11/26 Update: We’ve turned off the StyCam, but you can still read all the pig posts on the Pig page.
It’s time. This is the week we slaughter the pigs. After looking at all the options, we decided to go with what was our first choice from the beginning: we’re doing it at home.
It’s encouraging that everything, up until now, has gone well. Doc, Spot, and Tiny give every indication of being happy pigs. They’ve had no health problems. They’ve grown from about twenty pounds to over ten times that – Doc’s probably past optimal weight, at 280, with Spot coming in second at 260 and Tiny bringing up the rear at about 230.
They’ve eaten 2500 pounds of feed, supplemented by kitchen scraps, a couple hundred pounds of acorns and, in their last few weeks, one to two gallons of milk a day – a donation from a local farmer who’s starting up a dairy but isn’t yet fully licensed.
They’ve completely cleared the 2200 square feet they live in, which was filled with underbrush and poison ivy when they moved in. They seem to have enjoyed the company of each other, of us, and of anyone else who brought them food or scratched their backs.
They have been happy pigs.
It’s grim, planning for their death. There’s a knot in my stomach. We are doing everything in our power to make sure slaughter goes smoothly. We’ve gotten detailed advice and fortifying encouragement from Walter Jeffries of Sugar Mountain Farm. We’ve got a team of people lined up to help us, three of whom either are now or have been farmers. We’re ready.
We’ll be turning off the StyCam on Monday night. Go visit one last time.