We started raising Red Wattle hogs three years ago. Still listed by the American Livestock Breed Conservancy as "Critically Endangered" we thought we'd like to do our part to increase their numbers. To date there are still less than 2000 of them in the entire world.
Of those 2000, South Pork Ranch is home to 17 of the gentle giants. They are cool pigs, but we have found some of the females to be on the quirky side.
Sophie is one of the quirky ones. Her first litter produced 10 wonderful babes and just one died a few days after farrowing. She was a great mother to the remaining group. Her second farrowing went differently. She had another beautiful litter and all went well until day three when mysteriously...all but one remained.
Her story was flimsy. Granted Sasquatch has been filmed in some parts of the Northwest but not so much in central Illinois. Tracks of the mighty half man, half gorilla were not found near her hutch, unless the hairy beast has taken to wearing rubber boots, the only tracks found anywhere near Sophie's house of ill repute. Hey ! If you suddenly "lose" a group of piglets your home becomes ill-reputed in my eyes. I'm judgemental that way.
|Sophie, too busy scratching herself to answer|
questions about her missing piglets
So, the case grows cold in front of our very eyes as Sophie focused all her motherly love on one spoiled mamma's boy. Yes, just one male remained and having every single one of Sophie's teats to himself, he has grown fat and sassy since his arrival 4 weeks ago. He also has all the makings for good breeding stock so we left him uncastrated. Oddly just a few days later we got a phone call from a farmer IN NEED of another Red Wattle Boar.
|Two wattles, Nice ears, all good reasons|
for letting this Baby Red Wattle
keep his pigjigglies.
SOLD. Baby boy will go to his new owner in a few weeks after he is weaned.
So , now we have that tough decision to make. Sophie has had one good litter where she proved herself well. Followed by another litter where several piglets are still unaccounted for. Did she consume them out of boredom? Sell them on the black Red Wattle market and pocket the cash for herself? Do we believe her far fetched Sasquatch fable and give her another chance or do we make her into one large batch of cheddar brats?