Spring Pigs

It’s time for the sows to give birth to their adorable piglets! For many years now I’ve bought three or four spring piglets for butcher the following fall. It’s not that I needed that much meat… typically I raise two for my freezer and two for my brother and his family. There is nothing like freshly smoked ham or fresh side pork for a Sunday breakfast!!

All of the photos of piglets on this blog are pigs I’ve raised. If you’ve never raised pigs, it is a very enriching experience. Despite the reputation for being messy and stinky, pigs are much easier to keep than the cows or a horse.

The piglets I buy are usually started in a twelve by twelve pen once weaned and able to consume solid food, though I am notorious for spoiling my piglets with fresh milk from the cow! I build them a straw bale shelter for their piglet months, stuffing the ‘cave’ with loose straw enabling them to burrow in and stay warm on the cooler spring nights. They are always very picky about their pen… never have I had to clean up their house because they pick a corner away from their house and use that for a litter box. This makes it very easy to go out once a day and rake up the few messes into a shovel.. poof… clean pen! I also find the pigs to be very affectionate. The love a good tummy scratch and strong back scratches!

How can I raise these little cuties much like a pet and then put them in the smoker… or the freezer??? I get that question a lot. I feel that every animal on the farm serves a purpose… Cookie gives me great milk… her calves offer me meat… the chickens give me eggs and the pigs give me more meat… all are treated with love and kindness. All are given clean pens and a warm place to sleep (or cool if it’s the heat of summer). Each of them gets a great life on my farm and then when it’s time for them to serve their next purpose, I promise them an instant death and thank them for their gift. Some day I hope to be able to keep a sow and raise my own piglets, but for now I depend on others in the area to keep the sows and reserve my piglets in the winter time.

While Cookie cow will always be my favorite furry… the piglets are a close second and I really enjoy having them around all summer and into early fall. Have you ever raised piglets? If so, please leave a comment… do you enjoy having pigs? Did you enjoy their gift of fresh tender meat? I’d love to hear from you!!

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