Jurassic Marsh - A post by Luke

Feeding pigs is a riot.

We've got this routine now where we let them out of the pen first, they do a few quick laps around their fencing (these things move insanely fast), then suddenly they realize all the food is on the inside and they panic to get back in.

These guys truly value food over freedom. And I love them for it. Just watching them eat is a joy. They give it such an effort - just a wild mess of chomping, slurping, inhaling.

  Party Pen

Party Pen

Temperament wise though, they are a little complex.

Maybe it's their closeness to humanity I find unsettling. Because, come on, it must be said – a big pink pig is weirdly Caucasoid.

It's a little too close to home. Looking at their hairy trucker necks as they dive into their bowls. Watching them grunt and headbutt each other like linebackers. And, yes, the way they eye me over with familiar intelligence.

Axing the first round of roosters wasn't all that hard. Seeing three headless birds strung up in the woods beside a cauldron of boiling water over a makeshift fire was oddly beautiful. It was like a renaissance painting. But when it comes time to butcher these pigs I'm not sure what to expect.

But that's later. Today I got here-and-now problems.

Like their house. I don't know what I was thinking.

I over-built the thing. Everybody was telling me pigs don't need anything. Just string up a tarp and throw down some electrical wire and they'll be good. That's what I was told. Did I listen? Nope.

Instead I built a movable pen and a gave them a silver and black gambrel roof living hut to chill out in.

The pen gets moved everyday to give them fresh grass. That's fine, I'm good with that. It's moving their hut that's a chore. Every day, it's like Anna and I have to deadlift a go-cart out of the mud. It sucks!

  No!...Problem!

No!...Problem!

One day we're going to cripple ourselves in that pen and the pigs are not going to be running to the house to dial 911. I read Oryx & Crake.

Meanwhile, back in Chicken Town, our new batch has reached that awesome awkward stage of growth which totally proves chickens were once dinosaurs.

I mean...come on! Check it out:

  Artist's rendition of an Archeopteryx

Artist's rendition of an Archeopteryx

  Blackie, my Black Copper Maran, AKA the backyard Archeopteryx.

Blackie, my Black Copper Maran, AKA the backyard Archeopteryx.

Seriously! Does your pug reach a stage where it looks just like a woolly mammoth? No. Does your phenomenally expensive pond of koi do anything other than flick algae and gape at the air? No.

I bought this bird for $3 and it looks and acts like a freaking dinosaur. Do you get how cool this is? I get to sit on a lawn chair while these things dart around my feet and corral bugs like a pack of freakin' velociraptors.

  Fierce!

Fierce!

Well it's all a matter of perspective.

To the kids it looks like this:

flock of dinos.jpg

But to me, it feels like a mix of this and this: