Sunday, January 12, 2014

# 499 - Trees, Trees and Pig-Preparation

Despite the cold weather...the miserable weather...the bone-achingly cold weather of last week that finally gave way to a few beautiful days, we worked to select trees for removal so that we can get the lawn tractor around the "yard" areas we would like to enjoy.

We have a 54-inch cutting deck, which is fairly wide, so we need clearance to get the mower around the main trees, so we're removing the dinky trees that stand in between the straight and tall trees.

Sgt. Dave's favorite tool is the machete. And he's good at wielding it with power. He'd be a good buddy to have around during a "Walking Dead" moment, even though he's never watched an episode.

Of course, on our three-hour hike this past week, I found another "perfect" spot for the cabin. It's one of the original spots I had loved with all my heart, but the construction there would mean a new septic tank, more electrical lines and additional water lines. However, I think it will be worth it.

We will also have to work on putting in another road to that side of the land to reach the house. But, the area is gorgeous, deep in the forest.

Another task is to find the area for the pigs that will join our farm this Spring. Sgt. Dave will soon be building their fencing, housing and prepare for their arrival. Now, my next task is to do research for available piglets in our area.

I'm terrified of pigs, but am ready to take the plunge. This is part of my great adventure to enjoy living in the country on rural property. Sgt. Dave has raised pigs, cows (steer), rabbits and is good at it. As for me, I've had a few dogs, and the past few years, chickens.

And I love to read this blog, which helps me prepare, somewhat, for raising pigs.

However, as I did with the first eggs laid by my first throat will probably close as I try to swallow the first bites of our own farm-raised pork. This is not going to be easy, but I have come to the point in life where I recognize the store-bought variety might have questionable quality issues that ignorance won't fix.

I'd rather have more control over my food intake, knowing the food being put on my table is of the highest quality possible and to know our animals are treated well is important. On the other hand, I am not excited about meeting all the piggies because I will fall in love with each one and will try to make them a pet.

One question I am trying to figure out is the distance the pigs need to be from the house. I know they stink, stink, I want to make sure we are not subjected to any wafting aromas.

So, that's what I've been doing as part of my activities, watching lots of YouTube videos about pigs.
In my research, so far, I've learned:

1) Light-skinned pigs are not always great for the South as they sunburn easier
2) In the South, it is more important for pigs to have wallow holes; mud acts as a sunscreen.
3) The breed is not as important as it is to select pigs raised locally.
4) In the South, shade is important for the pigs.
5) Fat is good, it equals good, tender meat. Pork that is too lean is not tender. Just like marbling is important to red meat, it is important with pork.

Raising pigs in general:
1) Require minimal space for housing.
2) Supplement feed with table scraps or veggie garden harvest.
3) Have manure that is excellent fertilizer for the garden.

If you have advice about pigs, feel free to post your comments! I read every comment and appreciate the feedback from my fellow city dwellers, from country folks and all in between.

In the meantime, we are enjoying the changes from city life to country living, especially with our unlimited parking space!


LindaG said...

Hubby's family raised cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys. The pig pen was not that far from the house.
About 50 yards. I just asked him and he said they smelled, so I would say farther than that, haha.

But with all the trees and bushes and stuff you have, that should help, too.

I've also read that if you have an area you want to cultivate, that is hard to get through - like roots and stuff - put your pigs there for a while and they should be able to take care of it.

I am hoping to find some Tamworth pigs because I have read they are excellent bacon pigs, and know how to forage, too.

Good luck and congratulations! Things are looking great, Lana!

The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

How fun and exciting to be doing all this planning! I think you'll have a lot of fun with a pig or two. I have the same worries if I get one... I'll end up naming it, and training it, then will I have enough gumption to have the pig play out its main purpose for being here in the first place? Same with chickens. I look forward to reading your brewing new adventures!

Mike said...

In my opinion, no other animal stinks as much as a pig. We fenced in a small dirt patch with a shelter in the corner of a large yard. That's it.

Stay away from a sow with babies.