Getting set up for our pigs to come took forever….or at least the good part of the last two weeks. But, with the hard work behind us and a new, mild manure smell lingering on our boots, we are elated with the new addition to our farm. This is a blog post about our path to becoming the delighted owners of three Tamworth piggies.
When we started talking about what we wanted to do with the farm sometime back in December, raising pigs was close to the top of our list. I have always been in love with them (along with almost all other animals)…and it seemed like a good fit for the land (which is rough pasture and partially treed). However, we didn’t have a clue where to start, and we didn’t think we’d get started on it this year as there was/is so much to do just to get the land ready for veggies (see Farm Goals 2013 for what we thought we’d get up to this season).
However, in typical Patrick and Amy fashion, we couldn’t wait to get going… and started searching for weaners (i.e. pigs that have been weaned from their mum’s milk and weigh 30 to 40 lbs) shortly after arriving in Ontario. We looked on the internet but couldn’t find any pigs close enough to us to pick up, and checked out the local livestock auction but only came across one scared little weaner that went for $4.
And then we found Norm’s listing for Tamworth gilts (a gilt is a female pig that hasn’t had babies). So I drove down to check them out – Norm’s pigs were a little larger than we had hoped for, but they seemed very healthy and happy (in my very amateur opinion) and they were close enough that he’d deliver them to the farm once we got set up.
After we settled on purchasing three, and told Norm that we’d be ready to take them in a few days (a gross underestimation of time) we got to work getting our pig palace set up. The photos probably sum the next two weeks of set up best, so I’ll let them speak for themselves.
So, we didn’t find weaners, (although we think we’ll get a few in June), but we did get ourselves three pigs, that if all goes well, will be bred in the summer. Next I want to write a post about the Tamworth breed, because they are just so darn cool….but that’s all for now.