Bacon Seeds

The bacon seeds have arrived!!

3 (not so) little bacon makers…

1 boy, 2 girls…

They’re Berkshire crosses…suited to outdoor living.
8 weeks old as of yesterday and running right around 50 lbs.
Here’s hoping they grow well and big before they go to Freezer Camp in the Fall.

πŸ™‚

And Then There Were 2…

We’ve been working on sending the pigs to Freezer Camp.
So far, 4 have gone to Camp, with 2 left to take care of this weekend.
We’re down to AndyPiggie(picture) and CharlottePiggie.

First to go to Camp were:

1. LitaPiggie, who was the biter and meanest pig of the 6…she was also the one who kept climbing onto the pig shelter and trying to make the leap into the chicken yard.

I won’t miss that miserable b***h at all.

2. ImeldaPiggie, so named because she loved shoes. My crocs the most…she also enjoyed a good back scratch and a belly rub. Of all the pigs this year, she was the sweetest girl.

3. MaryPiggie. The runt of the 6, and the toughest. This girl fought for food every darn day, even with 3 feeding stations. She just wanted all the food, all the time. Healthy and happy otherwise, just hated sharing food with her piggie sibs.

4. GeorgePiggie. Our smallest boy, who turned out to be quite the chunk. Had he not been castrated before coming to us, he likely would have made quite the boar for a small farmer like us. George rivaled Imelda for friendliness.

We’re getting into weather that is not conducive to pink piggies doing well outside. Cold like we have now (a record of -21*C this morning!!) means pink piggies start to lose body condition, and can actually freeze to death.
Certainly not what we want for these guys.
Pinkies are not meant for outdoor 24/7/365, that’s for sure!
So, to make sure they’re still happy and healthy until their date with the Freezer Camp director, they get ample straw bedding in their shelter, to snuggle down into and stay warm.
They also get 5-6 hot meals a day.
Smaller than when there was 6 of them, and just enough that they can finish it each time.

I use a mixture of hot water, left over coffee (hey, it happens sometimes! πŸ˜‰ ), and a pint of milk poured over their grains for each meal. And, the past week they’ve been getting a 1/2 cup of yogurt too, just to make sure tummies are working well and processing the food.

Seems like a lot of work for pigs we’re just going to kill, right?
It is.
But, the rule here is Happy Food Tastes Better and the best way to keep pigs happy is with a full belly and warmth.
Just because we’re going to butcher them, doesn’t mean that they deserve a lesser quality of life.

As far as we’re concerned, they get the same standard of care as any other animal here.

Hot mashes for horses?
Yup.
Hot mashes for chickens and ducks?
Yup.
Hot mashes for piggies?
Yup.
Really, what’s one more hot mash to make up, to keep the animals that will feed us for the winter happy and healthy?
That, to me, is time well spent.

New Additions on the Farm

Last weekend, we had friends out who helped us build a pen. A sturdy pen, even though it’s made of pallets and old chain link. A pen that now holds what will grow to become our winter food.
Look!

Piggies!

Piggies!

We spent most of the week putting finishing touches on the pen, and then, Thursday, got the message that the piggies had arrived and we were to pick our 4 up. So, we loaded up a massive dog kennel, drove a whopping 3 1/2 miles away and come home 30 minutes later with Jamie, Nigella, Emeril and Anthony. Nigella was originally supposed to be Oliver, but it turned out we got 2 boys and 2 girls. Well, Jamie works as a girl’s name, and Emeril *had* to stay (pork fat rules!) and Anthony? Named for Anthony Bourdain. Need I say more?

Sable, as always, was curious.

Sable, as always, was curious.

Ruby was a big ball of snorting, prancing and dancing "NOPE!!"

Ruby was a big ball of snorting, prancing and dancing “NOPE!!”

Felix was not impressed by the Bacon Bits.

Felix was not impressed by the Bacon Bits.

We’d had the shelter in place for a day or two, and the cats were sure it was for them. Felix was not happy to find these happy little interlopers in *his* space.

Just plain worn out.

Just plain worn out.

We see the sleeping piggie pile a lot.
Of course! They are just babies, and it’s hard work running about, playing, eating all the nummies, and being cute.
Growing is hard.
Naps must happen.
πŸ™‚

Yesterday, Farm friends, Shay and Will came out to see who was living in the pen that he worked so hard to help build…

Anthony gets woken up with a massage.

Anthony gets woken up with a massage.

This little piggies was snorting and snuffling my boot...

This little piggie was snorting and snuffling my boot…

After a bit of whining and complaining on my part, Will built this for the piggies…actually, he (and Hubby helped some) built 2…

Mini piggie trough.

Mini piggie trough.

It worked very well!
The Bacon Bits snuffled up the food, and didn’t climb into it.
As they grow, I’ll get Hubby to build bigger ones.
These troughs sure won’t go to waste…I can see where getting a few piggies a year for Fall Freezer Camp could be something we’re quite willing to do from now on!