A couple of weeks ago, we were presented with the opportunity to add to our growing hog collection with a female hog named Keera. We decided it would be a very good plan to continue to widen our gene pool and set out to go get her with our pick-up truck and the hog crate we have transported every hog we own in.
After driving the two hours to get there, we pulled up to the house, only to have the owner’s son walk up to the truck and inform us that she (Keera) was not going to fit in there. We were confused and a little concerned.
“What do you mean? The pictures that were sent made her look about the size of our hogs, and this is what we use.”
“Weeeell, you can try, but I’m pretty sure she’s gonna be a good two feet longer.”
So we walked over to Mz. Keera’s pen and peered in. Justin whistled. Mz. Keera was NOT what we were expecting, and the son was right. Easily over 600lbs, Keera was definitely a good two feet longer than our longest hog and would DEFINITELY NOT fit in the crate.
“Now what?” I asked Justin, concerned.
He looked slightly frustrated and replied “I don’t know.”
“Oh don’t worry! We got enough pallets around here. We can just build her a crate.”
Lovely! Now I’m concerned about lifting a 600lb pig AND a 200lb wooden crate. But we’ll get to that.
So we get to work, building the crate from scratch. It took a good hour to get all the details right from making sure she wouldn’t fall out the floor when we lifted it to discussing how we would nail it shut when we finally got her in.
Finally, we finished. Time to get this hog in. Keera had other ideas.
Picture this. At this point, we have 5 men and 3 women standing around the pen, all trying to coax a 600lb hog into a crate. We tried doughnuts and Little Debbie’s cakes (her favorites), we tried Sundrop (a Southern pop), and we tried spraying her with a hose (because she hates water). Finally, finally, we pushed her back into a corner and used a combination of the food treats and the water to get her on the crate.
“Quick! Shut the door, shut the door!” we’re all yelling at each other.
SLAM. The door goes on and someone nails it in place. We all breathe. Then pause.
We look uncertainly at each other and start discussing the best way to lift 800-900 pounds of hog and crate into the back of a pick-up truck.
Straight lifting is ruled out, as is sliding it up a couple boards. We’re starting to talk in circles when someone finally says: “Wait… doesn’t so-and-so up the hill got a cherry picker? Ain’t he home?”
“Yeah, he does! I’ll go git him!”
So off runs one of the men to go get the cherry picker and its driver. We sit and chat awkwardly about the weather and getting this pig home.
Here comes the cherry picker, down the hill and back up the driveway. He backs it on up to the crate. “Hi. How we gonna do this?”
It’s determined that the best thing to do is to lift it straight up and the men will stabilize it and move it forward onto the truck. The straps go on, only to have someone complain they’re too small. The straps come back off. Bigger straps go on, only to have someone complain they’re too long now. The straps start to come back off, but Justin intervenes with an idea to shorten them. There. We finally have this crate surrounded, and up goes the cherry picker, and up in the air goes Keera.
I back the truck up slowly under the swinging hog and almost run over everyone (oops). Keera is lowered and everyone breathes when she’s finally on the truck.
We load up the metal crate on top of her wooden one and pray a silent prayer that we didn’t come under any low bridges.
Saying our goodbyes, we got the other way around the house, because the crates won’t fit under the power lines. We pray that we don’t get electrocuted on the way back too.
We head off into the sunset with our brand-new pig and I look at Justin and smile.
“Worth it?” I ask.
“Totally,” he replies with a grin. “Now how we gonna get her off the truck?”