The piglet was stuck under a fallen tree branch squealing to be released. Bucky, our seven hundred pound boar, was doing his best to lift the branch off the unhappy piglet but with only his snout to work with was not having success. For the past month, Bucky has been the leader of a bunch of ten-week old piglets who adore him. This is unusual because at best boars ignore piglets, at worst they kill and sometimes eat them. Bucky is a gentle boar who takes a real interest in these fourteen piglets who are his offspring.
We had weaned the fourteen piglets several weeks earlier and kept them separate from the bigger pigs. That worked until one day I forgot to latch the piglet's pen door. All fourteen piglets, about fifteen pounds each, escaped through the open door. I found them hanging out with Bucky, their dad. Not only were all the piglets alive but Bucky seemed to like their crazy antics and their frequent nuzzle snuzzles. I could see he wasn't going to kill them and since they seemed to like his company, I let them stay together during the day.
Even though I let the piglets out during the day to socialize with Bucky and four older pigs I make sure they are secure in their pen at night. Until a piglet is thirty pounds or so, they are vulnerable to predator attacks. Coyotes and even owls would love a piglet meal but once the piglets are thirty pounds they seem to be safe from predator attacks.
I don't know how long Bucky had been working to free the piglet under the fallen tree branch but once Bruce, my husband, freed the piglet, Bucky walked away happy for the help. For now, the piglets have an ever watchful dad to keep them in line and to try to save them from fallen branches. They may not know how lucky they are but these little piglets have a guardian boar to watch over them.