Friday, November 16, 2012

Sophie in Waiting

As if our farm life wasn't goofy enough...I get an email from the University of Pennsylvania, the one located in Philadelphia. (Who out there, like me, instantly hears the them song to "Philadelphia" with Tom Hanks? Raise your hand) Seems we have something they want.

A certain pig.

Or I should say a certain breed of pig. The U of Penn, or is it UPenn ? UPennie? Whatever. The representative told me of a research program taking place that involves the behavior of Heritage Hogs. They specifically wanted to add a Red Wattle to their program and we just happen to have one available.

Meet Sophie


Born on Kiss My Grass Farms in Indiana, we purchased her as a wee babe from the Jordan family. We've owned her for over a year now and she's given us two litters. Proving herself to be a good mommy, coupled with her gentle personality we offered her to the University. After pics and papers and proof she was indeed a Red Wattle hog and not a Red Wattle cow (just another funny customer comment) she will be heading east in the spring.

Prior to that we have some Mad Max juggling to do. The research program wants a PREGNANT Red Wattle and they want her to farrow in early April. SO we took out the calculator, crunched the numbers, visited with Mad Max about his current romance schedule, seems he is indeed free when we need him, and plans are made.

But in order to have her impregnated on schedule we've had to separate her from the boys and other girls. She is a lady in waiting so to speak as she will not be bred until second week of December. After weaning her last litter from her she went promptly into heat, a heat we could not help her with, as it was too early. So off to isolation (If you call a huge 1/2 acre pasture all to herself "isolation) she went.

Man was she ticked! Pacing the wire for days, making a general fool of herself as she called across the farm for help her out of her hormonal predicament. But eventually the call of nature passed. In a couple weeks her time will come again and we'll let Mad Max visit.

If all goes well, and believe me, Max does things very well, we'll then have her pregnancy tested, and later have the pregnancy confirmed with an ultrasound. Then in March Keith and I will transport her all the way out to Penn of U, meet the vets, spend the night in the city of brotherly love, and return home.

Now all we need is someone to do chores for us for four days. Anyone...anyone...


  1. look at that face
    alfred hitchcock!

  2. That would be Alfreda Hitchcock you brute

  3. What if she has a headache second week of December?

  4. Rusty, her window of opportunity is a very short time during which we will have plenty of Advil on hand

  5. I believe the most common nickname for the university is Penn. I lived near Philly for quite a few years.

    I actually lived very much closer to the New Bolton Center--is that where Sophie will be going?

  6. That top photo really reminds me of those wonderful 18th century paintings of prize porkers - always seen broadside.

  7. Wow your going to have a pig at an Ivy league school!! Impressive. (yes U Penn is an Ivy league, we dont get the same gasp as people do when they say Harvard)

  8. This doesn't sound like it was Sophie's Choice. Maybe she will win an academy award in December for her act.

  9. It's all soap, Sophie, and science.

  10. Meghan, Penn it is then. Not sure what official barn she is going into. Hopefull they will tell u befre we get there or Sophie will have to go sightseeing with us.

    Tom, yes she does. Sophie is definately a class act with her petitie nose and wide bottom. Not unlike many of my own relatives.

    Jane. Really ? Ivy League? Another first for my family.

    Doug. Once again...good one

    Cro...You forgot SAUSAGE