Sometimes farmers do some crazy things…today I’m going to let you in on one of those “crazy” things that we do to ensure our animals are comfy.
First, a little background information; for those of you that watched my weaning video you will have learned that we have a special barn for young piglets. One of the most important things when working with young pigs is to keep them warm so this barn is kept quite warm. However, to ensure that there is plenty of fresh air for the pigs, there is a ventilation system that brings fresh air into the barn while removing old stale air with the use of electric fans. As winter approaches, the air that is being brought into the barn is colder then the pigs like, so I need to make sure that our system is set up in a way that the cool air doesn’t blow directly on the little pigs. Sounds like a lot of work but adjusting the system is easy, the hard part is testing the system, making sure I adjusted it properly.
The testing part is where the crazy enters and it really brings new meaning to dressed down day at work. Normally I wear clothes at my job like every other human being but pigs don’t get the luxury of clothes so if I’m supposed to know if they are comfortable in their skivvies then I need to strip down and find out how it feels. So yesterday morning I spent a solid chunk of my morning moving from pen to pen sitting down with the pigs to find out if it was warm enough wearing my nothing more then rubber boots and the bottom half of my summer coveralls (I couldn’t bring myself to get right down to the underwear, I figured not wearing a shirt could give me a good indication).
The verdict of my test was that it was indeed warm enough because I managed 30 minutes without ever feeling cold. The only downside was that my pants were wet for the rest of the day from the numerous pigs that were excited by the new human chew toy that was sitting in their pen that day. You see, pigs are curious and their default behaviour is to chew first to see how it tastes and when all 20 piglets in a pen decided that I’m safe to chew I only had 2 hands to hold them back, hence the wet pants.
So the next time you are complaining about your attire at work be thankful that you don’t have to sit shirtless in a pen of pigs while the little creatures gnaw at your knee caps, all in the name of animal comfort.