With the unusual warmth this past February, it felt like spring to a lot of us.
- Spring makes Country Folks think about new animals like our annual Chick Day event, new goat kids and foals. Several Clients have requested wiener piglets. We’ve had a number of litters of Vietnamese pot-bellied piglets that sell quickly as pets. But for growing your own hormone and antibiotic free meat, most people want the larger, production breeds like Yorkshire, Durocs and crosses. These are the original, family farm recyclers that eat our leftovers and the culled fruits and vegetables from our gardens. They’re omnivores like us. Just not at all gourmands. We’ve created terms for pigs eating like roosting around, and “slop” for a fermented grain delicacy, probably originally from alcohol production.
- Several years ago Brian, the original Country Store scrounger, and Suzy his patient partner, traveled to Bonita to buy 5 crossbred piglets for our local clients. The piglets turned-out to be larger than hoped for; maybe 14 weeks old and already 40 lbs. each, and never handled nor scrubbed like a 4h or FFA project. The trip down south had been 50 miles and Suzy only signed-on for companionship. Brian wasn’t coming home pigless.
- The pig seller, thank God, had a piece of plywood fashioned into a crowding board to help herd the animals into a corner. She, a 60 something year old like Brian, helped crowd from high ground only, but not with snatching, grabbing, snogging-anything needed to secure a wild, 40 pound sausage with lots of traction, no visible handles and a fear of carnita-vores. Brian eventually got them in carriers in the pickup bed, but not without bear hugging each one. Piglet feet are apparently designed to hold pig poo until the feet are flailing in the air. Then the poo becomes high-speed projectiles like an omnidirectional spackle gun. Brian was nicely spackled. Note to novices: You probably don’t want to tuck your shirttails during or soon after a pig wrestling.
- The last piglet is always the fastest. That’s why he’s last to be caught. Brian fell on his knees in an open field tackle in the well-churned excrement. It was dusk by now so all Suzy could see was Brian’s smile above a tightly squeezed beach ball having a grand mall seizure in his arms.
- On the way home, Suzy, between gags suggested adding her lunch to the mix of exotic, lately-acquired aromas in the ol’truck. So, Brian stopped at a self-serve car wash and pressure sprayed his knees, boots and some spackle. It didn’t help. The bottom line is: we now only buy piglets delivered.