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Why We Raise Pigs Over the Summer

If I could give you all a gift it would be a piglet.  Unless you are Kosher, then I would not.

I once told a Jew to eat lard and that didn’t go over very well.  For the record, I had no idea she was Jewish.  We were just chatting about “healthy” fats…. she liked Olive Oil and Coconut Oil.  I felt she was overlooking the badonkadonk of all cooking fats:  lard.

Well, she was.

That’s when I found out that she didn’t eat any pork.  It went something like this:

Her:  For healthy cooking fats I always use Olive Oil or Coconut Oil.

Me:  Lard!  Lard!  Don’t forget Lard.  If you raise your own pigs & render your own lard – Lard is healthy & so, so, so, so flavorful and fabulous and perfect.  Heat it, fry it, bake it, saute it – there is no where Lard can’t go!  No stressing over smoking temps or rancid issues or accidentally baking it into a partially-hydrogenated, food-like substance.  Lard is great.

Her:  Not Kosher.

That’s all I got from her,  “Not kosher.”

How am I supposed to respond to that?

“So Sorry… Yes.  I’m a buffoon.”

It’s not my fault she doesn’t eat pork.  It is a great alternative for the rest of us pork-eating, non-kosher heathens.

I am good at saying things I shouldn’t say and talking when I should shut-up.  I will proudly say that I am much better than I used to be.  If you think I have no discernable filter now you should have met me in my 30’s.  Ugh.

big pig 2

So, If I could buy you all a gift, it would be a piglet.  I just don’t know how to convince the homesteading world that they should get a piggie now.  Really, you should!

It’s spring.  There are piglets for sale.  Just ask your local feed store.  I have a friend down the road who has over 40 piglets for sale right now.  Berkshire Boar.  Hampshire Sow.  $75 each.

Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  I’ll take 17!  Just kidding.  Last summer I had 17 pigs and I don’t need to do that again.

BUT they are so so so cute.

There are 2 times people generally raise pigs around here:  summer or winter.

I’ve done it both ways.  To read the benefits of raising pigs over the winter go here.

I pick summer.

4 Reasons to Raise Pigs Over Summer

big pig

ONE:  Weight Gain.

Pigs will typically get to slaughter weight faster if you raise them when it’s not freezing.   You know how your body burns energy (calories) to stay warm when it’s cold out?  Same with pigs.  If you are raising them over winter it can take longer to get them to ideal slaughter weight because they are burning through the calories just to stay warm.  In the summer it’s so stinking hot that all the pigs do is eat, lay in the shade and get fat.

TWO:  I have a low tolerance for pigs.

I enjoy pigs for about 3 1/2  months.  After that I’m done.  feeder pigs 8I like them when they’re cute.  I like them when they’re little.  I don’t like them when they weigh 250 pounds and are nudging me in the butt with their snouts.  If I raise them over summer, it’s all about over when I hit my pig-limit.

THREE:  Winter is hard.

It’s difficult enough to milk the cow, care for the chickens and keep the ice broken on everyone’s water tanks.  I do not wish to add pigs to my list of winter chores.  The end.

FOUR:  In Spring I’m SuperWoman.

It’s true.  In spring/ summer I have unheard of energy, enthusiasm and excitement for things like chainsawspiglets, pumpkin patches and other random chores I would never consider any other time of year.

FIVE:  I Won’t Stress

pigs snow 4

When I have pigs in cold weather I am always worried they are going to freeze to death.  They just don’t seem to be built for snow and ice.  They are so pink and so bald and so short.  I know they have crazy thick hides & that keeps them warm, but I’m pig-mommy and I worry to death about my wittle piggies when the ground is covered with snow.

SIX:  Water is Easier in Summer

The only thing I hate more than filling water bowls 3 times a day is breaking ice 3 times a day.  Add on top of that frozen hoses and frozen spickets and frozen hands and you have a recipe for dead pigs.  No matter what they weigh or how small they are – they gone.  I’m done.

So yes!  It’s baby piggie season.  This is that blessed time of year to purchase your feeder pigs and start “feeding the sh*t out of ’em.”  I did not say that.  Missy did.  Those were her direct orders on how to raise feeder pigs.  You gotta love country folk.

If you haven’t yet, you should join my list so I can send you free farm fun every week!  Via email here, on Twitter here or via Facebook here.

OINK!

-Candi

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