So we began crating them outside our back porch at night, and they were allowed to wander around the back yard during the day. Harness and leash training began in earnest after their first week, as we knew with County Fair time rapidly approaching they would need to be able to exercised and handled in a safe manner. Fair time means 5 straight days of us away from the farm and with their bottle feeding schedule being every two hours, there was no way to leave them behind!
I did a lot of research on the internet about domesticating pigs and followed advice from vets and experts so as not to cause undo stress on the Wee ones. At first you would have thought we were trying to kill them! They wee-wee-weed in protest at their walks on the harness, and then after a few tries, they were like any domesticated pet only kind of cuter!
The ducks decided feeding time was a good time to get a closer look at the little piggies and approached quite bravely. They began picking dirt and other unseen things off the backs of the piglets. Pretty soon the piglets and ducks were constant companions. After five days absence at the county fair, it was assumed the ducks and piglets would have forgotten their bond. The ducks came waddling as fast as duck feet can carry, happily quacking at the return of their adopted family. The reunion was a full fanfare of wings waving, feathers flying, pigs oinking and leaping and all!
Once the piglets could no longer be trusted on their own with their mighty plow noses that like to dig up everything in sight, they had to be confined. Much to our chagrin, my mother in law took quite a liking to this unlikely crew. She'd take them down to her garden and allow the ducks to go on bug patrol, and the piglets to dig. If they got in her veggies she would lightly tap them on the nose with a cane and they'd take to weeding again.
Thinking the pigs were beginning to grow too large to continue being bed fellows with the ducks, we fenced them in and the quackers out. The ducks would have none of it. Even weeks later they remained at the outside of the piglet's pen only leaving to eat and return to their shelter late at night. Many attempts at breaking into the pen were observed and recorded with the many feathers flying about. Finally it was decided they should be allowed to try live in the habitat with the pigs.
So far there have been no mishaps as the piglets grow larger. Life is so funny. Some of the bonds we create are considered odd or strange but are some of the biggest blessings and sometimes lessons in life. I watch this bizarre menagerie and it makes my heart smile. We need all the smiles and laughter we can glean in this life.
There were many nay sayers and people who went out of their way to speak their mind when Seth and I "joined forces" and blended this family of ours. As we shared a meal together for our 12th Family Thanksgiving yesterday, I'm glad we chose our own path and followed our own hearts. Laughter, stories, and the sounds of family filled our home yesterday. Though odd our bunch may be, we make a great team this family of ours.