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TIPS 'n' TALES
Celebrates People and Pets

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Mary Ellen and Miss Wings
Mary Ellen & Miss Wings
 

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
McKenzie, 13 years old,  with A.J. her 8 month old Yorkshire pig who is only half grown at four feet long and weighing in at 260 pounds!


 

TALES


When McKenzie lets A.J. out of her large comfy pen for exercise, A.J. runs as joyfully as a huge dog.  A.J.  inspects everything, and in her new freedom, she runs and runs. 

Leaving us a moment to reflect on how other animals exist in small pens and cages.  No animal in the wild builds a pen or cage environment and stays exclusively in it. 

A.J. ran happily back and forth covering the farm acreage as fast as any other 4 foot long animal does, then she happily returned to the safety and comforts that McKenzie has included in her pen.

McKenzie enthusiastically says, "I had the pleasure of being present when A.J. was born and helped deliver her!   A.J. is short for Abby Junior, she's named after her mother, Abby

A.J.'s favorite things; going for walks, playing in the mud, being shown at fairs and playing dead. If you scratch her belly, she falls over and goes to sleep that's her way of playing dead.

A.J. loves food.  Pigs will do anything for food, and she gets mad if she's not fed on time.  She lies down and won't talk to me."

Once, A.J. and her pig friend, made a wild escape from their pen, down the long dirt driveway to the busy road below.

Carmen, McKenzie's mother remembers, "An unfamiliar truck sped up our driveway!  A total stranger jumps out and asks, "Do you own pigs?  Because if you do, they are in the middle of the road and about to get hit!"

We both jumped into his truck, and in a cloud of dust, went flying back down the driveway.

I'm thinking, "If the pigs aren't already dead, how the heck am I going to get them back home? To every ones  surprise, my daughter's long hours of working with her pigs paid off.  The pigs came directly to me when I called their names. We later discovered that A.J. had learned how jar her gate open."

McKenzie adds, "A.J. tends to be a spoiled brat, but she's my brat, and I love her to pieces!"


TIPS


McKenzie teaches, "Pigs are like people, they need fresh water everyday.  If you wouldn't drink the water, they shouldn't have to either.  That's the rule for pigs and any pet!

Also, pig's food should have a protein content over 15%.  This helps their bodies carry out normal functions. They also need a warm place to sleep.  Again, if you wouldn't sleep there, neither should they.

Pigs' skin is very sensitive, and prone to sun burns, causing them serious pain!  We put sun screen on A.J. to protect her skin. 

Also, make sure pigs have a mud pit.  Pigs are clean animals, yet they roll around in wet mud to cool themselves and cover their skin.

The saying, "I'm sweating like a pig" is not a true. Because, pigs don't sweat!

I am in 4-H, (4-Hands, Health, Heart, Head).  A.J. and I are very excited to be going to Oregon's State Fair in Salem!   In fact we can't wait!  In 4-H we learn information about our animals and their vet care.  We also meet great friends!

We would like to keep going to 4-H, but it might be our last year, due to not enough money in the budget.  This is upsetting to me and A.J.!"

Carmen, adds, "Having both my children in 4-H teaches them responsibility and the natural process of life and death. The children make wonderful life long friends and have common interests, other than discussing TV shows and the latest fads. If your children are also interested in 4-H call 541-682 4243."

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