March 27, 2010


For a hiker it's REI. For a fisherman it's Cabella's. For a working mom it's Ann Taylor. And for a farmer it's the local feed store. Our's is Wilco.

Driving to Wilco I have a feeling of excitement because of all the fun gadgets, tools and yes clothes that I get to peruse. Not to mention, in the spring, there are baby chicks to visit (one of Jordan's favorite things to do - cheap entertainment). I also have a feeling of dread because I know how much money I'm likely to spend. A trip to Wilco rarely comes in under $100.

When I walk into Wilco, if I need help, which I usually do, I try to find Fred. Fred looks like a crusty old farmer and he knows everything.

When we got our pigs last spring we put a trough of water in the pen. The trough was just a toy to the pigs - they dumped and pushed it around and flipped it up in the air. So I went into Wilco asking for another alternative. Couldn't find Fred; got some young kid. I said "My pigs keep dumping their water. What other watering devices do you have?" The kid showed me bigger watering troughs. He showed me tools that keep the water full when it gets low. I kept saying "No, I'm looking for something else. Something other than a trough." Finally, he called for Fred. OK, now we'll get somewhere.

Fred walked up and asked what I needed. I said "I have pigs and they keep dumping their trough." I didn't even get to the question about alternatives. He said "OK" and started walking. "What you need is this." It was a small metal thing that you hooked the hose right up to and when the pigs bite on the metal thing it releases water like a drinking fountain. I said "But how do they learn to bite it." He said "They will." He said to bolt it to a fence post and he started walking to the hardware section and handed me the bracket and bolts I needed. And he suggested hooking the hose up along the fence post so the pigs don't chew on it. I came home, Jeremy and I hooked it up. The pigs, out of curiosity I suppose, walked right up and bit the metal thing and water came out. Problem was solved.

Of course I also had to buy pig feed, oats and chicken scratch during that particular trip - total $122.

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