Saturday, July 7, 2018
Beating the Heat Like a Big Fat Pig
It's reminiscent of our childhood summers, this recent heat wave. Hot enough to make the road tar melt causing that definitive car tire bubbling-whine noise. Hot enough to take away all concern about your loose underarms flapping in the breeze; you're wearing sleeveless tops anyway. Hot enough to fight with the dog over tepid water in the cow trough because it's too far to walk to the house for a non e-coli filled drink.
Hot enough for pigs to swim.
Perhaps you've been hit with these above average temperatures as well. I know Ireland and other parts of Europe are certainly dealing with high temps and low rains. I find myself dressing in less and less as the day goes on. Modesty takes a back seat to comfort when it comes to me and heat. Remember that if you're thinking about a drop-in visit. A two minute warning call will save us both some embarrassment.
But whatever you do to cope please remember not to say, "I'm sweating like a pig", as you'll be wrong. Reason being, pigs do not sweat, nor can they pant like a dog. This means they don't handle heat well and require regular farmer assist.
Forgive me, loyal long time followers, I know I blog about this every summer, but for the newbies out there I must repeat myself. Livestock loss in summer heat is a sad reality of homesteading, but can be prevented in many cases. Take for example, the pigs.
The chore of watering the pigs these record breaking days requires much more than keeping water pans filled. It also requires maintenance of the pigs water hole which is about the size of a kiddie pool but a bit cloudier. This porcine pond serves a few purposes. It cools the hogs overall body temp. It increases their hydration status as water is absorbed through their skin. And it decreases annoying parasites like flies, mites and fleas by suffocation via the resulting thick mud.
It also makes the pigs very, very happy. They see me with the hose and they line up underneath it.