No Hog Left Behind

My husband and I raise hogs and our herd is steadily growing one litter at a time. I typically take farrowing duties, especially in the summer when I’m not teaching, and serve as his farm hand. I worked on a farrowing floor in college at FClose_Up_of_Garage_Pigort Hays State, but the main advantage I have is that my hands and arms are smaller than my husband’s. This summer, we farrowed a number of litters bound for winter livestock shows and also for fat hogs.

One of our litters is out of a great Hampshire sow bred to the boar Ball and Chain. Her pigs are everything we look for in terms of base width, growth, style and structure and a few are likely headed to Denver this winter for the National Western. But there is one pig in her litter that will probably not show like his siblings. Garage Pig.

Garage Pig suffered some injuries in the first week or so that are hard to avoid in our business, despite our best efforts. He began to slow in his growth and it was apparent he needed some extra care so we moved him to a dog carrier in our garage.

We began feeding milk replacer by the syringe full and he began to perk up and gain weight. At three weeks, he’s less than a third of the size of his siblings so weight gain is good news.

Last Saturday, Jason and I traveled to Fort Collins to CSU’s ARDEC facility to participate in an artificial insemination clinic hosted by Lean Value Sires Friendsand Garage Pig couldn’t attend. Typically, he sleeps under an apple tree while we work in the shop but he snores, so they would have been wise to me had I snuck him into class in my purse. Luckily, we have neighbors with two daughters who are on Jason’s county livestock judging team and they do love a good pig. We dropped Garage Pig at their house and in a 24-hour period, he had a bath in the kitchen sink, lived in their house, slept in the grass snuggled up to one of the girls and generally was spoiled. I think everyone enjoyed it with the possible exception of the girls’ dad who wondered why there was a pig in the living room.

Our 8-year old son, Caden, returned home from Missouri Sunday evening and now Garage Pig is following him around and I expect him to be taught to lead on a leash shortly. Things may have been tough right off the bat for Garage Pig, but I think things are looking up for the little guy.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Rowena Park on July 25, 2009 at 3:31 am

    One reads so many horror stories on how pigs are treated. This was a heart warming tale. Thanks for sharing.


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