Primo has been arguing that pigs would be a great addition to the farm for a while now. Somehow, I have no idea how but it did involve him doing a ton of research, he managed to convince his father. All that work was to get the pasture ready for pigs.
This is a joint business venture of Primo and Secondo, with a little help from their grandparents in the form of early birthday presents. Only my kids would be thrilled about getting three hog panels and a double door hog feeder for their birthdays, but if this project has taught them anything, they've learned how the cost of materials really adds up and they were very grateful for the assistance.
We went up to the ag division of the state university yesterday for their bi-monthly auction. Lucky for the boys, their former 4-H leader works in the farrowing house there. She was a great resource to answer their (and my) questions, and one of her co-workers was kind enough to do the same once we got there.
The nascent pig farmers, waiting for their last hog to be loaded
The entire crowd wanted to make sure these boys got their pigs. They ended up with four, as they had hoped. They are all gilts (females under one year of age), about ten weeks old, a Duroc-Yorkshire-Hampshire-Landrace cross. Not exactly heritage breeds, but they have had all their vaccinations and are well-used to being handled, so they seemed like good starter pigs.
We brought them home in dog crates and turned them loose in the small catch pen the boys constructed, so we could make sure they were eating and drinking OK before letting them out in the bigger pasture.
Dusty is absolutely fascinated by these new creatures
The boys agreed before they got them that they would be named One, Two, Three and Four, in recognition of their eventual purpose. That lasted approximately five minutes. They are the pigs now known as Stripe, Spot, Red and Tiger (which I think looks more like a carp, but I wasn't involved).
Pretty easy to figure out, but clockwise starting on left:
Tiger, Stripe, Spot and Red
In testimony to the more wide-spread understanding of the importance of knowing where your meat comes from, they have pre-orders for all of it. Our family has only just managed to secure half a pig's worth of meat, but we have been informed that we will be expected to pay for it.