July 1, 2014

Pig Report

Waldo is doing very well.

I'm not sure if he knows his name yet because we still call him "Pig." He comes running when he sees us and lets us give him a scratch. He's still a bit shy and has to sniff your hand first.

He seems to like being with the goats while they simply tolerate him.

Sometimes he's off doing his own thing.

He loves rooting in the leaves back in the woods.

At such times he's happily oblivious to everything else.

My pig news is that I found a mate for Waldo, a gilt about six weeks younger than he. A gilt is a female that hasn't yet farrowed, i.e. had a litter of pigs (see, I'm learning pig terminology). She won't be ready to be picked up until the end of July. At that point we'll move them back into the old buck shelter (Fort William) where they won't be bothered by goats (as if the goats care) while they get acquainted. Expect lots of piggy pics then.


Michelle said...

In that photo of you scratching his ear, his face is absolutely adorable! Nope, couldn't eat a cute animal...not even ugly ones....

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

How exciting! Look forward to more piggy stories. How much bigger will pig grow? and will you be rearing the piglets for meat?

Chris said...

Wonderful news on the new gilt. They'll be friends in no time. And I love that dirty nose of Waldo's. :)

Izzy said...

Fabulous! Can't wait to meet the new gal!

Leigh said...

Michelle, baby animals are always cute and endearing, aren't they? Firsts, too, are hard not to become emotionally involved with. Of course, not so cute is having him continually poke and rub his dirty nose all over you, LOL

Gill, he'll get from between 200 and 300 pounds. I read the biggest Guinea Hogs get about 30" tall. Yes, the piglets will be for meat, also to sell or trade.

Chris, he's pretty happy but I think he'll be ecstatic to have another pig!

Izzy, me too. :)

Farmer Barb said...

Oh, my! He looks delightful! Pigs. Hmmm. Rooting. Hmmm. No fuel tilling. Hmmm. Maybe another year. I'll watch Waldo from afar.

Unknown said...

first, God made all baby animals cute, including human babies, because they are so much work that we would otherwise give them away. Those beautiful oversized eyes are a trap for your heart.

Secondly, perhaps Waldo is a latent truffle pig hunting for juicy mushies in the woods.

Mom at home said...

He's going to be so happy to see another like him. I can't wait to see pictures of pig love!

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Looking forward to the pics of them together I am sure Waldo will be very happy to have a friend.

Frank and Fern said...

You know, Leigh, I don't like pigs unless they are cooked and on a plate. We have tried feeding out some pigs a few times, but I just don't like them, and, I confess, am a little afraid of them.

Now, with your pig stories, and showing us this pig, that doesn't get very big, I am very curious. Thus, my research into American Guinea Hogs has begun. Thank you for introducing me to this breed. We may get to compare notes somewhere down the road.


Nina said...

We have a cat who responds to the name Cat, unfortunately because you know, when you only have one cat, we never used his name - where's the cat? Did anyone feed the cat? Now that we have two of them, one is Kevin and Cat, is still Cat!
Love the pig though. I'd certainly look at that breed if I had the space.

Leigh said...

Barb, one of "selling points" his breeder gave me was that this breed "won't tear up your yard." I didn't say anything to her but saw it as a weak point because I've always hoped to use pigs in a natural till scheme. I was delighted to find out that Guinea Hogs do indeed root!

Lynda, that is so true. Unfortunately they all grow up into adults who may or may not be as endearing, LOL

Mom at home, he's been pretty happy with the goats but I know he'll love having another pig.

Fiona, I'll take plenty, :)

Fern, those were our exact same concerns about getting pigs and why we waited so long. When I started researching Guineas I thought, "that's the pig for us!" One site even warned against pig chow to prevent overfeeding because they feed themselves so well. Great personalities too. Let me know when you get yours!

Nina, This breed is one of the smallest and so perfect for us. That is so cute about Cat. They do learn their own words, don't they?

Harry Flashman said...

Won't it be horrific to kill your pigs and eat them. Once you get to know how intelligent they are, it just seems hard somehow. I am no tree hugger and I eat bacon. I suppose I have not reconciled the two issues.

Sandy Livesay said...


Waldo looks like he's in his glory just rooting through those leaves.
Congrats on finding a girl pig, now I can't wait to see new pictures. Then eventually, baby pig pictures!!!

Renee Nefe said...

My daughter's "want farm" is growing! She already wants 3 dogs, cats (even though she's allergic), goats and chickens...once she sees that scratching picture, I'm sure a pig or two will be on her list. sigh...I hope she can find someone else who loves critters as much.

Anonymous said...

How fun to have a girlfriend coming for Waldo! I have a friend who just had her first litter of Guinea piglets, and they are pretty darn cute. I've had big pigs around for a short while at a time (kids in 4-H) and they were great fun too, but I never had the urge to have them full time. Maybe I'll watch your adventures for a while first before jumping in.

Fiona said...

As to a Name...."Pig" seems to be working. He is really growing and looks so happy!

Bill said...

He is so cute. :)
Our pigs like hanging around with the goats too, while the goats just tolerate them at best. Now I know that doesn't just happen on our farm. :)

Quinn said...

So glad you found a companion for Waldo! Pigs are so much happier when they are with other pigs.

Tami said...

Love me some PIGS!!!! Bring it on.

Leigh said...

Harry, that's something I think all new homesteaders struggle with. From experience, I can tell you it's a whole lot easier to make the mental decision than the emotional one, especially for animals that you really like. For those that have annoying personalities or are destructive, it's easier. Or animals that have to be put down because of injury. It seems less wasteful to eat them in that case. With the pigs, I'm glad we decided to start with breeders. It's allowing us to enjoy experiencing pigs for the first time. When the first batch of piglets comes along, the novelty has worn off plus when they all look the same, it's harder to identify distinct personalities, and that makes it easier. Still, if we're going to eat meat, it only makes sense to take responsibility for it. I'm not saying any of this makes it easier, in the end, it's something you just make up your mind to do, and do it.

Sandy, it was a relief to find her. She's registered, which I wasn't necessarily looking for, but at least she's within 100 miles of home!

Renee, she needs to someday meet and marry a farmer. :)

Sue, we didn't think we'd get into raising our own but weaner / feeder pigs proved too expensive on craigslist. This breed seems to be the perfect size and have the perfect personality for a small homestead like ours, so it's working out well so far.

Fiona, it's funny what animals learn to answer to! We have a lot of "ch" words for our chickens, "K" words for our cats, and "g" words for the goats.

Bill, for some reason our pig really likes our Pygmy buck. Not sure if it's because Pig came from a place with small goats (Nigerian Dwarfs) or if because roly-poly Gruffy looks closest to his own kind, :)

Quinn, it is a relief. I think most animals prefer a companion of their own kind.

Tami, good to hear from you! I never considered myself a pig person, but I am now. :)

Unknown said...

I too am a little afraid of the reputation pigs have earned. This was not going to stop me at least trying to raise a pig or two for meat. But now it seems, after a little reading about this breed, that you have introduced me to the perfect homestead pig. I'm 99% sure that when we start our pigs they will be American Guinea Hogs. Thanks!
P.S. My perfect is not the same as others. That said, I have found the perfect homestead dog. The English Shepherd. I'm still looking for the perfect homestead chickens. =)