Pigs: Year II

There was a time in the not so distant past where I was told I could not have pigs. They were too much work and no one had time for that. But as the years wore on, so did my whining.

Last year was a huge break through. I was told I could get three pigs, I accidentally got five.

Last year's five pigs

Last year’s five pigs

But last year’s pig project went very well. My Parents enjoyed having pigs on the ranch again, they were fun, amusing and gave us something to bond over. I tried to be a really good kid last year, so they would let me raise pigs again this year, I paid for the cutting and wrapping of my Parent’s pig, I sent a thank you note, shared my pork (I don’t care if they are my Parents, it is still important to recognize what they did for me). I worked hard and proved that I could raise pigs, even with a full-time job. My mornings, evenings and weekends were devoted to my pigs last year.

It must have worked because, guess what? I now have 11 pigs! It’s true, I do!

11 piglets. This was my truck yesterday. We stopped for a water break.

10 piglets. This was my truck yesterday. We stopped for a water break.

Well, one of those pigs is Princess Silly pig so she doesn’t really count.

Silly pig!!!  (She's a cowpig)

Silly pig!!! (She’s a cowpig)

Silly asleep in my bed. Isn't she cute?

Silly asleep in my bed. Isn’t she cute?

I used the beef cow money my Parents gave me for working for them this summer and invested back into the Ranch in the form of 8 heritage pigs and 2 commercial pigs. I plan on doing a taste test between the two different types of pork, I LOVE taste tests! I picked them up yesterday and spent pretty much all day with them today.

My non-pet pigs!

My 10 non-pet pigs!

It.was.glorious.

The piglets enjoying their new home! They are like so much rooting and eating to do!

The piglets enjoying their new home! They are like so much rooting and eating to do! Hoot dog is excited too, new friends!

I have a pig obsession. I could very easily turn into a crazy pig lady, well, wait, I think I already have. I have more pigs than cats. Oh dear. Ok, moving on…

Our bottle calves are less than pleased. Silly chases them around (she is a cowpig, remember),they think  these guys will too.

Our bottle calves are less than pleased. Silly chases them around (she is a cowpig, remember),they think these guys will too.

I learned a lot from my pigs last year. I also quit my full-time office job, this year, to raise meat animals for my local food community. I am following my dream right now and it feels great. I realized last year that I loved being on the Ranch, and it’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Granted it was so very much work, but I loved it! I thrived on it. I learned and shared so much last year, that this year, I have wonderful support from friends and family that are helping me gather pumpkins, fruit and vegetable waste, to cook for my pigs.

I learned last year that if I cook the pigs their own food two things happened. The first, the pigs loved it – every meal was their favoritest thing in the whole wide world, and they gained weight accordingly, a good thing. The second was I prevented a lot of food from being thrown into our local dump, and that made me feel good. It was a positive experience all the way around.

Their first acorns. They loved them! Good things I have TONS!

Their first acorns. They loved them! Good things I have TONS!

Pig Project Year II has started. I already have loads of pumpkins waiting for me to pick them up, I have a local bakery, The Cookie Shoppe giving me their old cookies (pigs love cookies!!! And yay Cookie Shoppe for supporting a local, female rancher! I heart you guys!!!!), and a local almond ranch giving me their waste. It is a stellar year for acorns, so in addition to their cooked food, the pigs will also forage. I am confident this year’s pork will be better than last!

Stay tuned as I am going to blog this whole experience again this year.

17 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, family, food, Know a California Farmer, photos, Pigs, Ranch life, Uncategorized

17 Responses to Pigs: Year II

  1. Joey

    I LOVE that you are following your dreams. How fortunate to know what you want to do & to be able to do it every day!! Can’t wait to see how your pig comparison results turn out.

  2. This whole post makes me sad that I live on the opposite side of the country, because you are going to raise some stellar pork and I want to put my order in right now.

  3. I’m so excited. I feel like you and Diana Prichard are the inspiration for me wanting some pastured pigs someday. (Luckily for me, my suburbanite boyfriend also dreams of a rural life — having pigs would be tricky in a subdivision…)

    Keep us updated! (Not that I doubt you will!)

  4. sarah h

    I too have pig envy.
    I SO want pigs too (13 acres of bush need turning after all) and with a baby coming I’ll be home for the next year (yay Canada mat leave) but I’m a little afraid of how much work they’ll be. Seriously – how much work are they? Did you find your cost per pound reasonable? I’m hoping we can feed our family subsidized on what we sell – that’s always the goal, and maybe gain some profit too.

    • You get a year up there? That is amazingly awesome! Pigs depend on what you want to do. Since I cook all their food, it’s a lot of work, but if you just bought pig food in addition to their grazing, that would be easy! I will make money off these pigs this year, not a lot, but enough. Plus the pork is just amazing.

  5. I have had so much fun keeping up with your blog and watching you follow your passions, Megan! Keep up the good work and have fun 🙂

  6. It’s great to see someone being able to chase down what they want! Very happy for you. Btw, being the crazy pig lady is way better than being the crazy cat lady. At least pig lady is kind of original! haha. Good post

  7. Barbie

    What a great story! I love your blogs. Pigs are great fun…usually. They are smart and have character.
    Your pig project sounds like a community project….using up waste food, etc.
    We once had a pet wild pig that rode with us. It was amazing how far she could go. We had to stop for mud puddles, of course. Good luck with your enterprise!

  8. Anjanette

    So looking forward to PIGS II…did you pick up any Adult 4-H Part II too? This is going to be fun as in ~~F-U-N~~ !!!

  9. Yay! I got so excited when I saw your new pigs on instagram, can’t wait to see them grow!

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