Monday, June 20, 2016

We Do Not Sweat Like Pigs



Even though we've had several days in June over 90 degrees, one recent day it was 97 with a heat index of 103 F, we are not sweating like pigs for the simple reason that...pigs do not sweat. They have other wonderful attributes: they learn quickly, they don't poop in their sleeping areas (unless crammed into a confinement building where they have no choice ) they taste wonderful when raised on pasture, but they cannot sweat. So, when it gets hot they depend on the homesteader and a GK or two to help with relief.

On our old farm we raised 60-70 hogs at a time and we had large water holes filled for them. We also had two wells. This year on The Poor Farm we have one well that is not so deep, and we are experiencing a very dry spring, presently three inches of rain below normal. Two thirds of Illinois is currently in a "pre-drought" status.

Of course I must ask, isn't all weather outside a drought "pre-drought"? if we had 20 inches of snow or 2 inches of sleet, or a single sand storm would that all not be "pre-drought" ? Sorry, the older I get the more my pea brain wanders.

  In contrast, last summer it was extremely wet. Que Sera Sera. Unsure of how summer and fall will evolve we are cautious with our water supply. Fortunately we also have a limited supply of livestock: two cows, one young bull, five steers, assorted chickens and ducks, two dogs, four cats and four feeder pigs.

If the temp stays below 85 and there is a breeze, the hogs do fine but they show signs of stress about the 90 degree mark (increased respirations, less active, demanding long island ice teas with extra ice, and fanning them selves with ducks in the outstretched wing position (I told you they were smart). At that point we hit them with the hose. They get sprayed which makes them laugh out loud and leap in and out of the stream, bringing back fond memories of my Chicago youth. 

Image result for chicago kids of the 1960's in fire hydrant water


After that I will fill a small area with water on a dirt hill in their pasture. Of course we fill their water pans often. My GK Allana is well familiar with this routine as she has played with the pigs since she was very small, and though she is now a sophisticated age 12 she was not above getting down and dirty recently with the porcine four. I am also happy to say that for her recent birthday she talked her parents into giving her two pet rats. 

We two hippie homesteading grandparents could not be more proud. 







9 comments:

  1. Good to get the kids involved. Mine keep on about getting pigs so I think I will next year. The pen is ready for them, shaded by some big old oak trees.

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    1. Pigs are amazing Kev. They get a bad rep for digging up pastures, which they do, but they also deposit great fertilizer, kill weeds and make lovely roasts. be sure to buy a hog that is used to being raised outside. Confinement don't do well on pasture, they are far too fragile for a real farm.

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  2. Hopefully we'll be back to having pigs in the not too distant future.

    Last time we had them, the Middle White piglets (very pale skinned) all got far too sunburnt for their mum's liking and she rolled them all in mud from the wallow before packing them off to the ark and blocking the doorway with her body. I got a real shock when I couldn't see any piglets in the paddock until I found them snoring in the cool of the pig ark with mum very firmly in charge.

    Yes pigs are very intelligent creatures.

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  3. My those are big porkers. I don't know if it was my reading your post yesterday or what, but I vaguely recall dreaming of pigs last night. Weird, huh? I'm sure the dream pigs were farm--raised, organic and intelligent too. How could someone like me dream of anything else? Love the Oink update. Are you staying as cool as your pigs in the GBH?

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    1. Now looking forward to some feather facts (a cluck & quack report). (We readers are soooo demanding, ain't we? LOL)

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    2. The piglets are only about 1oo pounds each at this age but look bigger being filmed from the back. I have the same problem.Broadside is not my best side. And yes, I will have a feather facts story soon!

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    3. And your other question, yes its cooler in the GBH. About 10-15 degrees cooler than outside and we are not using any AC. Another great blog subject. You are full of them aren't you?

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    4. Folks tell me I'm full of something, that's for sure. ;-D Glad you're keeping your cool....

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