It’s hard to imagine a job where you are mobbed by flies every day. Sometimes a few dizzy ones hit your arms, your glasses, and their fat size can bring bullet-like attack power. Don’t imagine that their claws just lying on the pig manure will be in your hair in a flash, or you will be uncomfortable all day. Sweeping up pig manure is your daily routine, a coarse, hard broom sweeping the excrement into the floor drain and then scrubbing it with a high-pressure water gun. But the flies don’t understand, scurrying around, buzzing as if you were trying to steal their meal.
The pigs in the pens also have an unspoken hostility towards you, as if they are ready to come out and topple you over. If you don’t have the courage of a Madrid bullfighter, it’s best not to meet them eye to eye. Pay special attention to the pigs lying on the wall, the fence is to check for the sick ones. Those with encephalitis will lie on their backs and paddle on all fours, those with one hoof hooked up are sore legs, pigs with ordinary fevers have flushed faces like people …… such sick pigs should be herded to the other end of the yard for quarantine and proper treatment, unless it is swine fever.
Swine fever is a terminal disease, a viral emergency that can cause internal bleeding, persistent high fever, vomiting and diarrhea in pigs. One of the more recognizable features is that the pig’s ears will be covered with purplish-red patches and death can occur within a week at the earliest. Once one case of infection is found, the entire farm of several thousand pigs has to be completely culled and thoroughly disinfected.
Last year’s African swine fever was serious, and Li Ke’s farm was lucky not to have encountered such a terrible situation. Her favorite thing is to push the automatic feed button and the feed spills down with a clatter. The fat pigs move at the sound of the feed, arching around and grabbing it, often reminding her of images from “A Thousand and One”.
The feed I used to use was very fragrant and the pigs grabbed it. The feed here doesn’t smell good at all,” said the brother of a worker who has been raising pigs at home for more than a decade, “I don’t even like it. “
The lure of raising pigs
I believe that many people have been compelled by the CCTV treasure program “to get rich”, in a fall, the peak of the huge fortune fantasy in the dumb. In the program, it is difficult to distinguish the true from the false story of farming for twenty years as one day: the only way to get rich quickly is to raise pigs.
The story of “college students raising pigs” is repeatedly staged every year, and the simple success story of intellectuals returning to the pig pen to create value is more likely to move the masses. The dramatic identity and situation collide to produce a strong sensory stimulation, which makes it easier for people to believe that anything is possible. After all, the point of this program is not to smack out any methodology, but to arouse the infinite desire and enthusiasm for a life of wealth.
I never thought that one day, Li Ke would also become a “get rich” type of college student. She studied English in college and ranked in the top 30% of her class, but in a pool of 8.74 million fresh graduates in 2020, this was not a highlight. She has submitted more than two hundred resumes on recruitment apps, and her expected salary has dropped from 8,000 to 4,000, but all of them were lost. After half a year of handing out flyers and doing odd jobs, Li received an offer of 6,000 for the position of Technician”.
Although the workplace is in a pig farm, the word “technician” still makes people have a more decent association. Li did not dare to ask for too much, and was overjoyed by the monthly salary of 6,000 and the room for increase. Her only request was not to be sent to a different location, and the personnel agreed, letting her start in a local suburb on Monday. “Not even an interview, there is actually such a straightforward job. “
According to biosecurity requirements, she could not bring any luggage, only her ID card and medical report, not even her underwear and sanitary napkins into the piggery. Cell phones and books can be sterilized and then brought into the dormitory, and with Li Ke went in with a worker who was carrying review materials in preparation for the veterinary certificate. “The treasurer has everything, what is issued with what. To each person issued a bottle of Dabao, wipe the face and wipe the body. The body wash in the shower room is the Lux purple one, fragrant to choke the nose. “
The pig farm is located in the hills, near the fish ponds, the farm is roughly divided into a feeding area with 2,000 thousand pigs and a living area with 50 people. The dormitory is a mobile board room, upwind in the northwest corner, with air conditioning, simple and clean. Li Ke knew that some pig farms had “pigs under the bed”, so at least he didn’t have to eat and sleep with the smell of pig shit here, thank goodness.
