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Please tell me they get mean!

 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Because right now our pigs are wonderful. I pet their bellies and they wag their tails. They follow us about. The kids are in there with them chilling. I'm not sure how long we have left with them. We got them in October and they were about 60lbs then. I'm feeding the correct amount according to the internet but they're still not full grown. So that also, what's up with that. Everything I've read is all 4-H related and says 6 months. Anyway, I'm in love with the little oinkers. I'll hate to eat them. Everyone says they'll get mean. Say it's true! Also tell me when that is going to be because my husband didn't particularly want them to begin with and all my talk of pigs isn't helping.
 
Robyn Holmes
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Oh dear,

I hope they do get mean, or my future plans for lotsa sausage in my pantry will go kaput!!
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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Pigs make pretty darn good pets actually, had several growing up but dad and grandpa weren't in the pet pig business so when the pigs came of age they went to the sale barn, brood pen, or freezer.
 
Tyler Ludens
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It's one reason I would never raise pigs and have given up eating pork - they are such personable intelligent animals. I think the best you can do, when the time comes for freezer camp, is to give them the best day of their lives. Someone on here said his pigs have one bad day, but if you slaughter at home, the animal can have a really great day and then it's over - shot through the head while eating their favorite treat. This takes some planning and strategy, but it's how we put down our lovable but dangerous ram Harold.
 
John Weiland
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In addition to companionship, pigs can produce a fair amount of good manure for your garden and other things. In our experience, which is pretty extensive given the number of them that my wife has sanctuaried until the end of their natural life, they will generally not get meaner, but actually more endearing. From the beginning my wife had gotten one as a pet that led to two, that led to many more including some farm pigs. So we use the manure but do not use them for meat. It's a tough call and ultimately you gotta do what you gotta do, but you wouldn't be the first one to just let them exist as a part of the farmstead.
 
elle sagenev
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Unfortunately we need the meat so they'll be killed. We have discussed home slaughter at length and also having them killed at a slaughter house. We'll see which happens. I was just hoping they'd get mean first. Dang it.
 
Michael Newby
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I wish I could say that they get to the point where you actually want to off them (like goats!) but for me at least my pigs were never anything other than pleasant.

One kind of cheesy thing that we do around here is every animal that we plan on eating someday gets named after a particularly tasty dish we make. We had Mr. Bacon, Mrs. Chops, Lard Ass (he was pretty big and I planned on rendering my own lard) and The Rump because, as my wife put it, "he's actually got a nice ass." Sort of helps keep it in perspective that they are there to provide food.

I also agree with Tyler, take heart in the fact that your pigs have one bad day that should't be all that bad until a specific moment of the day. If you had to choose would you rather go quickly while happily munching on your favorite treat, or run from a predator until you're too exhausted to get away and then get torn into with a bunch of teeth while you're still alive? Sorry if that seems graphic but it really is one of the lines of reasoning that goes through my head when thinking about human animal husbandry.
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Michael Newby wrote:I wish I could say that they get to the point where you actually want to off them (like goats!) but for me at least my pigs were never anything other than pleasant.

One kind of cheesy thing that we do around here is every animal that we plan on eating someday gets named after a particularly tasty dish we make. We had Mr. Bacon, Mrs. Chops, Lard Ass (he was pretty big and I planned on rendering my own lard) and The Rump because, as my wife put it, "he's actually got a nice ass." Sort of helps keep it in perspective that they are there to provide food.

I also agree with Tyler, take heart in the fact that your pigs have one bad day that should't be all that bad until a specific moment of the day. If you had to choose would you rather go quickly while happily munching on your favorite treat, or run from a predator until you're too exhausted to get away and then get torn into with a bunch of teeth while you're still alive? Sorry if that seems graphic but it really is one of the lines of reasoning that goes through my head when thinking about human animal husbandry.

Daughter named hers BLT. It's in perspective kind of. I keep having family that comes over "Rub their bacon". When we killed a bird or cow it was never an emotional thing for me. This might be emotional for the very first time. Yikes!
 
