Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gimpy Von Piglet and Raw Milk Update

Its looks easy we know. You build a fence, electrify it, build a shed and fill with bedding, feed them, water them and if you're lucky after about 6 months you will have this

Thick, tasty, slabs of heaven on earth AKA bacon. Doesn't look like that stuff from the local supermarket does it ? Primarily because it comes from an animal who spends its entire life OUTSIDE with dirt under its feet and sky overhead. Our hogs have shelter if they want to go in it but often, even in winter they will nap outside all huddled together. The lovely fat above comes from being fed organic raw milk every day. The meatier parts come from pasture grass, organic hay and organic grain.

Its wonderful when a plan comes together.

Then, sometimes plans go in another direction. For example, our sow Spot farrowed a lovely litter but one baby had a deformed  leg. One of her back legs was bent at a severe right angle leaving the bottom third of her leg completely contracted and immobile. We figured the little girl wouldn't make it and decided to "watch her." We thought we would probably need to euthanize her.

So we "watched her" as I said. We "watched her"  nurse right along side her siblings fighting for a good teat as well as the others. We "watched her" tumble into the mud hole and pull herself out with her other three very strong legs. We "watched her" follow her siblings around the pasture and then we "watched her" sneak under the electric fence and into the garden dragging her bum leg behind her. And we "watched her" run like the wind, OK limp real fast like Forrest Gump in his leg braces when I stood on the porch and yelled at them "BAD PIGS!" and clapping my hands, making them run out of my flower beds and back to their mama

Piglet with bad leg is the one facing away from camera. She's a little shy
It is our hope that her other three legs will be able to support her weight as she grows to market size which will be about 250 pounds live weight. If we feel she is is pain (poor appetite, declining body condition, inability to run like a fool all over the yard with her BAD PIG siblings) then we'll use her as a roaster hog. In the meantime she seems to be enjoying her wild ride here at South Pork Ranch. I've even been thinking about having Keith rig up our old donkey cart to work as her fourth leg. But then I'd get all attached and instead of just tossing the cat out of our bed at night...we'll you get the picture.

Raw Milk Advertising in Illinois Continued

Started with return call to NASDA and asked again for the actual answers given by Illinois representatives in the recent NASDA raw milk survey sent to all the states last spring.
The woman who answered the phone said, Its all on our web site now" after we discovered yesterday it was not.  The specific questions in the NASDA survey were:
1. Is the sale of raw milk for direct human consumption legal in your state?
2. Do your state laws or regulations expressly prohibit animal share raw milk operations?
3. Do your state laws or regulations authorize raw milk sales only on the farm?
4. Are raw milk sales at retail stores or markets, separate from the farm, legal in your state?
5. Does your state have any microbial standards for raw milk sold to the consumer? If yes, please specify.
6. Is sampling for compliance with the above standard(s) conducted at the farm bulk tank, or at the final
7. Are there any county or local government bans on raw milk sales in your state?
8. Approximately how many producers of milk to be sold raw are operating in your state?
9. What has changed regarding the regulation of raw milk since the 2008 survey?

So I checked. Still not there. Only the SUMMARY of the survey results is posted on NASDA's site.I asked again for Bob the contact name she gave me yesterday. He was "not available." I asked her to have him contact me but when I asked if she still had my contact info she admitted "Not anymore"

Gave her my contact info again.

Called Illinois Dept of Agriculture as I was told yesterday by Steve Divencenzo (Dept of Food Drugs and Dairies) he would email me the actual answers to the 9 questions and he had not yet. Got his voice mail. Left detailed message.

At end of day I did get an email from NASDA from intern Shellie Dalluge who told me I should call Illinois Dept of Agriculture and talk to William Beaty the division chief for Food, Drugs and Dairy. I will start with him tomorrow.

So there you have it. I just have one question. "How did the state of Illinois respond to the 9 questions in the raw milk survey sent to all 50 states by NASDA this past summer?"  To date I have made 4 phone calls , talking with 2 individuals, have left two voice mails and received 1 email but none of that has resulted in an answer to the question.

Stay tuned.


  1. Those bad pigs are so cute when they're little and so tasty when they grow up.

  2. Bacon back in the UK came from Denmark. It was all packaged in plastic and every rasher was exactly the same size etc. When you fried it, a strange white gooo came out of it!!

    Here in France our bacon is like yours. I buy it in big slabs, and slice rashers or lumps as desired. One day I make a simple smoker, and make my own.

  3. MMM Bacon. There's no going back to shrink wrapped bacon now is there!

    This raw milk deal is just baffling to me. Is the GovMint trying to protect us or just trying to keep the Milk Monopolies in business. Beggers the question.

    Humming and Hawing about getting a milk cow. I don't even like milk but just about ready to drink raw milk myself - just because I can!

  4. MBJ. Yes indeed. Yum and yum

    Cro, eeewww, gooooo. Wonder what (or who) that cam from ? I too call is "rashers" here at home as it is so like the bacon I get in Ireland when I visit. Now the GK's call it that too.

    Art, I too wonder always about the motivation of the gubmint. Wish I could say I trusted them but why?
    Now GO GET THAT MILK COW ! Raw milk from your own cow can not be compared with that of store milk. Besides you get to make butter and ice cream and cheese and yogurt and and and