Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pigs: Good Riddance

Back in the spring we purchased a number of pigs to flip. We got a good deal on them, and after a short visit, we resold them for about twice what we paid for them. We kept two gals from that purchase: one we had collected a deposit on for a freezer pig, and the other we promised to a local for a Labor Day picnic.
These two are the ones we refer to as the Houdini Sisters. When we had them in dog crates, they got out while we were away (click here for full story). When we tried to move them up with the breeders on the Beta Site, they got out of their pen and in with the breeders (full story), then later out into the yard. I guess we should have suspected they would be trouble. After all, they were related to Scooter, the precocious little runt piglet, who also had a penchant for escape (full story). So, to keep an eye on them, we moved them back to the house and put them on lock-down. They no longer escaped, but they took forever to grow!

At first we thought they were hungry. We fed them as much as and more than we fed the breeders. Tiffany needs only  a maintenance diet, and Mamas and Wilma need a bit more than that because they are nursing. When the Sisters failed to thrive, we wormed them more than once and gave them extra goodies from the dumpster. Still they cried and oinked and grunted almost constantly (a problem since they really shouldn't be at the house at all), and only put on a bare amount of weight. We were throwing away money feeding these two. It was time to cut our losses.

We had a big ham that we were going to cook for an end-of-summer picnic with our Pig Partner and family on Labor Day, but the buyer for the Labor Day Pig backed out. One thing led to another, and the two family picnic quickly turned in an event. A neighbor who complained about the pigs in our yard was quickly turned around when the person hearing the complaint responded, "The pig is at the house so that it can be served at the Labor Day Picnic. You're coming, aren't you?" The emails started flying, the phone started ringing, and the question, "What should I bring?" was handled over and over. Houdini Sister Number One was put down and dressed for whole roasting in the smokehouse. (Sister Number Two will be served at our Pig Partner's "Thanks For Helping Me Move" barbecue later.)

I am glad to see those noisy, under-performing pigs go. Our neighbor who put the deposit on the second pig is understanding and will wait for one of the new piglets to fatten for her freezer. The relief of being able to work in the garden without having to tiptoe so those two won't oink and squeal is a joy. I won't miss them at all. Good Riddance!

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