This past week Saddle Pig had ten healthy piglets. Eight of them are pure white. Two have spots like dominoes. One snake eyes and one seven spot. Cute as buttons. These ones are almost sold out and will wean the end of September and be ready to go to new homes. Saddle Pig birthed her piglets out in the brush in the lower end of the South Field and then brought them home on Monday when they were about three days old.
A little bit about the mother (sow) Saddle Pig: She is currently about 500 lbs and two and a quarter years old. Saddle pig is so named because she has a grouping of black marks on her skin along the saddle of her back. Her hairs are white and the coloration on her back is solely in her skin. She is a white Yorkshire pig (Large White) with a medium dish snout, long bodied and big hammed. Saddle is an excellent mother. She is truely an impressive looking pig who has thrown many excellent piglets. She, along with her sisters Little Pig (about 450 lbs) and Big Pig (about 600 lbs) are the founding sows in our herd.
The father of this litter is Archimedes. He is the third boar we have had here. He came from Archie’s farm a bit north of us. Archimedes is also a Yorkshire style white pig but has slightly forward pointing ears as opposed to the sows’ large upright ears. He is a real gentleman who is good with us, the sows and piglets who can often be found crawling over him or playing between his legs.
All of our pigs are out on pasture where they get a healthy diet of grasses, brush and other plants as well as grubs and earthworms. We also provide them with milk, cheese, cottage cheese and the occasional snack of bread when available. In the late summer and fall their diet is supplemented with garden gleanings, squashes, pumpkins, turnips and corn we grow on our farm. The pigs spend their winters in garden corrals, cleaning up the gardens, tilling and fertilizing them. During the winter the pigs have free access to hay which they eat to the tune of about four to ten pounds a day each depending on size.
We use no antibiotics feeds, hormones, pesticides, herbicides or other nasty chemicals on our farm. Parasites are controlled through intensive rotational grazing, resting the fields, natural controls like pine, garlic and hot peppers in the livestock diets. The pigs share their pasture with sheep, chickens, ducks, guineas and a goose who thinks he is a pig. All of the livestock and our children are guarded by our Guardian Obedience Dogs who have been working on our farm for four generations.
This is what works for us. Every farm will be different, adapting to the local conditions, soils, climates and other resources. Welcome to our home and our farm!