Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Spock and Wesley (a.k.a. Piggy)

I wanted to name them Pig Will and Pig Won't but the kids had other ideas.

A couple Saturdays ago, Jamey and Sam headed off to our local livestock auction and bought the first two (and therefore the smallest) pigs that came up for sale.

Spock (named for his pointy ears) rode home in the trailer just fine.  Wesley (also Star Trek name-related) was too small for the trailer so he went in the back of our van. Thankfully, old Odysseys have a trunk well so he stayed put.

Wesley screamed his little head off as Jamey carried him into the barn.  He's actually very friendly and loves to be petted and brushed.  We started off feeding him baby farmyard animal formula in a dog bowl.  We used our chick heat lamp for a couple very cold nights and Wesley seemed to appreciate it very much.  Now he's taking some piglet feed and growing like crazy.  He's a little too small to be let outside yet- he would scoot right under the gates.

Spock was coaxed off the trailer and into the barn with some kitchen scraps.  He's very jumpy and skiddish- only occasionally letting us brush or even touch him.  Spock has free access to our new pig yard, fresh water, kitchen scraps and occasionally a handful or two of feed corn.

Interesting thing about the livestock auction- they didn't say whether they were male or female or how much they weighed or how old they were (or the auctioneer spoke too fast in a too loud arena to be heard).  Thank goodness for the internet.

Here is the nifty equation  we used to estimate their weight be measuring their backs and around their chests.  This chart enabled us to estimate their age based on their weight.  Spock weighed approximately 65 pounds (30 kg) which put him in the 10-12 week range.  He appears to be of the Hampshire breed.

Little Wesley (by tape measurement) weighed about 16 pounds (7 kg) which means he was around 3-4 weeks old when we bought him.  He's a Yorkshire.  In case you're curious, we paid $50 for Spock and $13 for Wesley.

For now, Spock and Wesley are separated (although they communicate through the divider).  As soon as Wesley is old enough to be in the yard, they will be together.  We're hoping to add two more pigs to our little herd.

When I have a chance, I'll tell you about Spock's first day with the electric fence and something else the livestock auction folks didn't mention that will need attention- any guesses on this one?

For your piggy entertainment...some pig vocabulary:

swine- animals in the pig family
pig- a young swine, weighing less than 120 pounds
piglet- a baby pig
shoat- a young hog that has been weaned
gilt- a young female pig
barrow- a young male pig castrated before maturity
hog- a mature swine usually weighing more than 120 pounds
sow- a mature female swine
boar- an intact, mature, male swine
drove, herd, sounder, drift- groups of swine

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  1. Pigs do tend to be smelly so I'd be careful about getting too many.

  2. Well, enjoy your new piggy family. We've never had pigs though some of my husband's relatives grow and butcher their own hogs. I don't like the taste of pork for some reason...you know how some people can't eat cilantro? It's like that with me and pork. Wesley is so cute. And I can't even begin to guess what they told you but I am very interested to hear.

  3. are you planning on castrating Spock? Is that the answer?

  4. I'm stumped on your question. We have our pigs in an electric fence, too.... (scratches head)


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