Monday, July 11, 2011

Berkshire Pigs

The pigs have arrived! Well, actually, we drove about 200 miles to meet the woman we were picking them up from.

They are a heritage breed called Berkshire (I will put in some links when my lazy butt gets around to it).

I have to say (which freaks me out a little), just looking at them, I see meat. It is totally unlike the goats or a cow, where I have to imagine where different cuts come from. The pigs are just so muscular, it is really obvious. And it makes me salivate just thinking of the Bacon and ham and chops we will eventually have from their progeny. Yum.

We talked about getting pigs for quite a while, before actually doing it. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I feel about raising them. The plan is to have these two girls (gilts, or young female pigs) and a boy (eventually our boar), and breed hem. Their offspring we would raise for meat or for sale, or both. Since they are unrelated, it is easier to do our own breeding, as well as crossbreeding for any specific traits we want. The thing is, some of these breeds seem to get just HUGE. We went to see a breeder a few months ago, and their pigs were really intimidating in size. I know I will probably get used to them, since we see them every day, but the size and sheer weight and muscle behind them is, well, intimidating. Plus, they are smart. Even if they are the intelligence of your average 4-5 year old, that is pretty clever! I guess it is a good thing we have opposable thumbs, and they don't. I believe it also makes a huge difference in how you treat your animals. I like to think that we treat ours pretty well, and treat them with kindness.

So now we have expanded our little self-sustainable farm (eventually!!) A little bit more. Hopefully one day soon we will have our land to go with it!