Sunday, October 28, 2007



I like you to meet the newest member of our farm----Ms. Pumpkin the guinea hog.

**Blogger seems to be having trouble with pictures this evening so I will add more another day.

I am going to be quick with this post about the hog since I have some catching up to do. Here goes though:

We picked up Pumpkin during a trip to drop off a ram this weekend in North Carolina.
She is an only pig currently but in time we will be adding a boar for her to produce piglets with.
She is pretty tame and getting tamer by the hour----so much so that she may end up being a house "hog" if we aren't careful.

Since guinea hogs don't really get much larger than some of the larger pot belly pigs it would be no different than someone who keeps one inside as a pet :-D. However, since she will be tilling my garden---she may be a bit too dirty to come inside regularly. That is after all one of the main reasons we got her---to till with. We also wanted to raise a small pig that would be good for small farms AND to boot she is a rare breed so we will be helping to save the guinea hog genetics. We will be eating her progeny eventually (I know--sad but there you have it. I am a meat eater after all) since that is the original reason for guinea hogs---food for small farms---- but we will not be eating Pumpkin. She will become somewhat of a pet I am sure since hogs/pigs are very smart. They actually smarter than dogs so.....kind of odd that we eat them isn't it.

So, let me tell you a few things about her:

1. She gets car sick. Poor thing. However it did pass.
2. She loves loves loves corn.
3. She really likes avocados.
4. She "talks" constantly in a kind of mix between a grunty snort and a human throat clearing sound.
5. Scratching her very coarsely haired back---hard---pleases her.
6. She's about 8 weeks old currently and she is about 12" tall at the most.
7. We really like her :-)

By the way if you are interested in a guinea hog Pumpkin's two sisters were still unsold. You can contact their owner here: Grace Ridge Farms.
If I had known there were three still available I might have gotten another female for our farm. I really only need one though---so it was probably a good thing we didn't know until right when we were picking up. No time to "think" ourselves into another hog :-)


Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Hi Monica!
Pumpkin looks great. We've had so much fun looking after our two Kune Kune pigs this year and will definitely get some more pigs, perhaps try a different rare breed, next year.
We need to slaughter them before Christmas though and are currently investigating our options. We're hoping that an experienced "boucher de campagne" (literally, a countryside butcher) will come to our smallholding to despatch them quickly and help us prepare the meat. I need to speak to a couple to establish how they work so we can choose the most humane. This is still legal in Europe, provided the meat is only for our own consumption and perhaps less traumatic than sending them off to the abattoir.
I used to be apologetic, like you are in this blog, about the fact that we are going to eat them but I've changed now. If I'm talking to a meat-eater, then I (gently) challenge them to think about what they're saying. When we see the meat on the plate, we will know that these pigs have had the best of lives, outdoors, with a varied diet and plenty of back and tummy scratches, far better than buying cheap industrially-produced meat. And vegetarians, if they eat eggs and drink milk, are implicated in male chicks being killed at birth or grown on for meat, and male veal calves. And some of the products that vegans eat to replace say eggs in baking, are downright chemical and weird. So, we raise our own meat to eat and are proud of it, just as you do, I assume?

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

Stuart and Gabrielle---we like to butcher our animals ourselves when we can. Sometimes we have used a butcher so we could get the pieces "nicer" and conveniently freezer wrapped. I would like us to be able to perfect our cutting of our meat pieces----so they didn't look like a serial killer did the job.
I just LOVE your kune kunes and wish we could get them over here. You have a choice of some other different pigs/hogs to try that we don't have either--- it will be interesting to see what you get and how they compare meat wise.
We are proud of our meat and always remind people when they GASP upon hearing that we kill and then eat them ourselves---that our animals are by far living a better life than those they buy from the store. Vegans/Vegetarians---well I don't really go there. Those we know understand that it is our "culture" just as we understand that veggies are theirs. Why fight over it---there are lots more important things in the world to worry about aren't there.