Last week we said goodbye to Rocco as we drove 2 hours to take him to his new home. He and Henry have never bonded, as Rocco grew up, he would constantly challenge Henry for position of top pig. As the boys grew larger, the fighting became worse. They are big and powerful beasts. Strong like ox/pig.
Henry was our first, and he wasn’t too happy when Rocco came along. It took 3 weeks before I could trust putting them together without a barrier.
Rocco would follow Henry around, and life seemed good. Here, they are doing tricks for my daughter’s class visit.
They hung out, snuggled and slept together.
They would roam around the cottage together, picking wild raspberries and blackberries.
But as Rocco caught up in size, he started to challenge Henry.
To look at them sleeping together, you would think they were best of friends.
But this is not nice. Henry’s ears were constant targets. Rocco became bolder, I’ve even tried to out boss him, but as he matured into his second year, the fighting worsened. It was time, the last few scuffles had left them both staggering and limping away in pain. 120-pound fighting pigs is pretty scary, especially now that they have tusks. It’s a matter of time before someone loses an eye or worse!
So I found Rocco a forever home at Ralphy’s Retreat in Norfolk county. A pig sanctuary within Bella Misty Meadows run by the kind and caring Kara Burrows. Here, he will make new friends and I think be much happier, and maybe even find himself a girlfriend.
It’s been much quieter here without Rocco, Henry did notice his brother was missing, but he didn’t appear sad. He still ate his supper, and went to bed. Now that Rocco’s gone, Henry’s got the whole bed to himself…filling Rocco’s side with my folding chair, sticks, plastic bags, leaves, odd shoe…
Now he can eat in peace and enjoy one-on-one attention, just like old times.
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Mary - Hi Jill and family,
I was sad to hear that Rocco and Henry were such duelling siblings when Rocco became so confrontational and aggressive. You did a wise thing be setting him up in a lovely sanctuary and you can still visit him. Hopefully he will be more calm in his new environment. Who knew brothers would be so adversarial! You all tried your best and gave them both a wonderful and loving home. Now Henry can relax and enjoy life without worrying about having his little ears shredded.
Greg - We hope to come visit Rocco. Have such fond memories of the two of them.
miriam jacobson - Love and admire all that you do.
Samuel L. Chell - From Henry’s behavior–no serious signs of loss or depression after losing Rocco–you did the right thing (congratulations on finding a place for Rocco). Henry was first pig and clearly had an early sense of entitlement and priority. As Rocco got bigger than Henry, the first pig’s instinctual sense of his prior place in the family hierarchy was threatened beyond his ability to cope. (I’ve never seen or heard of a pig ‘s accepting “demotion” because of fighting, or the superior physical strength. of the challenger.) In the end, both would have been seriously injured, with Henry most likely getting the worst of the deal.
And yes, even a young running pig playing with a child can represent a danger. A playing piglet, or slightly older pig, would not injure intentionally. But it’s smallness and lowness to the ground can lead people to underestimate the density and weight of this fast-moving “cannonball.” I’d hate to be the one to break up the fighting between the pair. That could lead to the expression “caught between a rock and a hard place,” becoming more than a figure of speech.