LOOK WHAT GINGER DID: Barkers Vale hobby farmer Stuart McConville’s pet pig attacked him last week.
LOOK WHAT GINGER DID: Barkers Vale hobby farmer Stuart McConville’s pet pig attacked him last week. Mireille Merlet-Shaw & Melissa Gulbin

My pig attacked me, I won't save his bacon now

STUART McConville's pet pig Ginger tried to kill him last week. Now Ginger is on the menu.

The two-year-old boar, hand-raised by the Barkers Vale hobby farmer, usually greets his master with an affectionate nuzzle but on Monday Mr McConville's porcine pal gored him deep under the knee cap. The farmer only escaped a follow-up attack by climbing a tree.

Mr McConville, who has spent the last week "high on the hog" on morphine and intravenous antibiotics in Lismore Base Hospital has since declared irreconcilable differences with Ginger.

"I think I'll make him into sausages," he said.

Mr McConville with another of his porkers at his property.
Mr McConville with another of his porkers at his property. Mireille Merlet-Shaw & Melissa Gulbin

But before hanging and quartering his old mate, Mr McConville wants the narrow escape to act as a cautionary tale about the dangers of laissez faire pig farming.

"Us hobby farmers often stray away from the straight and narrow," he said. "Most pig farmers will remove their tusks when they are young but I thought I'd just leave him au naturel.

"Of course if you have a pet pig he needs to be castrated but this pig was for breeding so he needed his testicles."

While Ginger had been a good little boar during pre-pubescence, last week, when the sows were on heat, he unexpectedly become dangerously protective and pig-headed, explained Mr McConville.

The damage the boar inflicted.
The damage the boar inflicted.

"I got halfway to the pecan tree when he started to make unhappy noises, so I ran for behind the tree," he said.

"So I'm pole dancing around this tree and he's chasing me. We go around half-a-dozen times before I make a run for it but I had these stupid big gumboots on. Running in gumboots isn't my forte so he charged me and gored me under the left knee cap, right into the joint. It actually hit the bone.

"And I'm on the ground, and I'm thinking 'Ginger, you b***ard', and I was shouting and screaming and eyeballing him at this stage and he's got his head down ready to have another go.

"Then I think 'change of tactics'. So I sweet talk him. I start talking soft and gently. He didn't charge right away but then he went me. I made it to the next tree and climbed up there and sat for a while, recovering from the shock.

"After 10 minutes I start shaking down the pecans and distracted him, then I jumped out of the tree and ran.

"I was in a lot of shock, the pain hadn't kicked in at this stage. I hopped over the fence and Ginger was just inches behind me. Luckily the electric fence stopped him."

Mr McConville, like any self-respecting hippie hobby farmer, just rinsed the wound out with tea tree oil and got on with work.

After a while the pain started to get worse and he rang a friend to take him to hospital. By the time he reached Nimbin he was almost passing out with the pain.

After being relocated to the Lismore Base Hospital emergency unit, he underwent surgery. The doctors needed to make a 10 to 12.5cm incision in his knee to flush it clean with antibiotics.

At the risk of sounding "boaring", Mr McConville emphasised his near-death experience and impending execution of his boar-friend read as a cautionary tale.

"Hobby farmers need to remove their boars' tusks," he said.



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