Well, we’ve got bebe bacon.
Dustin and I have been pining for pigs ever since we moved out here. We did the math for purchasing, feeding, and sheltering pigs and averaged the time it would take to grow them. Aaaand it just didn’t fit our budget at first. Or fit our limited free time for extra farm chores! sheesh. Starting this whole shindig from scratch is tiiiiiime consuming! And overwhelming!
So we decided to wait until spring to start our bacon ventures. And then, on a whim, like we always do, we found a good deal on some piglets from a friend and within 24 hours we had three little squealing pigs in a dog crate on our front porch. We had plans for where to put them but once they were actually here and we really got an idea for their size, well, those tiny little critters needed a different set up to keep them contained.
Our little piglets are Hampshire/duroc cross breeds. We got three males which are “cut” (castrated) because I read that males tend to fill out a little faster. But I have no experience with that. Just what I read. The hampshire/duroc cross is a pretty quick to fill out cross breed. Although if we were going to keep a sow and raise our own piglets we would probably chose a different breed. But for now this was a good way to get our feet wet with this whole home grown pork shibang.
Dustin and I spent an afternoon collecting old scrap wood from around the barn. Some of it in a little better shape than others. But who cares, its for pigs for crying out loud! With a few T-posts and a lot of screws we rigged up a pretty cozy little spot for them in the back of the garden. For free I might add. Now we will let them go to town making that garden area just the most wonderful soil a gardener could ever hope for. All the while packing on the L B’s to make for some tastier bacon.
MMMM, I can taste it now. And for those of you that think pigs are gross. Well, they are… sort of.
They are actually quite a clean animal in the sense that they designate a “bathroom” area. But lets be honest. They make mud. And if you’ve ever been at a summer festival in July after a rain storm and several hundred people tromping around, it starts to smell like a pig lot! Pee-ew! And no one is even pooping in that mud. Er, at least I hope not. So don’t blame the pigs. It’s just kind of inevitable that the mud will start to smell a little, well, pigish.
But one way to help that is rotating their location. Hopefully we can get them to a different area in the garden in the next month or so. For the smell but more importantly for that garden compost goodness! Maybe someday we will be able to give them a whole field to root around in and we can cut down on quite so much mud.
And also, I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to pigs. Sure I’ve done research and I could tell you all of the things that books and articles say to do and not to do. But I really believe hands on experience is the only way to learn. So I won’t be giving you any swine advice just yet. We gotta learn the ropes first.