL, thanks for sharing, my day is better for it.
I feel for Adam, I really do. I was chasing some chickens this morning that got out (again!) thanks to some helpful bandicoot dig work last night. 7 chooks where happily plowing my veggie garden, all seedlings, beans, lettuce and spinach are dug into the ground (again!). I tried with a scowl on my face but very calmly to direct them back into their pen, little devils they are. They would stand still, look at you and then with a grin on their face take a bit of lettuce, while the others teamed up to uproot my precious blueberry bush. I’m sure they did it just to taunt me. Argh. My husband came out to ask me why I was screaming *CHICKEN SOUP!!!!* at 6 o’clock in the morning. Yes, I feel for him.

September 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Hear him from your place you mean? About right xx

Penny Hannah
September 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I guess Adam will laugh about it too in a few year’s time – great story, but oh, what frustration. Pigs is contrary creatures!

Darren (Green Change)
September 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Oh man, I feel for him! We had a terrible time getting our pigs into the trailer, and ended up completely filthy by the time we got them in.

I’m going to build a retaining wall at trailer-floor-height, with a fence on either side above it, so I can just back the trailer up and herd them straight in. Not sure if it’ll work, but I’m sure it will be easier than what we tried last time!

Judith Harvey
September 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Wednesday’s score
Pigs: 1

floating lemons
September 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Oh my, thank you so much for the laughter! What an amazing blog you have created, I love it and am now a fan. Congratulations on being the Featured Blog over at Typepad, it’s how I found you 🙂

September 14, 2012 at 7:36 am

After our recent visit I was so impressed with Adam’s knowledge of pigs and tried to get David to see why I love them so much. However your post made me laugh you are a great storyteller poor Adam I am sure there will be a lot of porky jokes after this. I love your blog x Trudie

Nancy in Canada
September 17, 2012 at 11:37 pm

herding cats, baby… Adam, ya done good, mate: take a deeeeeeeeeeep breath, thank God you have so many wonderful things in your life and blow out that breath. Now have a cup of tea and a bikkie, and it will all be a bit better tomorrow. “Some days are like that, even in Australia” True story, bro’

Nancy in Canada
September 17, 2012 at 11:53 pm
kim at allconsuming
September 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Best story ever.

October 23, 2012 at 10:31 am

I’m glad your producing healthy pastured raised pigs. We need more healthy pork on the market. Everyone loves bacon. Will everyone I know.


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