New Adventures :: Show Pigs

PIG ADVENTURE

When we moved to our little slice of land close to town, I knew that chickens would be making a home with us.  I never would have imagined pigs.  But, friends, strange and unexpected things happen.  You see, a great family moved in across the street from us & they just happen to be pig people.  Champion show pig raisers to be exact.  They know their pig stuff.  We hit it off & especially our girls hit it off & that leads me to this::  I spent all day Saturday at a pig auction.  A. Pig. Auction.  Twelve months ago, I didn’t even know there were pig auction.  True words.  And yesterday I found myself examining pigs & bidding on pigs & bringing two little piggies home.  Two pigs are now a part of Weed Acres.

The auction was something.  All kinds {and I do mean ALL kinds} were present and accounted for.  It was like a mini state fair except with free food and no mini donuts-sad face.  They started with sheep and goats, which I’m happy to report we resisted.  That there is an act of will power.  Those little things are adorable!!  One of the goats went for nearly $3,000.  Yes, I have no words.  At that point I became incredibly nervous, but am happy to report the pigs didn’t go for anywhere near that price.  Hallelujah.

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Do I have any idea at all what I’m doing?  Not really.  But lucky for me, neighbors {did I mention they’re champions} & 4-H are willing to teach us.  Technically the pigs are Baby Girl’s pigs, but let’s be honest, mama needs to know what the heck is going on.  {Good thing one of my top 5 Strengths Finders is Learner.}  Pinterest and Google are my best friend in this adventure so far & having a board called Swine Time is both exciting and ridiculous.

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Paprika – Hereford gilt
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Winchester – Cross Breed barrow
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Winchester & Paprika – chowing

So, what do you do with pigs?  Excellent question.  We plan to show them.  And because 9 months ago I had no idea what that meant, let me share my limited knowledge of what that entails.  We attempted to pick pigs with the proper structure that is desirable.  So far, I think that mostly has to do with the pig’s butts.  With some back, legs and length thrown in.  We will feed our pigs a food designed to get them to their desirable show weight with muscles in all the right places and fat in the right spots {we are talking about ham and bacon after all}.  Then with the help of our local county 4-H, Baby Girl will take the pigs to the County Fair in July and show them.  She showed one of our neighbor’s pigs last year & loved it.  And with any luck, she’ll win a ribbon.  Then the two pigs will likely head to another auction where they will be purchased and most likely be prepared for eating.  I know…it’s the harsh reality of raising animals for meat.  But let’s be honest.  Most of us are eating meat & I can guarantee that these pigs will have been given the very best life they could get while living & they will meet their end in a humane and sensitive way.  That cannot be said for all the meat we find in our refrigerators today.  True words.

The auction was super exciting.  We spent a good hour walking around looking at all the available pigs trying to determine what we were looking for.  Thankfully our neighbors were there to help guide us.  We circled our favorites & tried to maintain a budget. And we were successful.  We purchased both pigs for less than we had set as our top budget amount.  Not bad.  We purchased a Hereford gilt {girl} and a cross breed barrow {boy}.  We got them home and settled and we are all surviving.

A new adventure.  I love a good adventure!

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