Li Ke is inexperienced, not a professional, and a girl, so she basically only does some simple chores. Sometimes after getting up at 7 a.m. and eating breakfast, the farm manager assigned the task of washing clothes. She had to soak the smelly work clothes with disinfectant and throw them into the washing machine. “The boys are trained as reserve supervisors, although they are all novices, and girls like me don’t get the attention. “
Every day after work at 5 p.m. to do biosafety training, the site manager often forget to speak until 9 p.m., 10 p.m. before releasing people. Li Ke thought it was amazing that the content of each training was different in the past six months, and the knowledge of pig farming was really profound.
The food in the pig farm was not good. The picky workers would say that the food is similar to pig food, basically all vegetarian dishes, fried yellow bean curd, scrambled eggs with old leeks, fried mushrooms with greasy and suspicious vegetables, and only white porridge or fried noodles for breakfast. Li said she had lost more than ten pounds in the past six months, and her work clothes had been changed to a smaller size.
In the middle of each month, there will be a big fish and meat meal. One of the times, the director of the farm specifically allowed the slaughter of a pig to do a whole pig feast, and everyone can also watch the slaughter process. It was a 173 kg lean boar that had reached the slaughter standard and was tied up on all fours and placed on the cart that was supposed to carry the dead pig. The chef, who had probably never killed a pig before, held a kitchen knife to the pig and worshipped it three times, then stabbed it into the neck with a fierce knife, splashing blood and screaming. The workers who could not stand it covered their ears and walked away, the chef stabbed three or four knives before finishing.
Although the process is very scary, but “the freshly slaughtered pork tastes especially good,” said Li Ke. “Once eaten, you will not forget. “
Happy to go to work, sour and smelly to leave work
How can you tell if a sow is in heat?
First of all, you have to ride on it yourself. This is to simulate a boar climbing across, with both legs simulating the boar’s forelimbs stomping on the sow’s ears, and see how she reacts. If the sow’s back is arched and there is a “static reaction”, not moving, and if you check the genitals and find mucus secretion, then it is in heat.
The sow in heat should be taken to the breeding room for artificial insemination to increase the conception rate. After conception, the sow can be said to be the most vulnerable creature in the whole farm and needs extra care.
Li Ke has seen videos on biosecurity training, but these skills are not available. This farm was newly built, there was no farrowing room yet, and the piglets were purchased from outside. Probably the most complicated work they do is to sample sick and dead pigs and send them to the lab for testing.
There were dead pigs on the farm every day, and sometimes the carcasses were found when they had already started to rot and seep, and a stench that could not be stopped by a mask. For sick pigs, we have to dislike the vase to the throat to collect the yellowish green mucus; for dead pigs, we have to find the lymph nodes under their armpits. This is a test of patience, because some pork is so thick that it takes an hour to feel the lymph nodes. After finding the round lymph nodes, a special green syringe is inserted to collect the tissue fluid.
Compared with these jobs, cleaning pig manure is just a slapdash task. Li Ke often heard the tearful complaints of the workers, such as giving three injections to the pigs, because the 100-kg guy moved around and broke the thick syringe; and then for example, giving the pigs an ear tag, a very simple thing, almost being overturned; and then for example, taking the anal temperature of the pigs, the thermometer jumped up and down once poked in, spraying all over the shit.
Li Ke recalled that the most impressive thing in the past six months is a sow that gave birth prematurely. It was ten o’clock when she went to that pen, and she saw several pigs gathered around. She saw several pigs gathered around. When she took a look, the sow was dying, and it looked like she wouldn’t make it through the night. It was a prolapsed uterus, and the pigs next to it wanted to gnaw on it. Li Ke while driving away other pigs while picking up a pile of bloody tissue on the ground, still warm, wrapped in the unformed piglet.
The warm placenta left a very cruel impression on Li Ke, even though it was an anachronism to contemplate life in a piggery.
