Sunday, October 17, 2010

Our first piglet

This is the first time we've had a pig, so we're pretty excited. Since this is our first time with raising a pig, any advice is certainly appreciated!

Other than the obvious reasons, I am looking forward to the rooting that pigs are notorious for. We've fenced off an area that has horrible overgrown ivy, Himalayan blackberries (ouch)... it's a jungle. But it has the best sunlight on our property I will need more room for the vegetable gardens.

I also hear they like to eat slugs. Hehe. Revenge.

I have no idea what breed it is, but don't really care because we don't intend on breeding him. Considering how much meat we eat around here, well, the supply will probably last us years.

For New Year's, my resolution will be to buy no outside dairy products, including cheese and butter. I plan on replacing much of our butter with olive oil and lard, because it has a lower cholesterol, lower saturated fat, and one of the only foods containing vitamin D. I'm not really sure why lard gets such a bad rap.

Anyway, the guy that we picked him up from said that if we don't plan on having a female around, he won't need to be castrated. I hope that is true. He said the only reason that the pigs are castrated is because when they are around a female they exhibit strong odors that taint the flavor of the meat. 

I always knew that pigs squeal, but I never knew how loud it would be. Scared the heck out of Guy and he started crying and wasn't excited about having a piglet anymore. 

He's a cute fella, about 30 pounds. Boy is he skittish. Feral--that's what I would call his behavior. Carla Emery's book says that's pretty normal when they are first transferred to their new home. Maybe I will try to get a video of him tomorrow. 

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Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Pigs are very social animals, and do much better when they have a pen/pasture mate. I don't know if you're eating him or keeping him as a pet, but if you're eating him, low stress with a porcine friend is the way to go.

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

Oh.... shoot I hope I didn't mess up too bad. We only have the one. We plan on putting him in with our goats, so he won't be alone but not another piglet.

If we do decide that he needs a friend, do you know how they react to each other when they are strangers? We had a terrible experience when introducing new chickens to the flock, so always want to make sure.

StefRobrts said...

Did you check out my blog? Got a pig on Wednesday and spent Saturday watching her bust through every fence on my property! I also brought her home to do rooting and digging for me, but now I'm happy to say someone will be picking her up Tuesday!

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

Oh noooo.... didn't see it. I have a lot of unreads. I'll check it out as I'm awfully curious.

Tonia said...

I would be very leary of putting him in with your goats. We managed a farm where the lady had no clue about farming in general. She was convinced that you could run every animal together cows, goats, sheep and hogs.. Well the pigs ate some of the young lambs before I could convince her to separate them.. This was a breed known for being docile(Red Wattles).
Pigs are attracted to blood and birthing fluids. They will go after mommas that are close to birthing and start eating on their back ends when birth is impending(not to be gross). They are not herbivores and while very smart they revert to feral much quicker than most species besides maybe cats...
A few people I know do run their hogs with other animals know when the goats are due and separate a month in advance of birth.
They may also be attracted to udders and the scent of milk..
I would castrate him also we raised some with No females and one was left intact for some reason we butchered at 9 months and it was not edible.. The others were fine.
If they have a friend they will eat more and grow faster. Its a competition thing(I can eat more than you!Lol)
Whey is an excellent added to their feed because of the protien Lysine in it is really good for pigs. They will drink it and LOVE it! It was always a run for your money to get the whey poured out before the pigs spotted you!
Good luck with your pig! I have been missing home grown pork here since we havent had a place to put a few in the last year or 2..

Tonia said...

Sorry I didnt mean to write a book!

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

Tonia, not a problem at all! I welcome the advice. As I said, I am new at this. I will, at the very least, separate them if/when kidding time comes. And if we need to build him a separate pen we can do that. We will see how it goes for now. Like I said, thanks very much!