Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New pigs

Six piglets joined us Friday on Antiquity Oaks. Like all pigs we've had so far, they're Tamworth, which is a heritage breed. There are three gilts (girls) and three barrows (castrated boys). They'll all become pork in the fall.

Although they have the entire walnut grove to run around, they're a little scared about being in a new place, so they're spending a lot of time in their shelter. We keep them in the walnut grove because black walnut hulls are a natural dewormer, and walnuts make a great protein source.


hippygirl said...

I just showed this picture to the kids and we are oohing and ahhing because they are so cute. And then I said we are going to eat one of you. haha. It's a little sad and disturbing, isn't it? I feel the same way about the chickens. Sometimes I look at them and think they will make a fine dinner. But then I feel a little sad, too.

There's a reason I was a vegetarian for so long.... but at this point my body needs protein so good to get the healthiest protein I can. Plus, there is no chance of Aidan becoming a vegetarian. He is a total carnivore.

I really feel that it is normal and healthy to cherish the animal lives we raise, even if they are destined for the dinner table. I know you do that and that is part of why we are getting pigs from you. :)

IsobelleGoLightly said...

What beautiful wee piggies! We don't eat our animals here but can understand why other folks would like to raise creatures for meat. Those piggies will have a nice life with you with good things to eat and a good place to play and hang around in. It's a good thing.

Christine said...

I did not know that about the hulls! I have black walnuts EVERYWHERE. So do you just let them eat them naturally or do you gather them to give to them?

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

Awwww, hippygirl, thanks!

Isobelle, yes, our piggies are especially lucky to get plenty of goat milk and whey! I think it helps them to not miss their mom so much.

Christine, pigs eat nuts in the wild, so I don't worry about how they do it. Last year, we fed lots of acorns, and it's amazing to watch them crunch them up, shell and all. We put the pigs in the walnut grove, so we don't have to gather up the walnuts, but we will have to gather the acorns again, because herding pigs is not exactly easy. I've noticed that Frontier Co-op sells ground black-walnut hulls.

hippygirl said...

I had a cattle rancher tell me that the oily stuff from the black walnut hulls is also good for treating ringworm. She uses it on her cows, mixed with iodine or something? I can't remember the details, just that she was interested in our black walnuts and it was for treating ringworm on her cattle.


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