The newbies on the block – are they friends or foes!

Yeap, you guessed it, the two newbies are little piggies, called Peppa and Pop! Peppa being the lighter one and Pop being the darker one or the slightly plumper one.

Although with four legs supporting these, somewhat, dumpy bodies, just like four legs support the stunning outline of the Equine and Canine world, one would think that there was not much of a to do to adjust to when it comes down to meeting the other 4 legged creatures. But clearly this is not the case.

But introducing new animals is a massive learning curve for all, not only for the carer, but also for each animal who crosses their path, or in this case, who absolutely decided not to cross their path, even from 30 metres away! When introducing any new animal to another/others it is always best to have some form of fence in between each breed, if nothing else but to make sure neither become either pancaked or demolished or kicked in to oblivion! So this we naturally did, with 6ft fence between each!

Although these little piggies had kept quite a ‘piggy life’ before, they had never met horses or the same type of black and white dotty dogs before. Going by the reaction and knowing the History of three of the horses, it was clear that three of the horses in the vicinity had come across this snorting breed before, but it was more than clear that two had not! In fact the snorting from the piggies and the snorting from two of the horses sounded, almost, like an ‘in house competition!’ However, little did the horses realise that actually, the snorting from the pigs is their natural sound, yet a horse, generally snorts when unsure of something. So, from a horses perspective, you can understand why a horse would be scared of the sound of these little piggies, who were not even the size of half a horses leg!

 

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Above are the ones who had the confidence to venture fairly closely without much of a to do, however, once the others realised there were newbies on the block, mmmmm, ears were up, equine snorting could be heard loud and clear but after a few flighty moments, they did return, but only to a safe distance away – approximately 40 metres!

A night went past and the original confident three horses joined us in the usual routine, however the other two decided, no, we are not speaking, we are not going any where near their pen or indeed the gateway to the yard. ‘We’ve drawn a line right across the field’ seemed to be their motto, and if they were to have any breakfast at all we had to take it to them! Talk about putting their heels down!.

By the afternoon of the second day and because of the amount of times these piggies were checked (just to make sure they hadn’t escaped) all the horses became rather nosey, perhaps they were feeling as if they were going to miss out on something! A piece of apple, or carrot or a bit of cabbage! Or was it banana! Added to their growing confidence was probably helped by the dogs running round the round pen, just as they normally do and have done for months. In fact normally a round pen has a worn track round the inside of the pen, but no, not our one, Our one has a dogs’ motorway round the outside, initiated by our rescued Collie. A wirey dog, one with a fox face, a typical ‘wired to the moon and back Collie dog, but with the sweetest of nature . . butter wouldn’t melt type of nature.

Our office in the Summer time is often one of the paddocks or the barn. But since the piggies arrived we now have an extra office. An office with a difference. One where you can feel relaxed, enjoy the antics of dotty pigs running around doing pirouettes of happiness creating hilarity along the way as well, or a horse meandering past, or a chicken sitting, obediently, along side your cup of coffee! All this brings a sense of peace while talking business. It certainly beats sitting under fluorescent light bulbs and buzzing traffic or honking taxi’s and buses every two minutes. O thank goodness for the Internet!

Apologies, we digressed! So, after regular checks the pigs seemed to settle in to their new abode, but were ultra happy at being able to dig up and eat the grass and nettle roots! (which was, after all, the reason why they were taken on in the first place- to hopefully prevent us from strimming in the summer months!)

Day 3 found us adjusted to the new routine, all animals checked, dogs let out, geese let out and fed, pigs fed, hens fed then it’s breakfast and grooming time for the horses. However on this morning while in the round pen. Lauder Lass decided to pluck up the courage to venture forward, nothing to do with sound of chopping or the smell of carrots or bread on the table inside the round pen of course. It was as if she was watching the pigs with one eye and the other was totally concentrating on the food below her nose albeit it at the other side of the fence. Having scattered some bread on the ground for the piggies it left a spare second to give her a wee slice of carrot through the spar, and bless her she took it. That little experience seemed to break the ice between her and the piggies, I guess she thought, well, ‘if they eat the same kind of food as me, then they can’t be all that bad after all’.

 

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From this day on, she seemed to have an understanding of them but what she would do if they were free in the field is indeed another question.

Let’s see what happens in the next saga of the Horse and pig world.

 

 

About Judi and Lauder Lass's carers

Animal and Human behaviourist, Animal 'user friendly' trainer, Author, Alternative dietician -
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