Saturday, January 7, 2012

That's some pig...

I'm working on training the barn spiders on web writing. So far, it's just a bunch of cobwebs. The time is steadily approaching when we're going to pick up our first pigs. We decided on Gloucestershire Old Spots. They are a heritage breed out of England. They do well on pasture and were once called orchard pigs, as farmers kept them in their orchards to glean the fallen fruit. Legend has it that their black spots are bruises from falling apples. They are classified as critical by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. There was so little genetic diversity in the stock in the US that they used a cyclic breeding schedule where only certain color groups are bred together to build up genetic diversity.

We are getting a gilt (young female) for breeding and a feeder from H and H Farm in Norton, OH. We're hoping to be ready for them by next weekend. Last night, Jo sent me pictures of our little gilt. She's some pig....
Look at that face! Look at that length!
Look at that ham. Hopefully, she make lots of little piglets with nice hams as well.
Look at that bacon, look at that loin. OFG, you drooling yet?
Some pig....
We're very excited to start raising pigs, as well as a little nervous. We're also very happy to help preserve such a wonderful heritage breed. The feeder we'll be raising is an Old Spot as well. I plan on using them to help me wrangle some invasive Japanese Knotweed and get our gardens ready for spring. We will have plenty of eggs and hopefully whey to help with the feeding. I'm going to use Ohio Farmgirl's method for growing out a pig on the cheap. I'm going to try to arrange a visit to Spring Hills Farm which is very close to me. David raises Tamworths on pasture, another heritage breed on the ALBC's list in 'threatened' status.

On a side note, we got enough good alfalfa mix hay to last the winter and probably spring for our goat girls and the kids. The hay that we had been getting just wasn't up to par. It was way too dirty. We went to the Danville livestock auction and won a load of 67 bales for $5.50 a bale. In some parts of the country, this would be a steal. We were paying $4 for the crappy stuff, so it's not too big a jump. The girls are certainly loving it.

We're enjoying spring-like weather here in central Ohio. I'm sure we'll pay for it soon. We have everyone out of the barn whether they want to or not to enjoy this fine weather. We have some chickens that just don't like to go outside. I have a feeling that it's due to rooster politics.

I know we're enjoying the spring weather. What's it like in your neck of the woods?

1 comment:

  1. It is like spring here too almost 80* today! I have to agree,that is some pig! I love the heritage breeds.