Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Welcome, Julia Child!
We've been raising Tamworths from weaning to finish for six years now, and although I love the pork, the pig itself isn't quite what I was hoping for. Some are better foragers than others. Some have decent personalities, and some are mean. They ignore most vegetables from the garden, and they are so-so on fruit. The biggest thing about Tamworths, however, is that they're big. I'll never forget the time that a Tamworth sow was running straight at me as we were trying to load them up. The family is yelling, "Stop her!" and I just stepped aside. Seriously, you think I can stop a 300-pound sow from going wherever she wants to go? And she wasn't even full grown.
It's also hard to find swine that are good mothers, because that is not something that is important to modern agriculture. The Tamworths are supposed to be good mothers, but our single experience with farrowing did not go well. We wound up with two live piglets out of the eight that were born. People said I should give her another chance, because she was young, but that's when I realized that I wasn't crazy about having a very large animal that was difficult to control.
The most exciting thing for me is that they only get to about 200 to 300 pounds when full grown. I know that won't be a huge amount of pork per pig, but I'm fine with that.
Julia came from Nancy Gaedke's farm in Wisconsin, and she just happened to have some two-week old piglets when we were there. While Nancy persuaded Julia to get into a dog crate for her trip, I cooed over the piglets. Aren't they adorable! I don't think they're all reserved, so email Nancy for more info if you're interested.