Monday, January 22, 2018

A Happy Pig is a Muddy Pig


 The weather continues to vex us. Very cold then unusually warm. Good amounts of snow, then ice, then fog like we had yesterday. But at least the ground thawed enough to let our four feeder pigs out of their small training pen and into a bigger lot.





Feeder pigs. I love that term. We feed them and soon enough they end up feeding us. Sheer poetry I tell ya.

For the last month they have had a large boxy building and a closed-in section for exercise. The back of the fenced area above had a hot wire across it to teach them electricity hurts, stay away. Normally we have our feeder pigs out of the training pen in a week or two, but with the horrible cold we figured keeping them in closer quarters kept them warmer.

But when the thermometer got up in the fifties again yesterday, we knew it was time to get them in a bigger area. Keith put in additional fiberglass posts and then strung two hot wires around a 100 foot by 80 foot area. We opened up their playpen and let them go.





They did well with the electric fence, hitting it with noses a couple times and then going backwards instead of through the fence as hogs will do if they are not familiar with electric fencing. Once they had their perimeter scoped out they starting running from end to end, jumping and twisting their bodies in midair. What? You've never seen a pig dance?

It reminded me of this ridiculous you tube video I once found where a female scientist was defending the awful confinement hog operations, stating that hogs did not need any room to move or turn.  She said "they don't even like to turn around." What an eejit.




Hard to believe these guys are black and white, not just black as they appear in the photos,  but they've had a good time rolling in the mud. They are growing well on a diet of cracked corn, raw milk from our cow Liz and veggies from the kitchen. In the next couple of days I'll make an appointment with the locker for late April. Good thing. I ate our last pork chop from our fall hogs a couple of days ago.

20 comments:

  1. I like to see Pigs roaming free, especially in woodland. Our woodlands produce expensive mushrooms, so not financially practical.

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  2. I love mushrooms and one day I'll learn to source them. In the meantime I grow great pork chops but have to buy substandard shrooms at the local Aldi. Life can be terribly unfair.

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  3. I used to love watching our pigs play chase, they also used to run up and down leaping about like little lambs.

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    1. Considering their low center of gravity and large amounts of belly bacon, it is amazing how well they move.

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    1. And curious. In the last 48 hours they have rooted up the majority of this bigger pen looking for treasure. Nobody plows a field like a pig!

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  5. Replies
    1. Are they ever! About a year ago when we were in between pork chop crops, I ordered one in a restaurant. It tasted so bad. Will never do that again unless I know the restaurant sources pasture raised pork. Always better to wait for the good stuff

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  6. Watching a pig jump and buck is as funny as watching a rolly polly chicken run. I had a pet potbelly for 11 years and especially on the very first 'springy' day he'd buck his way all across the back yard - pure joy. Made me laugh every time.

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    1. We had a potbelly when our children were young, his name was "Kirby". He was quite ugly, a slow mover, but gentle and our kids, and their cousins loved him. I think he was close to 114 in pig years before he died. No I have no idea how long a pig year is, but I do know he was OLD!

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  7. They look great Donna :) That woman you mentioned IS an eejit.

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    1. I so wish I could find that video of her in her lab coat. What a goof.

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  8. What happy looking pigs! We definitely want to have pigs again someday, once we get all the trees off the fence and do some repair work.

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    1. And you always make me think I want goats again, when we have the money for STRING and TALL fencing. :)

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  9. Hi Donna, frequent reader but never comment. Love the blog. Actually love it so much I shared it on a facebook group I belong to for off-grid ladies, hope you don't mind. One lady bought a property with grain bins on it and wants to do what you have done and needed ideas.

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    1. Well hello! No worries, I know I have a large amount of blog stalkers out there. As long as people are reading this, I'm happy. And sure you can share this blog with anyone you like. When we built the grain bin house we found tons of pics of finished grain bins but none that helped us with all the important stuff, like how to insulate it, or how to put windows in a curves wall!

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  10. Lovely pigs ... and yes at first I thought they were all black, there's not a bit of white to be seen. Nice to see them enjoying an outdoor life.

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  11. Today it warmed up again and they spent too much time lust playing in their water dish and making mud holes. Must be nice to have so little to do.

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Comments are good, as long as you're a real person and not some goof telling me how you were cured of hepatitis by snorting a pulverized neon blue crayon. Your comments don't even have to agree with my viewpoint, I love a good discussion, but civility does matter.