These porkers came to us in April and weighed all of 35 pounds. Now, we estimate they are close to 300-350 pounds. They are so large that we could barely get the trailer ball on the truck without both of us pumping the lift.. Now that is Some Pig.
Three are sold, on hoof, to friends who will pay for the pig once it is dressed, but not finished, by weight. Then, they will pay for the processing and pick it up. One is ours that we will split with my parents. And, the last will be shared between a number of relatives, and, I hope, some left over for us.
Pork is one of those things that if you haven't ever had pasture raised, you have been cheated from savoring a flavor without description. The stuff that comes from the grocery pales in comparison. Our porkers play in the mud, stretch in the sun, dig holes and wallow in the water, root and eat grubs, and have non-GMO feed for their entire life. We tell them from the beginning of our relationship what their fate is and that we want them to enjoy a fine, wonderful life. We scratch them, hose them, and chase them (or they chase us) in a game of tag. I gather apples for them and find them scraps, such as corn cobs when I can corn, so they have treats. They really have a marvelous life.
Once they are loaded on the trailer, which we do gently and not with a prod or anything that will hurt them, we feed them corn one more time and tell them how we honor them for providing us with good meat for the coming year. We thank them for being sweet piggies and for the pleasure we have had with them.
This past fall, when it had rained for eleven straight days and Mister was out of commission with a neck injury, I was out feeding them. Their lot was slick as goose grease and I was having trouble walking with their feed bags (they weigh 50 pounds). One pig got on my right and another mirrored that one on the left... and they started scratching their backs on me... until I slipped in the mud and fell flat on my face... and they continued scratching until I got up... I was mudlicious from left to right, top to bottom... and had to hose off in the yard... If I could have stopped laughing, I would have been annoyed... but somehow, the visualization of a 60 year old woman being scrubbed by pigs cracked me up...
And, you ask, after loving on them, playing with them, and enjoying them, how, how can we eat them? Easy. We name them Pork Chop, Tenderloin, Sausage, Ham, and Roast....