Spring 2012: Pigs

Of all the homesteading activities I wanted to pursue, raising pigs was my dearest desire, and it has turned out to be just as wonderful as I’d hoped!

Yorkie and Hampie were our first pigs:

Last year we had Fatback, Vienna Sausage, Speckles, and Punkin:


This year five groups of friends are buying a pig from us, meaning we’re raising 6 total, the most we’ve had so far:

These pigs are white again, like Yorkie was the first year. That means one of the health concerns on the table this year is sunburn.

It’s already so neat to watch them interact as a group. It’s clear that pigs belong in groups. They snuggle in a pile to sleep, and they move as a pack when they roam.

Here’s a video of them staying away from me the first day. This wariness doesn’t last long, though. It only took these little ones one meal to figure out that I’m the keeper of the food.

Tomorrow I will muck out their shed. A few days of rain-plus-pigs and it turns into a disaster out there. Soon I’ll need to build a trough, too. 6 pigs will quickly overrun the small food pans I have. And a few months from now they will be 1800 pounds of pig, and I won’t want to go in there with them when they’re hungry! So I need a freestanding feed area I can access from the outside of their pen. Animals bring never-ending projects!