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Archive for June 29th, 2021

Diary #574

Grace has loved pigs ever since she cared for two piglets owned by a friend of hers, the guitarist in a punk band, while she was on a trip.  She became very attached to Orville, and was quite sad when he died suddenly at the beginning of March, so Chekhov and I decided to get her a kunekune piglet for her birthday; the little fella is only two months old and very vocal, so she decided to name him Cicero after the orator.  At present, he’s much too small to be outside alone; I got a folding cage of the sort used to temporarily contain puppies and we keep him inside at night and out on the deck all day.  Furniture pads protect the floor from his little cloven hooves when he’s inside, and he uses a litter pan to do his business, but boy does he make a mess when he eats!  We’re feeding him mostly carrots, lettuce, peanuts, and a few table scraps, but he doesn’t seem to like cabbage much and won’t touch radishes at all.  The latter surprised me, because I assumed that since pigs are rooters they’d like any kind of root vegetable.  And that rooting is apparently a very strong instinct, because whenever he gets hungry he tries it in his cage, throwing up the pee pads I laid down as an extra layer of protection.  Right now he’s a lot of work, just like any baby, but Grace seems to be enjoying having him around and he won’t be too small for outside for very long.  And I think I’ve got the knack of how much to feed him so he won’t grow huge; kunekunes don’t usually exceed about 150 kilos, but Grace picked the runt on purpose and we’d prefer to keep him below 100 kilos if possible.  See, pigs are like people in that they want a lot more food than they actually need; wild pigs are limited by what they can forage, but domestic pigs will eat whatever is put in front of them, and don’t appear to know when they’re full.  Orville was able to find enough to live on and we gave him a few treats as well, and I’m sure the same will be true of Cicero.  But until he can do that on his own, it’s going to be interesting.

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