Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pigs come to Nannyland

We had decided to add pigs to our little farm so in the January of 2010 we, Mokie and Son tend to follow along in any of our animal endeavors, got 4 little females. They seemed to be a bit smaller, 19 to 25 lbs, than I had remembered them being when we had raised them 20 years before but I put that thought to faulty memory. I should have gone with  my gut instinct, but hind sight is 20/20. We had them about 3 days when Son, who had decide he would house them until they were big enough to go in to a regular pig sty, noticed they were having seizures. So began calls to the vet, two hour feedings of sugar water and long nights, two days in we lost the first little girl, pork chop, she died of an apparent heart attack. We were frustrated nothing the vet had told us was helping and admittedly he had never seen this before. Son called a couple in their 80's that was a friend on his family, they recalled it happening once to them, she advised Epsom salts. Son was hesitant to use this as he tends to always be cautious. I got on the Internet and there it was, they were suffering from hypoglycemia, and Epsom salts was the answer. They started showing sign of improving right away. They all, however had varying stages of blindness, knowing we were going to raise one each to adulthood as breeding Sows we purchased two more for that and kept the blind ones as hogs to eat. The were Sausage, Ham and Ribs. We have since found out that the breeder was a novice, he didn't know number one a weaner pig is around 40 lbs when they are  sellable and they have to be feed grain and weaned before they are sold. I should have really listened to the little person inside of me when they were too small, but we learned allot about how to do it right, and that vets in small towns aren't always aware of all animals they may be ask to administer to.

Just before the pigs were to come to our property, Poppie and I built a hog shed and run, we used logs from the woods and fashioned a cute little log cabin, Poppie drilled the holes and I pounded the 12 inch spikes. The building took about 5 hours to accomplish, we wear both wore out and I lost my original gold band in the doing. We looked but I never did find it, after 30 years it was hard to have lost my old friend and symbol of love for my husband. I had another nicer one but it wasn't the first one, the special one, and Poppie didn't seem to understand as he likes the newer one. I think it was a Mars and Venus moment. I mourned the loss of that band as God had made us one with its promise, we were still one in all the ways that matter and God let me know that, and so life went on. The pigs loved their little enclosure, they had an all the time feeder, a constant flow waterer that all they had to do was push with their nose and ,wallah. they had water.  A friend of mine was amazed that they stayed put, she had dealt with them in the past and they wouldn't stay in, I told her pigs are lazy give them food and water and they have no place to go. If they run out of food the smart little devils will go looking for their own and you are hard pressed to keep them in. During the Summer they actually got out three times always when the feeder got low or had just run out and Poppie hadn't noticed it. These pigs were harder to deal with when they got out as they couldn't see or couldn't see well and they got scared of what they heard or the shadows they could see. Actually except for once only one of them actually left the comfort of their sty.

October came and it was butchering time, Bug and my friend took theirs and had them professionally processed. We refused to do that, number one why save the money raising them, two why go to the trouble of feeding them chemically free and then have them injected with junk to process the hams and bacons. The two processed ones dressed out at 210 and 209 lbs of meat, the one we processed had 300 lbs. We cut and ground the fresh meats, and brined and smoked the hams and bacons... next time I will tell you of Poppies smoke house and dry brining.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment, I value your comments and appreciate your time to read my blog....