Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Okay Abbie - this post is your fault!

So my interest in pigs has been sparked due to some strong recommendations in the comments section. Plus, to be honest, if I pick up one more book about lambing problems or starting seeds I just might go crazy. This lifestyle is enjoyable but even fun things can get monotonous. Since I can't bring myself to bring home any animal without reading at least one book about it I've purchased a great one about pigs titled Dirt Hog. You can read all about it over at The Beginning Farmer's blog because he just got done reading it. Basically it is the only real book I could find that focuses on raising pigs in a more natural setting. I'm not sure that our first pigs will be raised that way but I need to know how pigs might fit in to our farm since we're in the process of rebuilding our facilities. I am so excited to read this book. Like I said, I just need a change of pace.

In other pig-related news, I did call around to see what is available for heritage pigs in Michigan. I found some great folks over at Back Forty Acres and have to call them again to discuss some possibilities. They raise Tamworths which I hear have great mothering instincts meaning they do well without farrowing crates. I'd like to select a breed and get a couple of pigs to raise as feeders so we can see how we like the breed and the meat. Then maybe we can think about raising our own. We'll see what happens. I hate to make the whole thing more complicated than it has to be, but I can't stand feeling like I don't know how to take care of them.

By the way, if you're interested in this book you may have to buy it. I couldn't find it anywhere in Michigan through the library system and never came across a used copy online. I finally just paid full price through

What do you think about pigs? Or, what are you reading lately?


Farmer's Daughter said...

Haha! It will be so worth it when you have a freezer full!

Ed's family will be getting 4 instead of 3 this year because we're selling 1 and using the others for family. It's been a lot of fun and I really enjoy seeing the pigs. Plus, I just see pigs as such a lovable animal. They always make me think of Wilbur or Babe.

They also got some turkey chicks yesterday because they're expanding to pastured turkies. Now if I can just get someone to keep chickens for meat and a dairy cow, I'd be all set...

I'm excited to see where this leads you!

Everydaywoman said...

Just be careful if you name one Wilbur and the intent is for him to end up in your freezer! As Abbie says, they are kind of lovable, but the grow BIG!

I know people who have named theirs-- Bacon, Pork, etc., you get the idea!

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

Mmmm...Bacon! Hubby and I have tossed around the idea of getting a pig. Would you do your own butchering?

angie said...

This will be interesting - I look forward to following your progress. We are considering a few hogs someday too. I'll look for this book - thanks for the recommendation.

I just finished Eliot Coleman's 4 Season Harvest. If you haven't read it - I HIGHLY recommend it. Extremely inspiring.

Jena said...

FD - We'll have meat chickens. I'll get a big cooler and... lol nevermind, I guess that'd defeat the purpose of "local" food.

Ruth - Of course, those names don't let you forget their purpose in life. We do that with some of the bottle calves that we spend a lot of time with. Ribeye, T-Bone, etc.

Jennifer - No butchering for us. Hubby has butchered a cow here but the most I'm comfortable with is chickens. I don't have trouble eating them but as long as there are local businesses around to do it I don't want to be the one looking in their eyes when it comes to that. Especially a pig, I hear they're very smart.

Angie - we'll see how it goes, hopefully I'll have some experiences to share eventually. It is so funny that you suggested 4 season harvest, I just thought of that book the other day and wondered if I'd ever get to reading it. I guess I'll have to now!