Saturday, May 4, 2013

Lucky Duck Pigs

Sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don't because all the nuts are prepaid. Which was the case with Mrs. Dalloway's litter. More or less.

It's tricky when folks want to buy baby wattles before a litter is born. We take deposits but explain that if piglets born are not up to registration standards (only one head, no third eyes, no big white stripes down their backs) they will not get a piglet. They will of course get their deposit back.

Tis herself doing some pre-op teaching that wasn't needed after all.
Lately we've had a bit of a run on piglet requests. From Mrs. Dalloway's litter alone we had deposits for four little boys.  Fortunately she had a good sized litter but as of today we had not yet counted the sexes. To do so, mama pig is escorted onto the livestock trailer lured by milk soaked grain (this is also how Keith gets me to go to bed at night) , then babies are corralled with straw bales.
We take turns scooping them up, holding them outside down while official body check occurs.

Ears? Tipped. ( can be tipped, lopped or erect)
Wattles? Two  (must have two )
Nipples? 12  (must have 12 or more)
Sex? Boys must have two testicles. Girls must have the ability to multitask
Spots?  NONE! (must be solid color from light red to near black)

Any pig who meets the criteria is eligible for registration application. If they don't meet the minimum they are raised for chops, sausage or sold for $125 as feeder pigs. Those who meet the best of the best guidelines are sold for $300 plus vet fees if they are traveling out of state and need health papers.

In this litter we had 6 males who met registration criteria but they are still too young to send in those papers. We like to wait until they are older to see how those ears and wattles and body shape mature. But since all were looking good none had to lose their little packets. This is very unusual to have so many males look so good. Sometimes we'll have a litter where we don't think any are good enough to register.

 "What a relief!"   I am sure they were muttering to themselves once they realized all would escape going under the knife.

From left, scapels, betadine, more scapels and official wattle documentation form

When the first buyer comes in June he'll have literally the pick of the litter for the two boars he wants since he pre-ordered his piglets almost a year ago...while serving in Afghanistan!

Soon, he'll be discharged and then will travel here to get his pigs and start his new homesteading life.
We're very happy to help him and his family get their start with this very keen breed.


  1. Excuse me while I forget my homesteader practicality and say "D'awwwwwwwwwwwwww...such cute piggies!"

  2. There is nothing cuter than a piglet!

  3. Forgive my ignorance, but I've always wondered - what is a "feeder pig"?
    Thanks in advance,