Wednesday 15 August 2012

The Big Pigs

Have you wondered how the big pigs are doing?
They are the two remaining Tamworth hybrids from last year.
We put them further back on the property to clear out some land.
Although their growth rate has slowed some,
they are still getting bigger everyday.

Did you know that pigs don't stop growing?
They grow bigger throughout their lives.
Some big boars can be 1200lbs.
I don't know how big these two girls are, but they must weigh beyond 400lbs.

They get fed and watered once a day.
There is a nice shelter for them, and a wallow for hot and buggy days.
Both animals are very clean, so they must spend much of the time sleeping.
Though they certainly appreciate feeding time, there is no squealing for supper like the little pigs do.

These sows are fairly gentle.
The black one has tripped me once to get at the feed bucket sooner,
but they are calm and mostly careful.
I exercise caution when I'm in their pen with them,
but it's the same kind of caution that I use crossing a city street.

The land is looking quite desolate.
It was a rough year for the forest undergrowth.
As expected, the pigs have done a good job of stirring up the forest floor.
Once they have left this area, I will start tidying up the remaining debris.
Where I once saw only woody debris to deal with,
I now see the material I need to build several raised hugelkultur beds.
And the soil itself looks like it will be very nice to grow crops on.

These two animals will be wintering in the freezer.
As much as I like them, their course has been predestined all along.
When the weather turns cool, they will come back to the house for a little while.
I am hoping that there will be enough interest in a
couple of workshops demonstrating home hog processing.
It will be quiet around here with no pigs at all over the Winter.
But I expect there will be some new ones next Spring.

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