New Piglet. I'm in trouble.

shnookey(ID)November 5, 2005

Hi all. Well, I went out to get our first piglet to raise for food. It was (supposedly) 4 weeks old. Looks more like 6 to me. Pretty big for 4. Anyhow, it is REALLY cute! Red and white with a few black spots. And whats worse is IT LIKES ME!!!! Oh no. So yeh, I have fallen in love with next years dinner! It comes in the house and goes outside to potty. Yes, it is potty trained. Man they are smart! Follows me everywhere and throws a fit if I am not in sight. It sleeps outside at night with my dog (German Shepherd) which has taken to mothering it. This is a dog who has NEVER once slept in her doghouse. Not even in the middle of freezing rain. But now all the sudden she is in there constantly so she can snuggle with the pig and keep it warm. And she even tries to nurse it. And the pig tries to nurse!!! I think she had a false pregnancy this last heat she was in. So maybe thats why she has taken to the pig so well. Who woulda thought? The pig still wont eat its pig starter unless I mix in some warm water and some of my daughters pedia light (vanilla flavored). But as long as I do that its eating great. Its a "pig". lol Trying to teach it that nipping is not ok. It is all play and doesnt hurt now. But I know it will hurt when it gets bigger teeth! Might as well teach it NO now. Anyhow, I am freaking out now. I am in love with this pig. How will I be able to butcher it next year????! Anyone else ever have this problem?????? Or am I just WEIRD? lol

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Ninapearl(2aIL)

this is exactly the reason why i don't raise my own beef/pork/chicken. i could not butcher any one of those any more than i could butcher my dogs! sounds hopeless to me. you might as well give the little guy a name and be done with it! ;)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 7:21AM
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annschickenfarm(5b)

If your piglet is a female maybe you can keep her for a pet.Someday you could breed her for more piglets.
I thought I would become attached to the 2 piglets I got june.! was a female and my husband wanted to keep her.But she is kind of mean so it's not so hard for me to think of her as the bunch of saliami's I'll make from her.
Now if only the bull calf I'm raising wasn't such a sweetheart.
ann.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 8:21AM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

You must decide soon if this pig is a pet or a food animal. There is nothing wrong with having a pet... but it won't stay little and cute forever and then what?

If you decide this little piggy is a meat animal, I suggest you begin to distance yourself from it emotionally. Don't name it. Don't treat it like a house pet. Remind yourself that it is for eating.

I have eighteen young rabbits just at the cute and cuddly stage and I constantly remind myself that they will soon be ready for the freezer. I'm okay with this... but it doesn't mean I don't have to guard against tender feelings.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 8:32AM
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friedgreentom(5)

My parents used to tell us kids; when they brought the cows and pigs to the butcher you didnt get your animal but just the wieght in meat...lol we believed that for a long time.

Distance yourself and only raise it for 6 months anyway. any longer than that is a waste.
Marie

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 11:04AM
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chick_mom(south middle TX)

Sounds like you may have a permanent pet... pigs are quite intelligent, smarter than dogs for IQ.. When they are friendly it can ruin your best laid plans for the freezer.
We have a friend who is a countryboy from the word go. He never has had a problem with raising pigs and then killing them.. until 3 years ago. He went to auction and came home with this pig who seemed to know that she had to be his pal. They are still together and every evening when he comes home she greets him with more joy than his family.. Smart pig.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 2:18PM
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shnookey(ID)

Thanks everyone for your imput. Well, I cannot keep it forever. This thing is no pot belly. I have seen it's parents. HUGE. But I have given it a name. Snort. I am keeping my distance as best I can emotionally. My dog is its best friend. It comes inside for about 30 minutes to an hour twice a day. Spends the rest outside with the dog. I am curious, someone said to butcher it at 6 months old otherwise it is a waste. This being my first time, I didn't know that. Why is it a waste? Too much fat? Is it like a catfish? I will feel bad teh day it's deed must be done. But I think I can do it. I have to. No way I am having a pig as big as its parents running around that long! Hopfully once it grows out of its cute baby stage it will be easier.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 3:18PM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

There you go! You'll do fine. Of course it's tough to butcher any animal, especially one that is so friendly, but unless we are willing to be vegetarians, someone has to do it. And look what a happy, if short, life the pig is having!

I think the reasoning behind butchering at six months may have something to do with the amount of feed needed to add weight after that time. Although the percentage of fat is no doubt a consideration too and possibly the tenderness and flavour of the meat.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 3:30PM
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forest_er(z10)

I have always named them something like Bacon or ham or pork chop...

