Spot and Walter – South Field
This is Spot.
See Spot Run.
Run, Spot! Run!
Actually, Spot rarely runs. He ambles and grazes. He swims in the pig pond. He relaxes in the sun. He’s a big pig. A very long pig. Running he can do but he rarely bothers.
Spot is a product of our breeding program for length – one of the characteristics we select for. More length means more bacon and pork chops. Spot throws, that is to say, has offspring who are very long piglets.
Spot Showing Off His Length
We have seen him jump a four foot fence as if it weren’t even there. Normally he doesn’t bother, seeming quite content to stay with his ladies in the south field. The fence in the photo is just a three foot fence but he stays to his side despite the tempting food on the other side.
Spot and Holly in the New Terrace
Spot has become the dominant boar. While he’s gentle with us, with the sows and with the piglets he makes no bones about his dominance with the other boars and they give him a wide path. Fortunately Spot also has a great temperament. He loves a good scratch behind the ears or along his massive back. I just have to be careful he doesn’t use me as a rubbing post and knock me down. This raises an important point, never get between a pig and a wall, post or other solid object. If they rub up against you they may crush you without even meaning to. They also have sharp pointy toes so watch where they’re dancing!
No, that hole in the south field is not a product of Spot’s rooting. In the photo above Holly is standing by a 10′ cut in in the south field. The purpose of that cut is we’re making a terrace for a greenhouse we’ll be building next year, what was supposed to be this year’s project. I was amazed that our soil was that deep. So often we’ve hit ledge over where we built our tiny cottage and when doing fencing.
Walter Measuring Spot
Here I’m trying to measure Spot as we’re standing on the new greenhouse terrace in the south field. Sometime I need to get a tape measure out and estimate Spot’s weight. My arms are about 6′ long. Spot is about 8″ longer from the base of his tail to his crown. That gives a Length (L) of about 84″. I can’t even come close to reaching my arm’s around him, he’s just too big and barrel chested so his Girth (G) is probably close to that 84″ too. Using the String Method of estimating his weight I come up with:
That seems a bit high but then he is very much like a cow with very short legs so it may be close. I certainly don’t want him sitting in my lap or stepping on my toes! A much smaller, younger boar that we slaughtered this winter weighed around 800 lbs so it is possible that Spot is well up over half a ton now that he is three years old. (Update 2010: At death Spot weighed a bit over 1,700 lbs.)
As an interesting aside, years ago I was told that pigs never stop growing. I doubt that as neither Spot, Archimedes nor Big’Un have gotten noticeably bigger in the past year. Archimedes, the oldest of the boars, is more than a year older than the other two and seems to have stopped growing quite a while ago. At this point Spot is the biggest. Perhaps he’ll grow a little more but I suspect that his gains have pretty much leveled off.
Spot Mugging for the Camera
Aren’t you glad you don’t have to shave that face in the morning…
Outdoors: 70°F/50°F Mostly Sunny
Farm House: 67°F/57°F
Tiny Cottage: 67°F/61°F Cemented floor gaps filled