Last month with the piggies

Ted said the pigs’ feeder had to be filled twice last week, so I knew they were getting close to butcher time.  From what I’ve heard and verified through research, there’s a point where pastured pigs begin to convert feed to weight at an almost equal weight, and the 250-285 pound mark is the time to butcher.  I do believe Bitsy and Dixie have hit that point.

Now comes the last month of my first time piggie adventures.
The girls will get wormed tomorrow, and then 35 days past that, they’ll fulfill their purpose here at the farm.  I won’t lie; this is hard to think about. Their end was always just an event on the far off horizon,  but now it’s imminent and somehow actually real, and I’m not prepared mentally or emotionally for it.

I was only able to measure Bitsy (red one) today because she kept knocking Dixie out of the feed trough so she wasn’t able to hold still long enough for me to get a good measurement in either direction.

Bitsy is somewhat larger than Dixie, so I know they’re close in weight, but Dixie doesn’t weigh more.  My measurements today put Bitsy at 237 pounds.  She’s gained 80 pounds since February 12th!  I’d guess Dixie at 200 even. 

At this rate, Bitsy should weigh about 300 pounds in five more weeks, and Dixie should be at about 250 pounds then.  Pigs dress out at the highest rate of all meat, so that should equal about 385 pounds of usable meat and lard. 

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I think these girls have had an excellent life here!  I’m proud of the fact that they’ve been able to live real piggy lives and root and mud bathe and romp and do all the piggy things they love.  That is what I wanted more than anything else, and I feel like I hit that goal squarely and positively. Raising our food humanely and in the most natural way is one of our main goals, and we feel like we’re really doing it.

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