This was the first day as they were adjusting to their new home.
We brought them home on September 2nd of last year.
And here they are at 7 am.
It was still dark out and the temperature was -2*.
Frank and I along with our cousin, Dave, and our friend Vicki worked for over an hour trying to convince these cute little (300 + #) devils that they wanted to go for a ride in the trailer. They were not convinced by anything we did. We could not coax them in with food. We could not corral them in with a hog panel. We could not call them in. For Pete's sake, we even tried pushing them in.....the result was much like pushing on a brick wall.
Vicki had loaded 2 cows in before coming over and they were quite amused as they watched us fighting with the pigs....Well it wasn't a fight really because it was very one sided....the brick wall thing again. Finally we had to do what we always do when we find ourselves in a predicament like this. We called Kurt!!! We also called our friend Jean who is always available to lend a hand.
While waiting for Kurt and Jean to arrive, I went in to get on some different boots. I had just put on my rubber farm boots because I thought we would be out there for maybe a half hour. My toes were like little ice cubes. I got on my heavy boots and got back out there as Kurt was arriving. Kurt observed our sad efforts to get these pigs into the trailer, shook his head and went back to his truck returning with a rope. He put the rope around the pig's torso right behind it's front legs. Got up into the trailer. Vicki and Dave pushed the pig until it was facing the right direction and then Kurt pulled, Frank pushed and voila one pig in the trailer!! We did this twice more and after more than 2 hours Vicki and I were ready to haul them for a 2 hr. drive north to their new temporary home. Then, we turned around and drove 2 hrs. back home, stopping for lunch on the way.
Now, you may ask yourself why anyone would go through the bother to raise pigs in the first place. To be honest with you, I was asking myself this same question when my toes were turning into ice cubes.
Well since this is List it Tuesday, I will list all the reasons why I choose to raise my own meat.
- I know what they are being fed. I know they are hormone free and that they are never given antibiotics unless they were to get ill, which has been never, but that could always change.
- I know that they are raised humanely. They are penned but not caged. They have room to roam and my poultry is given free range of our 12 acres on a daily basis.
- I know that they are never mutilated. Factory chickens often have their beaks cut off and sometimes their feet also. Pigs have their tails removed. Factory farms say this is because they will mutilate each other. I guess that is only true if you give them only a few square inches per animal and they are frustrated because I have been raising animals for 9 yrs now and they have yet to mutilate each other.
- The meat tastes so much better than any you can buy in a store.
- Store bought eggs don't even taste like eggs. Their is no comparison between store bought eggs and farm fresh eggs.
- I enjoy the farming experience. I enjoy the animals. I enjoy when kids come over and enjoy the animals. I enjoy the sense of accomplishment.
- I like being self sufficient. I like knowing that if this Country were ever again dealt a blow like the great Depression, that we could sustain ourselves.
- Because I can. I love living in the country. I cherish the fact that I am blessed enough to be able to do something that I once only dreamed of doing.