Life at the end of the road

May 9, 2008

Poor wee piggie

Filed under: daily doings, harbour — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:21 pm

I’m afraid I’ve not got much to report today about the harbour or anything else for that matter as the ferry has been running back and forward all day with the volume of traffic. Though I could see the drilling rig down on the shore at low tide through the new binoculars that my mum and dad bought me as a birthday pressie. They are drilling and blasting out a 4m or was it 4′ deep trench ( my memory is shocking! ) for the foundations of the new pier and judging by all that black pipe at the side of the rig they must be drilling allot of holes.

Apart from seeing the first swallow of the year and doing allot of painting then that was about it for the day at work. So without even loading my trailer with rocks I headed home beneath a greying sky. When I got home I felt really grey as one of the ‘wains’ (our 5 Tamworth weaners) had a broken leg!

She’s one of the most affectionate ones and came hobbling up for a pet. The poor thing can’t be in pain as she will let you feel the break but I’m anxiously awaiting a call from our vet as she was due for the chop soon and I don’t Know what to do. I don’t want to separate her from her pals as pigs love company and she seems to be getting her share at the trough. If we give her any kind of medication there will be a withdrawal period so we may not able to send them away for a few weeks and I’m not even sure if you can transport a pig with a broken leg anyway so I do hope the vet phones soon. I was going to look back through some of my 20 year old diaries but to be honest I can’t concentrate so that’s it I’m afraid.


  1. the poor lass ! Fingers crossed she’s just been larking about & twanged the tendon rather than suffered a full break.

    Comment by auldwife — May 9, 2008 @ 9:32 pm

  2. Fraid it’s well broken A and I’m thinking it’s going to have to be the .243 to the head, I’m just hoping the vet will say something else but I’m not sure what. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it but then if you can’t do it or at least face up to the reality then you shouldn’t eat meat. We’ve never done a home kill on a pig before as most of our stuff goes to hotels and restaurant’s so we’ve always sent them all away together. Done plenty of sheep, goats, rabbits and deer but never a pig.

    Wish me luck, P

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 9, 2008 @ 9:48 pm

  3. There always comes a time when you have to face the harder side of raising animals for meat. it isnt easy, you just have to pride yourself in them having had a happy life with you & that their welfare is your main concern.

    If that doesnt work, look at it this way. She’s totally relaxed with & used to you, she’ll be stress free, relaxed & happy & not suffering from major change stress before hand.

    Comment by auldwife — May 10, 2008 @ 7:11 am

  4. It’ll be over quickly and as she was due to go off soon then she hasn’t lost much of her time, and at least she isn’t in pain with it. You give them a good life up there, try not to feel bad. In some ways you doing it is probably better than sending them off elsewhere and as Auldwife says she’ll be relaxed and stress-free when the time comes. Good luck!

    Comment by Helena — May 10, 2008 @ 7:22 am

  5. Bullet to the head ASAP is best. Imagine an X drawn between the ears and diagonally opposite eyes and shoot through the centre of the X.

    Give the pig something to eat, make sure it’s standing on soft ground (in case of over penetration) and set your aiming point. Wait for the pig to relax with a chew or two, and bang. Pig is relaxed and happy right up to the impact.

    Have you ever done a deer? If so, take a similar approach (bar the skinning as you’ll be dehairing instead). Hoik the pig up from a gambril, cut the throat deep so it bleeds out into a bucket and proceed from there.

    Scald with boiling water and scrape with a slightly sharp blade to remove the hair. Must dash, but a piece of flat steel on edge with tape handles works quite well.

    Comment by Stonehead — May 11, 2008 @ 11:36 am

  6. Cheers Stoney, pretty much what I had in mind. The ‘Burco boiler’ is coming tomorrow. The block&tackle and gambril are ready but I’m not going to do it until Wednesday as I’m working. If I thought she was in pain I’d have already done it but the wee darling is keeping up with the others on their expiditons in the birch woods and will let you feel the break so I’m going to do it when I don’t have to rush it.

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 11, 2008 @ 7:39 pm

  7. At this point.. Being of a waste not want not upbringing kinda person…

    I can say only one thing, since you’ll have the chance….

    Black Pudding !! 2tbs of salt into your bleeding bucket will stop coagulation.

    Comment by auldwife — May 11, 2008 @ 7:53 pm

  8. The best and most detailed pig processing guide I’ve come across is at

    You can simplify this if needed/wanted, but it’s very, very comprehensive—even if lacking pictures.

    If you want to know what an old-fashioned, manual pig scraper looked like with a view to making your own, having a look at:

    I suspect a modern, small onion hoe would do the job very well. Something like this:

    If we lived a couple of hours closer, I’d be over in a flash to give you a hand but with only the one car and the distance, it’s not possible unfortunately.

    As for leaving it until Wednesday, watch the pig very closely. She may not be in much or any pain now, but she could aggravate the injury or develop an infection. In either case, you will have to act immediately.

    Good luck. I think you have my phone number if you have any questions or just need a bit of moral support.

    Comment by Stonehead — May 11, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

  9. Cheers Stoney, the ‘wains’ are free ranging at the moment but mrs Cs going to put them in a small field tomorrow so hopalong isn’t covering so much ground.

    Thanks Auldwife, black pudding had crossed my mind and mrs C is going to speak to an expert tomorrow about the very subject.

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 11, 2008 @ 9:14 pm

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