Whenever I drive into the sows’ pasture to drop off a bale of hay, they come barrelling out of all corners of the field, ears flopping, doing the bucking-horse run I never grow tired of watching. Do they care about the hay? Are they happy to see me? No and no. They are only excited because I’ve brought them the big scratcher (at least that’s what I imagine they call the tractor). They love scratching their hams, backs, and shoulders on the tires, rims, loader frame, and three point hitch arms. The tires are usually skimmed over with mud upon arrival, but after a few minutes in with the pigs the lower sections are rubbed clean.
I’m not sure why they get so worked up about the tractor. They have plenty of trees and boulders in the nearby hedgerow. But I’ve never known a pig to turn down a back scratch.