Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Betty Goes Walkabout

On Monday I was busy in the kitchen (about to make a batch of Lemon Curd) when I heard the little Rosy outside barking for all she was worth. Dashing to the window I could see no vehicles or people coming up the track, so I ignored her. #
She carried on barking and barking so I went out to see what the problem was, and there in the bushes by the muckpile was Betty the Berkshire pig, happily nosing around. I quickly forgot all plans of cooking, grabbed my wellies and jacket and made a mad dash for a bucket.
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Now Betty is completely bucket trained and will follow you to the ends of the earth if you have a bucket full of food to shake at her. I tipped out the contents of the first orange bucket I came across (I re-planted the daffodils later!!) and filled it with a handful of gravel from the parking area. Shaking this at Betty she soon got the message and started to follow me back to piggy paradise (the Barn).
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As we approached the electric fenced off area I quickly saw how she had made her escape, the battery was not on the fence and she had been rooting around at the edge, got a pile of soil on the bottom strand of wiring, realised that it was not connected and made a nice Betty sized gap to stroll through. She followed me, as good as gold, right to the top of the fencing and then when my back was turned to make her a gap on this side she decided her adventure wasn't over yet.
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I quickly re-instated the fencing to keep the other two in and then tore off after Betty to see where she had vanished to (after filling the bucket with some real pig food).
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She was in the pond!!
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I called and called, and shook the bucket for all I was worth and what did Betty do.....she slurped and slurped as much pond water as she could and decided to walk deeper in. Now our pond is almost a lake and is a good 15 yards across, shallow at the edges but we don't know how deep in the middle, and that is where she was heading. I could see her getting stuck in the mud and luckily she had the brains to see this too.
I quickly started throwing handfuls of food onto the ground around the edge of the water and she started to make her way back to the side....the wrong side! I tore around to the other side of the pond, but just as I reached there we both had the same realisation she would not fit through the brambles and bushes that line that side. So she turned and headed for the middle again.
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My mind was racing.....phone the vet...phone a crane hire company....get help.......watch my pregnant pig sink into oblivion in the middle of a pond and never see her again!!
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I ran back to the other side and left a trail of pig nuts for her to follow and this time....thank goodness...she did! All the way back to the fenced off area, I tore out all the fence stakes and made a huge gap for her to walk through, the Middle Whites watched all this with amazement but soon saw the advantage........Mum was throwing pig nuts everywhere, entertainment and a snack what more could you ask for on a sunny Monday morning.
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Once Betty was behind the fence line I quickly re-assembled the fence posts and tape and dashed to the house to phone LH at work to find out how to make it live again.
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As I was attaching the battery to the fence I could see Betty trying the tape to see if it was live, obviously wanting to repeat her little adventure but it was soon humming with the reassuring charge of electricity and the panic was over.
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And what kept flashing through my mind while all this was happening - the thought that I didn't have my camera to record for my Blog the sight of Betty waist deep in water slurping away in the pond!!
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A true Blogger!
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Sue xx

7 comments:

  1. OMG what a story.

    Betty the houdini pig!

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  2. What an adventure for Betty, maybe something in the name - if there is one chicken that is likely to be first anywhere it is our Betty!

    Glad that she is ok and doing well. And clever clever Rosy to

    Did you manage to get back to your lemon curd?
    Take care
    Sarah x

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  3. Haha...yes lemon curd eventually got made (much to LH's delight), but only after numerous cups of coffee had been consumed!

    Sue xx

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  4. Blimey, never a dull moment in your house. The most exicting thing I did on Monday was peg the washing out. I'm glad everthing turned out OK though and what a might fine pig-minder your Rosy is!

    Jak x

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  5. Go Betty!Funny but not for you at the time.
    She is a real character...I wonder if her oof spring will be just as characterful????
    My mouth is watering at the thought of the lemon curd...
    Sandie xx

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  6. Oh my! I'm glad that turned out ok. What a stressful moment. Did you ever think you would be chasing a pig?

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  7. Nothing gets the adrenalin going quite like an errant pig!

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