Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hog Heaven

So I've seen on other peoples Facebook pages that March 1st was National Pig day. I thought I would share with you all a little about my experience with pigs. I'm sorry this is a little late but my laptop decided to freak out on me and I've been busy working but I wanted to share with you all.
 
I was a freshman in high school when my dad suggested that I show a pig or two at the county fairs. I wasn't to sure about this decision but I went along with it. I knew that going into this that we would most likely end up eating at least one of them but that's life on the farm for you. So we went to the local university and bought 2 pigs. A barrow (cut boy pig) and a gilt  (girl pig hasn't had babies. Like a heifer). When we got them home I didn't know what to expect. I had never had any experience with pigs and really didn't know what to do. So the first thing I thought I should do was gentle them down. I would go in their pen and just sit on a bucket and just scratch their backs and let them get use to me. After being around them for probably a week I was in love! I never expected a pig to have such a personality. You could just look at their eyes and see all this emotion and it was just so amazing to me. People may think I'm crazy but my pigs knew who I was when I would go out and feed them. I would walk out to feed them and they would just go nuts and start snorting and I loved that.
 
These are the first 2 pigs I'd ever owned. Gilt on the Left barrow on the right.
I ended up showing these two pigs at 3 county fairs. They did ok throughout the year. My barrow ended up winning 1st place in his class at my county fair. The sad part of my little story was that we had left these 2 pigs overnight at the show barn and when I went back the next day my gilt had ended up passing away. We don't know what caused it but it was not a fun thing to go through at a show. Since she passed away I ended up buying another gilt from my cousins and raise around 6 or 7 litters of baby pigs.
 
One of my litters of pigs. Most of them out of that sow had little black noses.
 
I showed that gilt at a one show before we used her to breed. My sister and I also had the opportunity to show 2 pigs out of one of her litter at the Northwest Missouri State Fair and the American Royal in Kansas City. It is always a blast and such a cool experience to show at a National show. Even if you don't do good the experience and memories are amazing.

This was one of the gilts I raised. Notice the black nose :)
Photo Credits: Kassi Bauman- Show Champions

Along with raising a few pigs I had the opportunity to write 2 speeches for the Missouri Pork Producers FFA speech contest. In the fall of each school year you could compete in a speech contest for different Ag organizations such as the pork and sheep producers, Missouri young farmers and young farm wives or soil conservation. I decided 2 years to do a speech pertaining to pork since I had the most experience with that subject. The first year my speech took 1st place at area and then I got to compete at districts. Then the next year I received 2nd place and got to compete again at districts.

I don't currently have any pigs anymore but I wouldn't be surprised that in the future I don't end up getting more. I would love my future kids to show pigs like I did because they truly were amazing animals.
 

6 comments:

  1. To be honest, I come from a pig family. My Dad's family raised Berkshires. Grandpa hit the State Fair show circuit to sell seed stock. He went to NE State Fair and surrounding states.

    Mom and Dad also raised hogs when they were first married.

    Sister and I never got to show pigs, but it wasn’t because we didn’t try. I think Dad got pretty tired of us begging for a show pig. We just weren’t set up for pigs. I think Dad had the feeling our plate was full enough with cattle and sheep.

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    1. If it wasn't for a friend of ours we wouldn't have had a breeding sow. We wern't really set up to farrow but he let us farrow her at his place and so we didn't have to build something special just for one pig.

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  2. Glad you enjoyed your "pig" experience! They are fun.

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    1. Yes they are! Lots of fun memories with them!!

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  3. Great post! I think it's funny how lots of people don't give pigs a second thought and then once they are around them for a few days they end up falling in love despite the smell! Pigs are so great, like you said they have such personalities, more so than cows I think!

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    1. Yes I agree I love cows but the pigs do have a better personality. I had one pig who I would scratch her belly and she would roll over on her back like a dog. She loved it!

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