Thursday, February 13, 2014

Meet Ophelia

First off, I apologize for being a slacker in reading blogs/writing on my own blog lately. It's not that I'm not thinking of you and loving all your great comments! I really want to catch up and I will. It has been a crazy week. Gordon has been away in New Brunswick all week, doing a trial, so I've had all his chores on top of my own to contend with. And yesterday was devoted to this...

This is Ophelia, our new rescue pig. An unfortunate animal owner passed on this week, so several critters were brought to our local shelter, which is not really equipped for farm animals. So as well as adopting too hens, we are taking Ophelia. She needs a bit of a scrub, and I will get her to a porcine vet for a check-up soon.

When I heard about her from my friend at the shelter (via Facebook at 7 am!), I thought she was a young 40-lb  regular old farm pig.

Got down there to discover she's actually more like an 80-lb pot-bellied pig, three years old.

She is staying with my friend right now until we get a stall of some sort built for her in our barn.  The OSPCA agent told me that people often take these pigs to farm animal auctions when they get too big, and they end up at farms.

Ophelia is so friendly, we figure she must have been a pet at some point! Poor honey. I think she could stand to lose a little weight, too. I picked her up some "miniature pig" food, which I miraculously found at a feed store in Cornwall. I had to get that after picking up a bag of hog grower. When I got her and realized she was not a regular pig, I made another trip to the feed store.

She's very placid, friendly and gentle. I drove her to my friend's in a dog crate in the back of my car, and she made no fuss at all.

My friend's grandson already loves her, but has been told she's only there temporarily. I did tell him he can visit Ophelia anytime after she moves here.

They are friends already. Today she took half a Milkbone dog biscuit from her.

I of course need to take a crash course on pig ownership. I know they are very smart and need stimulation. While she won't be living in our house (!), we will certainly take good care of her. Some people have said she'll need a friend, but I'll worry about that once we get her shelter built and get her settled in.

Meanwhile, my friend, who used to keep pigs, is taking great care of her. He checked on her last night and said she had completely buried herself in the straw!

At the shelter, she was given an old comforter the first night. The next morning, they found that she'd ripped it open and crawled right inside with the stuffing.

I think she's going to be a great addition to our place. My friend came up with her name! 


  1. I love her already! I know that pigs HATE a cosy home for her for sure.
    I was once cast as Ophelia...she needs flowers in her hair...did I say I love her already?
    Jane x

  2. One hefty lady. She won't be snoozing on your printer. I suppose if you are called a pot-bellied pig you are entitled to all the belly you can carry.

  3. Looking forward to some piggy posts!

  4. I wanted a potbellied pig, once. Fortunately I was outvoted. Good for you, taking her in.

  5. She's DOLLY!!!! I can't wait to see how Ophelia fits in...

  6. What a cutie! Her name suits her well. I am sure she will love living with you.. not in your house, of course :)

  7. So, Gordon goes away and you get a pig. Does he know? ;)

  8. Get out the old roasting pan for a juicy......, ok I want scare the 80ty pounder anymore, but if you need advise how to do it in covered earth, I know that, too. Ok Willie, enough know, otherwise I am in trouble with the new piggy mama.

  9. Would you let Ophelia visit me for a week-end? It would be so nice to have a walking companion in downtown Toronto. Let me know about the diet requirement. Plenty of ethnic restaurants around here.

  10. Anonymous11:03 am

    Ahhhh! Love her! Such interesting animals. I gave up eating pork after Babe! Giving up bacon is hard. Sheri

  11. She is beautiful! I am sure she will have a very good life with you!

  12. Pigs are a lot of fun. My boys treated them like pets and even rode them like rodeo cowboys. Our pigs were bigger. Our first was named Charlotte as they were reading Charlottes Web.

  13. Obviously she gets cold easily and likes it warm. She might need her own heater :)

  14. She's lucky to have found you guys Natalie........
    Love the story about the comforter. She's going to be a much loved piggly wiggly.

    Claire Xx

  15. Anonymous12:21 pm

    Kudos to you for taking her in! Pigs are so intelligent, I'm sure Ophelia will find some way to wheedle herself into your home. :)

  16. Never a dull moment in your house =)
    Ophelia has found a great home.
    Stay warm, Ophelia!

  17. Ophelia blind? She looks like she may be in the photos.

    1. Deb, I think that's entirely possible! I am going to take her in for a vet exam soon, just sorting out a pig vet. I have read that pot-bellied pigs are very prone to blindness, usually due to poor diet (too much protein/obesity). And the skin around her eyes is a bit dirty, so I am wondering if she had some discharge. Poor honey! Anyway, I need to spend more time with her! I asked Eugene to assess her for me. Regardless, we'll make sure she has a good home here.

  18. I think I'm in love with Ophelia. Jerry always wanted a pet pot-bellied pig, but we weren't zoned for it in our part of rural Connecticut. Does the veterinarian have to be "porcine" or would a skinny vet be just as good?

  19. On the day you brought Ophelia home, you wrote: "Poor honey. I think she could stand to lose a little weight, too."


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!