Todd Parr
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I couldn't do it. I can't even kill my chickens unless they are sick. It would be even harder for me with a pig. Pigs really like you, and they are much smarter. Chickens just come running because you feed them
 
thomas rubino
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Consider that your pigs were born to be eaten by somebody or something, very few live a "natural life" I've been raising weaners to slaughter for 10 years now. Love the little oinkers ,almost always they get food names. They have a super nice barn , five different areas that I rotate them thru.Fresh cold mountain water to drink, all the organic compost and trimmings from the garden . I visit them off and on every day, they are like a batch of puppy's. Come fall I park the pickup at the end of the load ramp... move their feeder from their "room" to the back of the truck, pile some hay for napping, cover over racks with a tarp for shade and place a water bucket in the truck. For two weeks or so they wonder in and out of the truck and pen, feeding , sleeping , and of course pooping! By the time their "bad" day comes around they are very used to being in the truck and actually seem to enjoy their ride to "visit"our buddy the butcher. I believe that I give them a good life with fresh tasty food ,cold water, warm dry spots for napping,a pond to roll in , a large mackintosh apple tree to scratch against and eat all the treats that fall from the sky... it really is piggy heaven !!! They could have been born into an industrial farm , lived in a pig sized pen and suffered all the indignities that entails. Been shot full of all sorts of "growth" drugs , never see the sky or root in real dirt... If I was a piggy I know where I would want to live ! Enjoy your friends to the fullest while they are with you... enjoy them even more all winter ... and next spring , get some more!
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thomas rubino
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Elle; Standard practice is to get your weiners in the spring and raise them 5-6 months, over the summer, so they put on weight fast. Raising them thru winter ,you had to keep them warm and they take longer to finish.
 
Walter Jeffries
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The good news is they get less cute and taste more and more like bacon...
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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thomas rubino wrote:Elle; Standard practice is to get your weiners in the spring and raise them 5-6 months, over the summer, so they put on weight fast. Raising them thru winter ,you had to keep them warm and they take longer to finish.

Perfect. Thank you!
 
Brie Robb
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Location: Central Oklahoma area
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Some do get mean !
We have culled and selected for non-aggression for many years now, the last time we sold babies, none of the sows tried to protect their  little ones.
I was so proud.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Brie Robb wrote:Some do get mean !
We have culled and selected for non-aggression for many years now, the last time we sold babies, none of the sows tried to protect their  little ones.

That doesn't seem like non-aggression that seems more like apathy.

While it might make retrieving the babies for sale easier, it also makes it a bit less likely the babies will make it to sale age. I know where I live if mama and papa pig [mostly papa in the case of my herd, he's a heck of a Herd Boar] weren't protective of the little ones then they'd have been long ago eaten by a Racoon or something else.
 
Brie Robb
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Location: Central Oklahoma area
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:
That doesn't seem like non-aggression that seems more like apathy.


Well, I am wondering how much sarcasm can be employed before the "be nice" rule is broken?

I am here Kyrt, you are not... thus I know better what the behavior of my pigs involves than you ever could.
My pigs are raised much like pets,  (and free roaming - pasture ranged) the distress call of a piglet (such as one caught in a fence) brings the entire mob,
it is necessity that I be able to talk to them and render aid without risking my safety. I have had to wield a heavy shovel
many times on the past. I am proud of the fact that I have maintained a family line for more than 10 years. My sows come to me when called
and will gingerly accept treats from my fingertips, yet if a strange dog or coyote enters the area, they form a line and even advance on the intruder.

I know the difference between, aggression, non-aggression, and apathy. Not attacking a human and laying around without concern or interest - huge difference -
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Thanks for the clarification, sorry if I came off as not nice, that definitely wasn't my intention.
 
Bill Erickson
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elle, I agree with Brie, some can get mean. Mine have all been good as long as they are worked with on a regular basis - and I am only talking about the weaners I have raised. Someone who is into generational raising will deal with pigs that get a whole other color as both Brie, Walter and Kyrt can tell you.
I also agree that getting them in the fall isn't an optimal time for raising to meat. Lots of energy gets used to stay warm and not grow. We have always gotten ours in the spring and take them to butcher in the fall.
I really like the stress free method of transport setup that Thomas shared. "Trailering" them up for transport can be a whole lot of squealing and running on the pig's part and lots of frustration and tiredness from lugging around kneeboards for herding them in on the human's part.
As Walter said, they begin to look a whole lot like bacon and ham by the end and that makes the effort worth it to me. =-l Clean food I have raised and cared for always tastes the best.
 
Nancy Troutman
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I only feed grain inside the trailer.   Just close the door on the last day.   Stress free that way on both you and the critter.   They don't spend their last moments in terror of a confined spot they are not used to.

Oh... they do get mean *cough*.   Turn into monsters.   So be sure to slaughter them early.   *chokes on lie*.
 
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