Most of the time, Li Ke was taking care of the piglets. The farm manager thought that a girl would be more attentive and that nursery work was not so much physical work. The piglets, which are only a few months old, are white and clean, just like pets, very cute. After a long time, you will find that they each have different personalities, will be petulant, will be temperamental. “Piglets are very precious, too easy to die, you scare it, it will also die. “Li Ke said, “Yes, it is so exaggerated. “
If you could be surrounded by cuteness all the time, then the job would be described as happy.
But the reality is that pig farms can’t even keep people. Some workers persist less than a week because they feel like prison; some leave because they feel that everything they eat has to be sterilized, and they are afraid of the impact on their health; some are sent by the school to intern for two months, and they intend to quit the circle directly and switch to other jobs. Those who can persevere are older men and women, they can stand the loneliness, and the net income from the package is a good deal.
The affairs of the pig farm are complicated and there is a set of code of conduct strictly enforced according to the highest standards of biosecurity in order to prevent swine fever. The farm is closed for two months before taking 8 days off. No food or sundries can be brought outside. Staff members are required to bathe in and out, four times a day. Cell phones cannot be brought into the feeding area, and if they are caught playing with them at work, they will be fined. When you leave the pig pen, you cannot have pig manure on the bottom of your shoes, otherwise you will be fined.
Li Ke felt that the most jail-like period was in April. The first batch of pigs were all slaughtered, the farm was empty, the new pigs were late, and the farm manager didn’t want the staff to eat for nothing, so he set aside an area for everyone to pull weeds every day. The sun in late spring was already very hot, and it made people dizzy by noon. We were paid to do the work, so we could not say anything, and we silently pulled weeds for half a month, and pulled out the feeling of “labor reform”.
This is a serious job
If no one had asked, Li Ke would not have said he was working in a pig farm. Li Ke did not talk too much with his parents, they should be conflicted in their hearts, although this is a serious job, but almost never asked Li Ke how the pig farm life, perhaps still not decent enough.
Once back home after a shower, she washed for half an hour, still smelled bad. After checking around, she found that her glasses stank, so she had to soak them in soapy water. Li can not be sure that Mom and Dad will be able to smell their clothes on the odor, she has been in the piggery for too long, the sense of smell is not so good.
In the past six months, only one friend knew about her work, and the friend said it was “awesome”. Once she posted on Douban that she was working in a pig farm, many of her friends thought she was talking about some big Internet factory. Li Ke is hoping to enter the Internet company, sitting in an air-conditioned office with computers, but also wear a work badge to show off everywhere.
A boy living next door is a 985 graduate student, Li Ke never asked him why he couldn’t think of coming to work in a pig farm. Most of the reasons for going to Internet companies are similar, but the reasons for coming to pig farms are different. In recent years, the major pig groups have been offering clamorous salary figures to attract the attention of high school students. They step into the pig farm with great enthusiasm, and most of them run away unhappily without even seeing the pigs.
Those who can stay are roughly divided into two kinds of people. One is the seeds of the life rally, they are really calm, aiming at the goal of transferring to a higher position, placed in the novels of Jin Yong is able to close the door to cultivate internal training for fifty years of the great master. The second is a hermit who moves against the tide of the inner volume, without desire, has his own unique philosophical concept of the world, usually a potential follower of Schopenhauer. Li Ke feels she is neither, she is simply able to suffer and has a relatively simple understanding of life.
“I myself certainly can accept this job, raising pigs is also to eat by ability, originally is not spoiled. “As long as there is a cell phone, the life of the sealing field will not seem too isolated.
During last month’s weed pulling, Li Ke calculated an account. This earned money want to spend can not spend out of the job does bring a very substantial income, in the third or fourth-tier cities, almost the upper middle level. If you can always do the end of next year, almost enough to make a down payment on a house.
But recently, Li Ke was inexplicably fired, on the grounds that she entered without a shower. In fact, the door to her shower room was broken and she had to switch to a different shower room to wash. Li Ke was at a loss for words, knowing that the field manager was a strong and somewhat paranoid person.
Within a few days after she arrived home, she found another vacancy in another group of pig farms, and heard that the dormitory there was self-built and the staff was more young. As an experienced “technician”, Li Ke talked about a higher salary. For a moment she thought she might just be delivered to the pig farm. But for the future, she did not think too much, life in the world, it is just to make a living.