Our First Pig… Pork Chop!


pork chop (Medium)

Oh my goodness, I’m SO excited!!! Today, we got a pig. I have no idea what we are getting into, but I figure, we can learn as we go, right? I mean, if I spend all of my time reading about how to do something I’ll never actually do it! So, here we are. (Really, I’ve spent the past few days reading up on pigs.)

We went yesterday to pick a pig out. We took all of the kids with us. I think I was more excited than they were! We slopped through the mud following the man to the pig pen. I heard them squealing horribly before we got to them. Oh my goodness they were LOUD!

We all peaked through the fence and saw two not-so-little pigs in the smelly pen. They were ferociously trying to escape, squealing bloody murder, and seemed extremely aggressive! The man warned us not to let the kids put their hands in the pen, “Now, watch them young ‘uns. Those pigs will bite!”

I looked at the pigs, and then looked at my husband. The doubtful expression on my face was clear. “He’s already loaded up the crate for us,” Jerry said, meaning, We can’t back out now. I turned to the old farmer and said, “Um… I’m kinda scared of your pigs.”

He said, “Yeah, I meant to tell you they were kinda bigger.” I said, “What I had in mind was a small pig… a friendly one. I’d like to let it out into the yard with the kids and the other animals.” He said, “I’m gonna be bringin’ some little ‘uns home tomorrow.” I asked, “If we get them when they are smaller, and raise them up petting them and stuff, will they be friendly?” He assured me they would. So we planned to pick up a smaller, nicer one, the next day.

Today was that day. They called us this afternoon and let us know they were ready. We wanted a girl, so that’s what they saved for us.

Jerry just came home with her. It’s dark out now, so I’ll have to get better pictures of her tomorrow once she’s in her pen.

The kids understand that she is to enjoy having, but also for meat when it comes time. We’ve named her Pork Chop, but Jada wants to call her “Porky”. Butchering a pig will be a whole other adventure! But for now, our goal is just to pen her and feed her.

I’m gonna talk to the owners of some local restaurants and see if we can get scraps to feed her. I’ll have to find a farmer to buy some grain from too.

But more about her later… I can’t wait to see how this goes!

Any advice you can share??


Kendra
About Kendra 1106 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

5 Comments

  1. I raised my first 2 feeder pigs last spring, and I was also intimidated by the size of the full grown farm hogs on the small farm where we bought them as weaner pigs. I’ve been around large animals (have a 1,700 pound draft horse, for example) all of my life, and have a great respect for creatures that are larger than me with a will of their own. I would not leave any small child with a farm hog alone. But the way you raise your hog will be key to how she will behave with you. I would highly recommend the next time around that you get two pigs instead of just one, as they are herd creatures and some of the behavior described in the comments by pigs are things that I’d attribute to pigs being confined in small pens with no company. Heck, that might make me antisocial too.

    My initial feeder pig setup was on about 1/3 of an acre, with a gilt and a barrow, where they had room to romp and roam and exercise their natural herd instinct. They had a good mud puddle, I kept their pig paddock spotlessly clean, and they had a nice shelter with deep straw. I started handling them from day one. It’s amazing what good will a regular back scratching will build with a hog, at least that’s been my experience. Even when my 2 grew to 300 pounds, the only time they ran at me was because they were frankly happy to see me. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t slightly disconcerting to have 600 pounds of happy pigs running straight at me, snorting and wriggling. 😉 They would follow me around like very large pets.

    I did always treat them like exactly what they are — big, powerful farm animals that can bite, crush, step on you etc. And I think some of it is attitude as well. I established that I was at the top of the heirarchy right off the bat with the piglets, in a nice way, mind you, just like I maintain boundaries with my horses. Our gilt did get a little pushy with my 11-year-old son, and she’d try to literally push him around with her snout, and I think that was in part due to his smaller size and the fact that they knew he was a little nervous about them. But I didn’t allow my kids in with them once they got larger, unless I was there also. They never bit us. Never tried to hurt us. Frankly, I never felt any kind of meanness in either one of those animals.

    Of course, I imagine, as all animals are individuals, some are less nice than others. But I found that treating my pigs with respect and dignity and kindness and honoring their need for a little room and some company made for a very nice experience all the way around.

    I’ve got a breeding pair of Large Black Hogs now, and my boar is growing like a weed. I’m expecting that he will eventually be 700 pounds. The gilt will be smaller than he will be of course, but a sow can also be a force to be reckoned with, which is why I’m working on having a good relationship with her now. And I’m having the same experience with this gilt and boar as I had with my 2 feeder pigs. They are tremendously friendly and gentle. Some of that is due to the breed, but if kept in confinement with no company, they might not be so gentle. As I have a strong survival instinct, I don’t ever approach them without all of my wits about me and a great deal of respect for their size now and the size that they will grow to be.

    Never thought I would be raising hogs myself. But found to my utter surprise and delight that they are quite nice creatures!

    Pax. Kimberly

  2. Even if kept around the kids while young, your pig will NOT grow up to be a friendly pet that you want to have around your little ones. Talk to others who have raised full grown pigs. We raise ours for pork (have them each for about 5 months) and they grow from little and cute to over 300 lbs within that very short time. If hungry, they will eat pretty much anything, including humans if that’s what’s available. My husband was the only one of us who would get into the pen with the pig to scoop out messes etc., once the pig started to put on a little weight. Even with food in the pen, there were still times the pig (I say pig, but we have raised three different ones over the past couple of years–what I say refers to how things were with each one)would come at my husband agressively, and at 300 lbs, there’s nothing you can do to stop it if that’s what it sets its mind to. My husband would never dare get into the pen without a shovel or some other similar tool to keep between him and pig if necessary, and there have been some close calls. I don’t want to scare you, but pigs are not pets, they can be very dangerous and mean, especially if they’re hungry, and can even come at you aggressively even when food is present for them. Once your pig grows a bit, I highly recommend you keep it in a secure pen away from the kids and yourself. And never stick your hand in the pen near its mouth! Just please be careful, for your children’s sake! They are well worth it for the pork you will get from them, but you have to remember that it’s not a pet.

  3. I really don’t think I could butcher it after raising it and naming it and letting in run free like a pet, but that’s just me! I can barely eat meat if I think of where it came from! And although those kids know what your saying now when it comes time to actually do the dead that will be a whole different story! Just my two cents…. Haven’t you seen Charlottes Web?

  4. Sometimes its funny how similar we are….
    We have 2 pigs…pork and chop 🙂
    We have had them about 4 weeks. We feed them all the leftovers they can get including egg shells and peelings of veggies. (careful no green parts of potatoes) We also supplement their feed with corn and pig feed (co-op) One thing I did learn is that too much corn will make their fat yellow. They LOVE acorns. I also found out that you can add a supplement to their corn which is cheaper than buying feed.
    Check with panera bread… if you have one close or dunkin donuts…. they supply us with stale bread which we feed to pigs and our donkey as a treat

  5. I LOVE the name! Our first batch of chickens we had ‘chick-fil-a and mcnugget’. Sadly those two died…I think their names scared them to death!

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