Visited the library and picked up a couple of books about raising pigs.
Flipping through them, I was impressed with both.
Living with Pigs is definitely aimed at the newly-locavore type but it does so without the hipster, patronizing over-simplification. Phew. But, I’ll admit, there are lots of pretty and adorable pictures of little porkers. Sold.
Small-Scale Pig Raising is a step above. I have to admit, I’m drawn to the books with that 70’s color-scheme and hand-drawn sketches inside. They feel more authentic, more authoritative. Or maybe they just are, because I thought this one was stellar.
They write: “How convenient then, with pigs, to be able to step into the business in the spring, when you’re full of that special fever, and be out by thanksgiving.” And it’s so true. Spring brings on a special fever—to grow, grow and grow!
Growing some porkers
I’ve spent one summer around pigs, and I know that I would want to raise a couple. They are amusing, personable, and easy, three things that I like in my animals. Even ones that I might eat.
The books made it even more enticing. Weaner pigs are inexpensive in the spring ($60 or so) and are easily ready by the fall to butcher. $60 becomes $300 in pork. Yum.
Even better? Their care they require is reasonable, simple: Shade, food, water, a nice wallowing spot. I’d make sure mine had a nice shady grove by their pen and I think I’d let them out to pasture every few days.
When I first started scheming about pigs, I thought the eat some/breed some situation would be the way to go. But after reading, it sounds like buy/butcher is better. Pigs gain weight relatively easily in the warm months, but cost significantly more to feed in the winter, when pregnant, when suckling. Sounds expensive. And kind of creepy—I’m not sure I want to see pigs have sex.
Man. I wish I could have some pigs right now. I really love bacon.