Two of our girls are raising 4-H pigs this year. The third is an alternate and is being raised by the seven year old (not old enough to join 4-H officially). Justin and I built the pig pen out of scrap wood leftover from the house build. Even the nails were leftover, making the whole enclosure free. Wait, I did buy hinges for the gate. Other than that, though, it is made from recycled materials. It is probably silly because it is a pig pen, but I love it. It looks old fashioned, which fits our design aesthetic. I'm a dork.
It is a long uninteresting story, but we got three pigs, each born weeks apart. They are drastically different sizes.
You do not need to see the owners of the pigs to know they are being raised by girls. Their names are, I am not kidding, Bibbity, Bobbity, and Boo. Kinda cute.
A few days ago, after they dumped out their water bucket yet again, I installed a nipple into a water barrel. It took the pigs no time at all to find the water and this barrel isn't likely to get dumped over!
We invested in mucking boots (which are cheap rain boots) for the kids, trying to avoid bringing pig poo into the house. So far, so good! The girls have to tend to the pigs every day. This is a HUGE reason we decided to get pigs. I am way outside of my comfort zone here. I really don't know anything about raising animals--especially livestock--but we have one daughter in particular who needs to learn consistency and how to work. Tending animals is a good way to develop those attributes.
Plus, the manure stinks and if we want the neighbors to be neighborly, the girls have to pick it up every day!
This is Bibbity, the smallest. It will be a miracle if she makes weight in time for the fair in August. If she doesn't, we'll use the alternate at the fair, then fatten this one up for awhile longer before we butcher her for our freezer.
Bobbity, the other white pig, is our fatty. She is the oldest and should make weight if we do this right.
Finally, the alternate and middle-sized black pig, is Boo.
They've been around for a few weeks already and we are off to a great start. The kids are loving this and the animals are fairly low maintenance. It may or may not be the cheapest way to get meat, but it will be good meat and better experience. We will let you know when the meat is for sale! Stay tuned.