Friday, November 19, 2010

gilt

I picked out a little gilt tonight. A farmer here in Cambridge was selling them for a song. Tomorrow I'll bring into the barn a 9-week-old yorkshire piglet. She'll stay here just a few months really (as my books say they'll reach slaughter weight in 90 days). and by early spring she'll be inside the house (in the freezer). I'm planning on splitting the animal between me and some friends, and it should be quite the experience and actually make a few bucks for the farm. Tomorrow morning I'll prep a pen in the barn and then by 2pm she'll be alseep on a bed of straw.

Here's to a short-term experiment and a lot of bacon!

24 Comments:

Blogger Katey and Dave said...

This is an experience I'm dying to hear about. My wife and I are debating whether or not to get a pig or two.

November 19, 2010 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Boyles Family Farms said...

I heart piglets. She'll need lots of straw and maybe a heat lamp from your brooder pen. And if you can't find her in the morning, check the straw thoroughly. . .I had a friend once "lose" her three tiny pigs, only to find them burrowed in deep!

November 19, 2010 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

She'll be in the barn, with plenty of hay and straw all around her on all sides. with metal walls.

November 19, 2010 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

For years I've wanted to get a pork belly and make my own bacon. I've got a huge smoker and a bad weakness for bacon. Recently I checked with a local farm and they wanted 13 bucks a pound for a belly. Sadly, I passed. Have fun with it!!!

November 19, 2010 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger jen said...

Can't wait to follow this, Jenna! This is something I've wanted to do for a while...Next week we'll be stocking our freezer with 350 lbs of grass-fed Angus beef. Maybe after eating that, I'll be able to talk my husband into pigs.

November 19, 2010 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Do you mind sharing the price? As I understand it, the prices of piglets are quite a bit different in the spring than in the fall/ winter.

Thanks,
Elizabeth

November 19, 2010 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Sure. Each feeder was 60 bucks. I was paid 20 bucks for eggs this week and ten dollars for the pie, so all that came out of my pocket was 30 dollars.

I plan on taking her to slaughter a little early, probably at 150 pounds or so. We have a small farmer's USDA certified house right here next to Cambridge. It's a real blessing having it so close.

November 19, 2010 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I learned a new word tonight. :-) I am so envious. I haven't had good pork since some wild hogs wandered on to the farm in TN, more than 20 years ago. I wonder if I can talk my landlord into a gilt.

November 19, 2010 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Dawn Dutton said...

Good luck with your piglet. Do he/she have a name yet?

November 19, 2010 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

no name, just the pig.

November 19, 2010 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Is your slaughter house Cambridge Valley Livestock owned by McLenithans? That takes me back a half century.
It will be fun to hear of the adventures of Jenna and Pig. Ultimately it will be yummy.

November 19, 2010 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I don't know? I haven't used them yet, but I heard it was in Eagle Bridge?

November 19, 2010 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

Good that your pen is solid because piglets can squeeze out of anything. If you thought a goat was bad to keep penned well a piglet is much worse. As far as naming, don't or it will be harder to eat her. If you must then name her bacon or chorizo, some name that won't let you forget she is meat on the hoof. It's easy to get attached to a single pig because she will demand attention from you because she is lonely.

November 19, 2010 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger twistie said...

Pige are such fun Jenna! We raised two here this summer and have had a blast with them! We raised hampshires, (looks like a beltie) It'll be hard not to get attached, they are so smart and friendly!

You do realize it cannot all be turned into bacon though, right?

November 19, 2010 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I wish it could.

ham, sausage, shoulders...all are welcome here.

November 19, 2010 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Fins: I'll add that for you, darling.

we need to talk about a wine barter? maybe we could trade for a hand-knit cap or honey?

November 19, 2010 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger bookjunky said...

I have been wanting to get a pig, too. I've been told they eat more and grow better if there are two. The competition, you know.

If my friend Mike would just quit driving around the US in a truck and come over and build me a "waller" I would give it a go. Lately the goat milk is not much good to drink anyhow since we got a buck onsite.

November 19, 2010 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

@ Jenna

Sweetie ya got your self a deal!

Plus a rain check to fish the river ; )

November 19, 2010 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

Soooo jealous! I want a pig, but my hubby is still warming up to the fact that we have chickens. I *think* I have him talked into getting a turkey poult in the spring, just one, for Thanksgiving. Our oldest son was begging him for a pig the other day, and hubby said "Caden (my son), it took your mother years to talk me into getting chickens. We are not getting a pig." and then under his breath muttered "yet". Caden and I did a jig together, all in favor of the word yet. It was great. I can't wait to hear all the stories surrounding the raising of your pig, Jenna.

November 20, 2010 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger Little Terraced House said...

Jenna, if you can any way stretch to it, get two, they really are sociable animals and adore company, on their own they can get miserable.

Big hugs babs xx

November 20, 2010 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

I desperately want pigs, I'm just not sure we have the proper space and I'm not sure I want to stretch myself thinner....

November 20, 2010 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger E said...

You'll have fun and learn lots. They are such nice animals once they get out of factories...

I'll be curious to see if feed costs cover meat price. Keeping a winter pig that can't be supplemented with weeds, garden scraps and other summer bounty is more expensive than a summer pig.

Just noticed you don't have any links but here's an interesting pig blog from nearby http://flashweb.com/. They grow pastured pigs.

November 20, 2010 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

how's about i buy you a second pig?

but only if you promise to slaughter them at the same time. they are incredibly smart and social creatures. that said, i do understand that they are food for you.

still though, you wouldn't allow one of your dogs to be penned up, alone and not given that which your dog needs in order to be happy, would you? regardless of how tragically short their lives would be...

so if you want to take me up on it, just write me.

November 20, 2010 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Sarah Rachelle said...

One of my goals is to raise a free range heirloom pig. There's nothing like some organic applewood smoked bacon. Mmmm.... Bacon.

November 22, 2010 at 6:10 PM  

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