Three Little Pigs (or more)
Our farm is in Iowa, corn/soybean/hog country to be exact. I wanted to get a cow first, Uncle G wanted to get pigs first, and Lil G wanted chickens first. So the official order of livestock procurement went like this: chicken, pigs, THEN cows. But this post is about pigs, specifically our pigs.
We raise Durocs, Spotted, and Berkshire. We started with four, processed three, and kept one. Wilma. Then we got Mary, our Berk. We have had so much fun watching our pigs do pig things. Until those pig things include breaking through the gate, then its not so much fun. They are the reason we boogied to learn all about electric fencing and get it set up.
We raise our pigs in an open barn with stalls. While each stall is enclosed and has a gate, the pigs have figured out how to lift the gates with their ginormous snouts. The gates are reinforced with electric fence. They are fed conventional feed and kitchen scraps, and garden scraps, and fallen fruit, and any eggs that the hens lay in the pen. Pig feed looks a little like saw dust, and its amazing that they are able to consume every minuscule crumb.
The stalls are cleaned out regularly and they are given straw or corn stalk bedding. In the summer we put dirt in the stall and water it down to make a wallow for them. On really hot days we go out and spray them down with water several times a day. We love watching them wag their little tails when they are cooling off, its really adorable. Our pigs are very used to us so we spend lots of time rubbing bellies and scratching ears. Our pigs are not given hormones, antibiotics, or any other medications. Just feed, water, and scraps. They are processed between 6 months and 9 months.
The reason we kept Wilma and Mary was to breed them. There are a few ways to breed gilts, aka girl pigs, AI (Artificial Insemination) or the "Old Fashioned Way." We chose to use the AI method, which is a whole blog in itself. Long story short, Wilma got pregnant and had 15 piglets! She was right on time. 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days! Unfortunately we missed the birth overnight:(
If you're looking for pork that has been raised with love you've come to the right place!
Check out our video that talks about our homemade feed for our pigs