Pigs on a toot

Brunhilde and Greta Garbo working on their supper

I had every intention of writing this post a few weeks ago.  Our piggie girls, Brunhilde and Greta Garbo, have been our favorite pigs of all time.  Just having two pigs changes their socialization, and I think that they are more interested in human interaction when there are only two.  But I also think that these girls were particularly friendly.  They always begged for back and neck scratches, and even when they got really large, they retained their playful and friendly mannerisms.  They didn’t use their size to push us around, which frequently happens when there are more pigs in a group, I think.  Maybe it’s a little bit of the gang mentality!

Piggie girl butts show the difference in their breeding

Our two girls are crossbred pigs, Red Wattle/Large Black and Red Wattle/Berkshire.  They are both entertaining and delightful.  Not just laid back and playful, but friendly as well.  We have moved them around and the paddock they spent the last month in is the back winter paddock.  About three weeks ago I came home from work and pulled down to the house at the bottom of the driveway.  My husband was out with a visiting friend for the day and I was getting home and looking forward to putting my feet up for ten quiet minutes before even thinking about chores or dinner.  But as you can guess, Brunhilde and Greta had a different idea!  I pulled down to the house (about 300 feet past the paddock area), got out of the car to grab my stuff, and who met me at the back door, but the frolicking piggie girls!  We had a short discussion with lots of back and neck scratches and pats, and they hung out behind the house while I got into my chore clothes and met them at the back door again.  As I headed up the driveway to the paddock area, I found that the girls were right at my side, snorting and chortling at me.  They didn’t even need a grain inducement to go into the paddock, where I found the panel whose baling twine had rotted and broken.  They love to itch their sides on the galvanized panels, and if there is some rotted or old twine, it just pops open.

Brunhilde and Greta had one last toot this past Friday.  I am certainly glad that I was not home when the livestock transporter came for them.  They were extremely entertaining and lovely girls. The memory of their happy days is a good one.  They will be feeding three families very nicely over the coming year, and we are extremely thankful.

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4 thoughts on “Pigs on a toot”

  1. Gosh you are brave, I do not name the animals I am going to eat. I raise one lot to eat and these two girls I have now are for breeding. However I have a theory about happy meat so even the animals that are destined for the freezer get lots of pats and treats and fun. I think happy meat tastes better you see.! i bet those two made wonderful sweet bacon. Funny that they got out and waited for you at the back door!! c

  2. We usually don’t name our pigs, just give them numbers so we know who we are talking about. But these girls were very different! More like dogs than pigs in some ways. Wish we had the setup to breed!

  3. Hi

    Nice to see your lovely conted pigs.

    I have Berkshire crosses, I think the boar was a duroc, the berkshires have a lovely nature but do not have very big hams. I am about to try some large Black crosses (again not sure about the boar’s background but the piglets are all black) and I wondered if you can answer a couple of questions. Ist which of yours has the bigger hams in the picture above, berkshire or large black? 2nd and you may not be able to answer this yet, I understand the large blacks have black skin as well as black hair, I wonder how black the skin is and if this is disconcerting at 1st when the meat comes back?

    Re the naming thing, I name my pigs cos I need to be able to tell them apart! I sell my pigs as pork and I thought my customers would not like this and prefer their meat to remain anonymous. But I have found they do like to know about the animals they are eating. Sometimes they come and visit them and bring their kids and I used to think It may put them off eating them when they see the pigs and brush them and play with them but that doesn’t seem to happen, still I am not game to have them visit when the piglets are tiny and too cute for words, quelle horreur marketing nightmare!

    When I deliver customers are curious to know which pig it is and they have gotten used to the tiny black hairs that sometimes remain in the skin even though that doesn’t happen from the pink pig meat at the butchers. I think it is because they have made the choice to eat food that they know has been reared well and they ask questions about this and the slaughter of the pigs as well, all questions I am happy to answer because I care about these things too. Thats why I want to know about the black skin, it may be my customers next learning curve.

    The people who give me a hard time because I name my pigs and then eat them don’t buy my meat. They buy the regular intensively farmed pigs with no thought to how that animal is raised and more importantly no inclination to find out, yet I am the bad guy cos I name and eat!

    OK wee rant over now.

    cheers sally

  4. Hi Sally,
    Yes, the pig with the bigger hams in the butt-view photo is the Large Black cross. We are very happy with both of these crosses, and I don’t mind which one we end up with. Our customers are used to the little black stippling on the top of the bacon and some of the cuts, because, as you point out, we have all made the choice to eat happy meat, not factory farmed meat. I have had lamb customers ask about the lamb’s name, but never the pork customers! Although this year one of our customers already knows her pig’s name!

    And it always seems to be true that the people who give us a hard time about the meat and how expensive they think it is, don’t ever buy it. It’s all about choices. I don’t do much retail meat any more, just custom, but it’s a great way to eat!
    Thanks for commenting,
    Nina

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