Tag: Hogs

Monday Miscellany: All The Colors of the Rainbow

Over the weekend we had a sow farrow during the day. This doesn’t happen often so I took the opportunity to “live Facebook” the births as they were happening. You can read those updates and see the pictures here, here and here. (In that order.)

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Monday Miscellany: A Good Boar & Distracted Dog

And just like that, when we’d all but given up, spring has sprung! There’s rain and warmth and bugs — mosquitos, even — and glorious, oh-so-glorious sunshine; but also the familiar and very distinct feeling that we need to do all the things right now! […]

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Monday Miscellany on a Tuesday


It’s National Ag Day. I should probably be commemorating it in some special way, but I’ve got nothing. I’ve been mistaken about what day of the week it is twice in the past month, so I suppose I should just be glad I managed to remember it was a Tuesday, let alone that it was some sort of commemorative holiday.

We’re in a farrowing lull that will last about a month and a half, until we start back up again in May. There will be a time in the not too distant future that farrowing lulls no longer exist for us here, so I’m enjoying it while I can – though I look forward to that time heartily. (more…)

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Farrow to Finish: To Market, To Market

The old nursery rhyme says, “to Market, to market to buy a fat pig,” but in the case of our farrow to finish litter it’s more like, “to market, to market because they’re fat pigs.” Though it’s taken me a bit to put together an […]

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New Pen Progress: Slow, But Steady

First: Measuring, marking, and re-measuring. I could dedicate an entire tome to the mistakes I’ve made in founding this farm, the things I’ve had to learn the hard way. Sure, some due to lack of available resources before I set out to do it myself, […]

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Saturday Swine-tacular: All Dressed Up

Bacon-520x811Meet George J. Nicholls, who in the year 1894 took his crazy love of swine to the certifiably bat-shit level.

Having designed his morbidly realistic side-of-bacon costume himself, he managed to sweep the Covenant Garden Fancy Dress Ball, and took home the First Place prize: forty Guineas.

Twenty-three years later he would release an equally hog-centric book that has gone done in history. Bacon and Hams was a vibrant account of turn-of-the-century hog farming across Europe, Asia, and North America, including diagrams, pictures (such as this one), and cutting edge scientific measurements of the progress of the state of the swine industry.

The few hardcover copies of the book that still exist sell for well over one-hundred dollars each, but what I really want is a pattern for this “Fancy Dress”.

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Saturday Swine-tacular is a (mostly) weekly account of all things both spectacular and swine. The curious, the delectable, the downright ridiculous; all porcine, all the time.

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On Swine, Gender Lines, and Doing That Which Makes You Happy

Doctors use pig parts to replace worn human ones because, anatomically and biologically speaking, pigs are rather similar to humans. They’re not all that closely related to humans, that distinction goes to the apes who are known to use sticks as ant straws, but spend […]

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On Water & Old Man Winter

Brrrr! Baby, it’s not cold outside; it’s frigid. It’s the kind of cold that makes the deck groan with the ferocity of a newly-awakened grizzly under every step, the sound radiating out and bouncing back off barren trees. It’s especially deafening first thing in the […]

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Baby (Pigs), It’s Cold Outside

Winter Farrowing

It’s one of those incredibly inconvenient truths of a small, alternative hog operation; that pigs farrowed (born) in the winter are in greater demand than those farrowed in the spring, summer, and fall.

You see, farrowing in the summer is relatively easy and generally costs very little. Farrowing in the spring and fall are only occasionally more difficult, sometimes compounded by mud and rain, but still fairly easy going. And then you have farrowing in the winter, with it’s snow, cold, short days, and long nights. long nights made even longer when your alarm is going off every thirty minutes so you can check a sow or a newborn litter of pigs, I might add. (more…)

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Farrow to Finish: The First 48 Hours

Pigs are relatively strong and mobile at birth. Their eyes are open and they can get around well enough to get themselves to the milk bar, if nothing else. Within 24 hours, they’re toddling wobbily around, and are capable of learning how to use a […]

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