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 3:55PM
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chicken_ingenue(7)

I think I would keep this one and buy another that I kept far away from the house L. where the only time you saw it was to feed it. I could never eat it once I thought of it as a pet which is just what this one sounds like.

chicken ingenue

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 4:05PM
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shnookey(ID)

Pork chop, bacon, ham. ROFL

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 5:11PM
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Chubasco(6a/AZ)

You are now going through the same thing many young 4-H kids go through with their first fair animal. They even have to work with the animal to be able to show it at the fair. I was a swine leader in calif. years ago and saw it happen many times. Since you do not plan to take it and auction it off etc. I suggest you build a good sturdy pen and feed it out to about 250lbs and butcher it. Don't try to make it into a pet. My kids followed the purina plan and did very well with growth/lb of feed.It should be ready by 6 months or a little less if it was around 25 lbs when you got it. Brent

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 1:32PM
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cheribelle(Z5 IA)

I have the same problems with my calves, altho I do NOT let then in the house! LOL! I get bottle babies which gets you very attached to them, but also makes them easier fo me to handle (female, 5'nuthin) by myself. I don't have the equpiment made to handle them if they won't let me. The first 2 (T-Bone & Ribeye)went to the sale barn instead of the butcher, where I cried my eyes out. That was the first time my boys had been treated like that. Finally I got one butchered (Blackie). The first few times, I wasn't very hungry, but the meat was so delicious every time that I know I have to do this now. It is very hard to drop it off at the locker, but you know that that animal had so much a better life than the ones you see standing in mud feedlots. These next 2 years will be very difficult, Scruffy and George are part of this place, but I hope to have a new baby by then to take the pressure off my poor little brain, and keep me busy with bottle feeding chores.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 4:28PM
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chicken_ingenue(7)

their is no way I could raise an animal to eat, I think as much as I LOVE meat I would have to turn vegitarian. thank goodness I have never met anything before I ate it. Its hard to think of it as a furry animal with understanding eyes when its prepackaged in the grocery store L.

Chicken Ingenue

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 7:56PM
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shnookey(ID)

Well, I have been distancing myself from snort. I found out another good reason to distance myself and NOT let it in the house! EVER AGAIN. While it is pretty good about not pottying in here and pretty well manered. It usually just jumps up onto my bed and curls up with me and goes to sleep. But a few days ago when I first started distancing myself from it It was freaking out at my back door ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT!!!! It wanted to come in. I never should have showed it it could come in!!!! Well, it took 2 days, but it finally stopped fussing and is happy outside where it belongs. Stays outside with the dog who still mothers it. They curl up in the dog house together. Dog stays outside too. DAmn thing pee's on my carpet every time I let her in!
As for the cows. I don't know how I would do there.They are much more gentle and affectionet when hand raised than pigs. I don't know if I could do it. And I do LOVE steak! Hell, I tried raising a chicken once. I ended up selling it to a lady that only kept them for breeding and never butchered. I fell in love with a CHICKEN!!! Yep, rode around on my shoulder everywhere and followed me everywhere. It's hopless. My husband wants to raise chickens, pigs and cows when he retires. But I just don't knnow how I'm going to do it. He wants ME to be the one feeding them. Great.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 4:03PM
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snycal(z8CA)

One thing that helped me... get more and the work really begins. It doesn't matter if its a chicken, sheep, cow, or rabbit. The work really gets to you and the food sounds better and better. Especially if you think about how much money your spending on quality foods and 'treats' for the animals. Let the pen get dirty and watch how much they love it :) it gets easier. Good Luck,

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 8:51PM
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lesli8(8TX)

The trick with chickens is to get several that look exactly alike, to where you can't tell them apart to name them. I had 70+ chickens at one time and it didn't stay a problem to butcher roosters when needed. I hate to waiste a good laying hen though, weird that way. We will be getting some meat chickens soon and they will all have to be butchered.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 3:21PM
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sgoetz

I agree with snycal, buy several of any animal and you will not have the problem. Once they grow up the friendships deteriorate and it is easier to see their real purpose, food. I name all my animals, special chickens, pigs, cattle. It never bothers more than a little because of the work it takes to keep them. I always know that there will be more to be friends with next time. When your pig gets big enough it might be your dog that has the most difficulty.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 7:53PM
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turnkey4099(SE WA)

If you just can't do the deed, you might consider trading pigs with someone else.

Comment on keeping pigs: They are very gregarious. Never, but never try to pen just one pig. I have seen a wiener pig crawl vertically up at 5 ft wall and was unable to keep him penned until I got a second one to keep with him. A toy is also appreciated. Bowling balls work great.

Harry K

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 11:07AM
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