This Week in Pigs..and more

We got the first freeze of the season two nights ago. That’s the end of the squash plants but we were able to have a least a short crop of yellow squash this fall. Now, we are into winter crops: greens like collards, kale and mustard and root vegetables including sweet potatoes and turnips. The latter are new to us and I found the best way to make them is with a bit of butter and brown sugar. I made one sweet potato pie and it was delicious. More are on the horizon…

The story this week is mostly about pigs. One morning, I looked out the front window to see Biscuit, our 300-pound hog, go trotting past on his way to the field. Hamp, the sow that shares the pen with him, was not far behind. They had pushed through the fence, turning over the empty refrigerator on the other side, tore up the hen yard, and managed to chew through electric fencing that hadn’t been turned on yet. Bob got behind them with the truck and I lured them back to the pen with sweet potatoes and biscuits. I wish I had video of the two of them running towards me, ears flapping like overgrown puppies.

Yesterday, we gave the piglets their shots and castrated all but one of the males. It went surprisingly well as we were lucky to have an experienced neighbors. The babies did scream but seemed no worse for wear at the end. The mothers were a little concerned but not aggressive. After helping with capture and the shots, I hung out with Macintosh as her babies came back. She was happy to eat a few biscuits and get her ears scratched.

The babies will be able to leave the mom in just a few weeks so we’re getting ready to advertise. We’ll sell most of them if we can. We want to keep a couple, probably one from each litter. I will miss them but they are already starting to eat us out of house and home. We do supplement the feed with greens, and our goal is to get them on grass as soon as we can. That means training them to electric fence, a process we have already begun with the two big pigs and one of the litters. They learn pretty quickly.

Just for fun…



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