We're Seeing Spots...
New Piggies on the Farm!
ps: I once read a pig book that said pigs over 250 lbs should only be referred to as hogs. Calling them anything but hogs will make you look like an amateur and no one will ever take you seriously as a pig farmer. Well guess what? I don’t care how much you weigh. On this farm, if you are of the swine persuasion, I’m calling you a pig. Or a piggy.
It’s my pig farm and I’ll do what I want to…do what I want to…
A few weeks ago I set about compiling an introductory post to Heritage Hogs. I put a lot of effort into researching the breeds and interviewing the farmers who raise them. If you haven’t read it yet and are interested in that sort of thing, I recommend you check it out.
While researching this post we successfully artificially inseminated our first Tamworth (up until now all breeding has been done by Sampson, our boar). The entire process was relatively painless, unless you count the part where Sampson almost took Nick’s face off.
Lucky for us we have very sturdy fencing and instead of removing skin Nick just got scraped through the fence by one of Sampson’s tusks. But it got us thinking…maybe we need a more docile boar.
The reason for this is two-fold. First, we have a young daughter. And while we understand the weight of parenting to teach boundaries, logic and understanding of the strength and power of farm animals, it doesn’t thrill me to know there is a 700 pound pig we now consider dangerous on the farm. Second, when we made the commitment to help preserve the Tamworth Heritage Breed we signed up to only breed the best. For us, the distinguishing mark of “best” includes a good temperament. This is the reason we haven’t bred certain sows and also the reason we don’t continue to breed or keep babies from those who prove to be bad mothers.
Enter the “more docile boar” conversation. We called around, visited some farms, and ultimately decided on Gloucestershire Old Spots. Of course the little girl in me was very excited about this…polka dot pigs on the farm!
Five trips later, 2 hours round trip each time, we now have three spotted piggies, almost ready for breeding. (Sometimes pigs just don’t want to load!)
Initial Observations: If our Tamworths are elite athletes the Old Spots are the guys in the back of the bar, drinking beer, watching the game on tv. They are just the jolliest, rolly polly pigs you’ve ever seen.
Want to name one? There are three girls. Leave a comment with your name suggestions. If we end up using your suggestion we’ll send you a Farmstead sticker (woo hoo!) and a photo of the pig you just named.