Last week, or sometime thereabouts, we had to load three of our hogs onto the trailer in order to take them to be processed. As readers will recall, our first experience loading pigs, while perhaps comical, took WAY TOO LONG! This time we had it all figured out, and for the most part, everyone involved cooperated with the plan.
First I had to back the trailer up to the barn and make a runway for the hogs.
Notice above how little clearance there is between the trailer gate and the door frame of the barn. Now, I should have measured this all out when constructing the trailer gate, but that did not happen. In fact, the gate was about an inch or two too high to fit into the barn.
Backing the tractor up onto four pallets raised the tractor, thereby lowering the end of the trailer just enough to clear the door frame. Yet another addition to the essential farm tools list: pallets.
After getting the trailer where it needed to be, we set up a hog panel (a 16 foot long rigid wire fence section) and reinforced it with a couple of 2 x 4's to hold it in place. We had a little step made out of a pallet for the hogs to use to walk right up onto the trailer.
All that was left was to "bait the trap," as it were. We had restricted the feed intake of the pigs the previous night so as to be sure that they would be hungry enough to waltz right into the trailer.
Here I am opening up their pen and telling them to head down the center aisle. I also reminded them to return their seats to their original upright position and to check the overhead compartments for bagage before exiting.
And there they go. Right down the aisle, into the chute, and onto the trailer. Pretty easy so far. They were not wild about the step, but with a little coaxing and some pizza from Erica, they eventually took the plunge.
We got the first two into the trailer and they immediately started chowing down on the food piled up in there. I put some wooden slats across the trailer so as to "lock" them towards the front while we tried to get the last pig on.
Turns out we didn't need the slats, really. After gorging themselves the two pigs decided on a nap.
Erica used some more of the pizza and some other tasty morsels to try to lure the final pig on.
We gave the pig about three hours waiting time, during which it decided to also take a nap. Just not in the right location.
Eventually, the last one made its way onto the trailer. Once they were all back together they ate, drank, and slept just like it was their new home. This was a much more successful--and less time-consuming--adventure this time around!