Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I sorely neglected my blog over the summer. Now that it is fall, I have made a resolution to get back on a somewhat normal blogging schedule. What that means, is my regular readers are going to be forced to put up with my attempts at finding relevant daily information. I don't promise to get a post written every day, but I am going to try to do better.
I thought I would use this entry to update everyone on the pigs. In case you don't remember, we bought two different groups of pigs. One group of pigs we got in Georgia and they were a mixture of three different breeds. (York, Hamp and Duroc, if I remember correctly.) We brought four of those pigs home and then stopped in Bedford to pick up six Red Wattle and Red Wattle cross pigs giving us a total ten. Some friend's of ours wanted some non-commercial pigs as well, so they came and picked out four of the pigs leaving us with six to raise........two of the males from Georgia (York,Hamp, Duroc cross), and four females from Bedford. (Two of those being Red Wattle cross and two of them being pure bred Red Wattles.)
We had a time with those pigs getting out in the beginning, but finally found a set up that works pretty well for us. Although they do still get out from time to time and for various reasons. (We ended up using cattle panels and putting electric wire around the bottom of the panels so that they could not root under them.)
Then, we had an leg injury to the runt pig, a Red Wattle cross. We actually thought that we were going to have to have a pig roast and eat her because she seemed to be in such pitiful shape. We ended up moving her temporarily into the area that has been used for everything from dogs to goats, until she was able to walk on her leg again. During that time, she became very spoiled. She loves for the humans to scratch her back and she demands (in a very loud voice) that she have clabber rather than any other type of feed. We started calling her Miss Piggy. And dance.......boy can that pig dance. She loves to be sprayed with the water hose and when you spray her she shakes her head and shakes her butt and dances all over the pen. Her Majesty continues to have her own domain because the other pigs are a lot bigger than her and want to pick on her. She lives right next door to the other pigs, sees them, communicates through the fence, but has her own private living quarters.
Except for Miss Piggy who is considerably smaller than the others, the five remaining pigs are very close in size and we estimate them to also be close in weight. We are guessing their weight to be around 200 pounds. There is a marked difference though between the Red Wattle/Red Wattle cross pigs and the pigs we brought from Georgia. The difference is that the Red Wattles are a longer and leaner looking pig.
Most of the pigs have been spoken for and will provide pork for several different families, and we plan to butcher one for ourselves. The pigs that are going to the processor will go the first of December and we will probably butcher ours around that time as well. I have to say that pigs are the first animal that I have raised that I won't have a hard time eating. I did get attached to Miss Piggy in a way, but not so much that I don't dream of pork chops, bacon, ham and lard!
We do plan on keeping one of the pure bred, Red Wattle females so that we can use her as a breeder.
(The first picture is of Miss Piggy when she was still hurt. The second picture shows her just a few weeks ago. The other photos are of the remaining Red Wattle and Red Wattle Cross hogs.)