Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Real King of the Large Black Hogs

While we weighed the "little pigs" this afternoon, we took the tape measure to their daddy as well.

I am completely shocked that our big boar Tater weighs in at a cool 650 pounds and growing.  Funny, we brought this Texas native home in a dog kennel in the back of our pickup truck, and he used to curl up on my lap while I scratched his ears.  Almost 2 years ago.

Now I find myself dodging tusks and high boar spirits.  But the good news is that this gentle but bristly fellow is very respectful of my space, and a quick "No!" will set this guy back on his heels, doing his very best to be mind his boar Ps and Qs.

(About that king thing ... Sorry, gandar.)

Large Black Hogs at 8 Months

Despite all the romping and cavorting and high swine spirits on this beautifully warm winter day, we were able to weigh these 8-month old Large Black Hogs.  (See how you weigh a hog here, many thanks to Walter Jeffries, from whom I have learned so much about hog farming!). 

I have been referring to this lovely herd of heritage hogs, which belongs to our wonderful and supportive CSA Shareholders, as "the little pigs", but the fact is that, as of today, these Large Black Hogs are averaging around 240 pounds, and we're anticipating they'll definitely be around 280-300 pounds by the end of March, when they will go to butcher.  As you can see from the photos, these hogs are muscular, active creatures, in the bloom of health.  I am really proud of the beautiful animals I've raised humanely and naturally, and humbled by the opportunity to farm and raise healthy food, not only for myself and my family, but for my neighbors and my community. 

Queens of the Doublewide

We've moved expecting Large Black Hog sow Prudence and her daughter Baby to an improvised paddock surrounding the Sundowner trailer, which will serve as Prudence's winter farrowing house this year, because we simply ran out of time.
 
I'm pretty sure that Prudence, who is growing more Rubenesque every second, is enjoying her season of doublewide queendom.

Her daughter, Baby, who got her name because she has stuck to her big momma like glue since the day she was born, and who we knew would be good company, seems to be enjoying her stint as royalty too.