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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Pimping for the Porkers

Well, I finally did it. I arranged a month away for the two sows so that they might hook up with a lovely boar. I understand he is a big strapping and very horny Landrace. "Have fun girls. Come back pregnant!" How often do you get to say that to the ladies of your life.

This is Ruby. She is a Duroc pig. (red in colour). I gave her a home last year after she was already pregnant. She had a litter of 11. I raised 10 of them as one was delivered long after the others and it was too weak to survive. She has become a nice gentle sow although since I did not raise her I am a little cautious around her. I let her go all summer without being pregnant so she could get her figure back. She is in good shape now.

This is Babe. Click on this picture and you will see she is smiling. I think she is looking forward to Mr. Landrace. She is one of Ruby's offspring. I gave her to June, as she wanted a pet pig. Then June and David came to share my house, which worked out perfect for Babe.

Babe is a real pet. She is forever roaming free. I have even seen her over in the neighbour's garden a couple of times. (Fortunately she comes quickly when I call with my Arkansas Razorback call. "Sooooo We".! I am not sure they have seen her. In any case, they have not complained to me, yet. Every morning she is at the cellar door waiting for breakfast. When we are outside she will come and hang out with the people and dogs.

It is strange not having the pigs here. The first thing Dave mentioned to me this morning is that the pigs are missing. Last night, I coaxed them into a stock trailer. Four of my drinking neighbours came with the trailer and thought they could manhandle the sows into the trailer. I finally had to sent them away while I. " the pig whisperer" got them into the trailer. No way were they going to put a rope on my girls and unceremoniously drag them into the trailer.
In the end, they climbed in on their own to eat of the feed I put down in front of them.

"All aboard! for Club Porcine."

I miss them aready and hope they may even cut their time short. In the mean time it gives me a chance to work on repairs to the shed for having piglets in the depths of Winter is a challenge.

I thought I would share this lovely picture of my pet pig from years ago. His name is Boras (pronounced Boar Ass). I had him for years and he grazed the rough pasture with the cows and calves. He was a strong solitary figure. Not many pigs get to live out a full and stress free life. Boras did. He was a Hampshire pig, as you can tell by his charateristic markings.
Boras earned his life of liesure. He was one of four piglets I raised. The others were slaughtered for food. When my neighbour tried to shoot Boras he missed and the young boar took off and hid in the bush. As a result, I decided he would stay with me as a pet.
NOTE: It is bad business to kill animals in front of other animals. They all get very upset. I have only seen this done a couple of times and do not recommend it. Usually, the animals will want to come around the dead one out of curiosity and they seem to" morn". Cows, in particular, have this behaviour. They want to stay alongside the dead one and will try to follow you off the field when you are transporting it. Making unnerving mooing sounds. I don't usually like to ascribe human behaviour to animals but they sure seen to be grieving. The death of an animal for me is upsetting enough but with a" wake" of livestock around makes me feel even worse.
My place became known as they place with the big pig. People here are not used to seeing pigs on pasture. Tourists would even stop and want to have their picture taken with Boras. Most pigs in Canada are raised inside in confinement hundreds to a barn. Most are slaughtered before they are fully grown.
Most people thought Boras was a big pig. I guess he weighed maybe 800 pounds. But he was not all that big. I. at one time, had a big pig, a Polish White Boar which weighed 950 pounds and could crouch down in his pen with five foot rails and jump out. He also had 6 inch tusks. The day he scratched me with the tusks was the day I decided to ship him
Long after Boras died, if my son or myself ever tried to tell someone where we lived they usually said. "Oh the place with the big pig."
I miss Boras. He would have made a wonderful date for Ruby and Babe.
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If you want to read about swine. The University of Oklahoma maintains a wonderful website on all kinds of Breeds of Livestock. Breeds of Livestock - Swine Breeds


At 6:07 p.m., Blogger Peggy said...

thats our next animal purchase. We want to raise a couple of pigs. Have to wait till we get the goat fence finished before we start on the pig lot.

At 9:40 p.m., Blogger Rachel said...

I'm sure the pigs will enjoy their dates with Landrace. I hope they don't fight over him! They are all pretty, but Boras looks like some we had when we were growing up. My Dad had a couple of Hampshires at one time and they were both for slaughter. We always had hogs and pigs!

I never liked the slaughtering part and thankfully I didn't have to have part in any of that since I was a girl.

At 10:20 a.m., Blogger Old Wom Tigley said...

Thank for the pig info, I have always liked pigs, I think they get a bad press. I'm going to follow the link and have a smouch around.

At 7:51 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

Curious that you think of mourning as a human trait. I think there is much evidence that many animals mourn their dead--elephants particularly come to mind. They gather around the dead animal, feel it all over with their trunks.
We are but one species among the many mammals.

At 8:41 p.m., Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Kgmom has a point. I certainly thought of the elephants when I wrote what I did. It certainly is an interesting topic for discussion whether animals grieve.

I wrote over a year ago about my male Muscovy duck sitting fot two days beside his dead mate as if in grief. Ducks are even of a lower order than herd mammals.

At 12:52 a.m., Blogger judie said...

Your porkers are, um, well, cute! And yes, animals do mourn.

At 10:55 a.m., Blogger Mary said...

Enjoyed your photos and commentary. As you know, I was raised on a farm in southern Ontario. My grandsons go to the farm for animal therapy and it's done them a lot of good. Recently, 3 goats died and yes, the others seem to mourn them. I agree with your comments on cows mourning.

Loved the slide show. Beautiful!

I have some new photos of farm life on my blog if you're interested.

Take care and may your girls enjoy their visit and come home pregnant.


At 8:20 a.m., Blogger lv2scpbk said...

Love the photos.

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