I send email updates out to the people buying pigs from us, and publish them here, too, (slightly modified) for anyone else following along with our piggie adventures.
We’ve had the piggies for 3 months now, which means we’re probably about half way done. I measured the biggest pig and estimated about 130 pounds. They are turning into big pigs!
There are two important things in this newsletter, and then the fun stuff’s at the end.
ONE – We have found a USDA processor near to us. Using them instead of the processor we used last year would mean that we are legally allowed to bring the meat to our customers instead of them picking it up themselves. The slaughtering, butchering, and packaging would cost the same and would come with some benefits, like being vacuum packed and labeled, plus the benefit of not having to drive to TN to pick up the meat. For our customers in GA, we’re thinking of charging a $50 delivery fee.
TWO – One of the six pigs is not gaining weight as well as the other pigs. I don’t know the exact weight spread or rate of gain, but I’ll be keeping closer track moving forward. We dewormed the little pig again just to be sure, and we have modified their feed from where we started so that they are getting more complete nutrition. The little pig is otherwise in good health, a good mood, physically great, etc, she’s probably just a runt. She might allow for some different options when everyone else is ready for slaughter. If someone would rather buy just a little bit of pig, there may be a little one available. Or if someone doesn’t mind waiting longer for their pig, she might catch up but it might take a few more months. I hope that the deworming and the improved nutrition help and she hits her growth stride, but if not, this is just a heads up that there’s a little pig in the mix that we’ll have to figure out how to place. I’ll keep you posted.
Okay, now for the fun stuff!
The pigs do this thing that Joshua and I call the “piggie stacking game”. One pig climbs up on the tail end of another pig and then just hangs out there, two pigs stacked up. They’re all female, so it’s not mating behavior, and there’s no fighting so it’s not really dominance, either. It’s just… stacking. It’s pretty funny to watch. Sometimes the one on bottom will walk away, and the one on top will try to walk along behind while staying stacked. Hilarious!
All the pigs have come around to enjoying being sprayed with water. At first they were pretty skeptical of the water spray, but now that it’s full-on summer, they are delighted when the hose comes out. They like to clean their faces off in the spray and then roll around in the mud.
Joshua and I just moved the pigs to a different plot of ground and in the old plot we planted radishes and grass. Four weeks from now, the pigs will be able to go back over there and dig for radishes, which should really delight them.