Kitchen Pig


Frosty the Kitchen Pig

Normally pig’s only enter our kitchen as pork. Occasionally a piglet gets brought in for some hand nursing. Frosty the Kitchen Pig lives in the kitchen of our old farm house. I do not recommend sharing your living quarters with a farm pig.

Our young daughter Hope wants to call Frosty Lucky instead of Frosty. Lucky because the pig is lucky to still be alive. It’s been two weeks now and the pig is still surviving. That’s a good sign. She’s starting to put on a little weight again. Perhaps she’ll make it.

The reason Frosty is called Frosty is she crossed the fence at the far end of the north field during the ice storm two weeks ago which had downed trees across the fence lines. She went down hill from there into a ditch filled with ice cold water. She was there for an unknown period of time. Deer hunters driving by on the road saw her in the ditch and brought her up to our house. When I picked her up out of the truck bed she was covered with icicles. Thus her name.

The reason Frosty lives in the kitchen is that she got pretty bad frost bite from her jaunt over the fence line. I had to amputate her tail as it was one solid mass of ice. She had chunks of ice on her knees and one ear as well. Once someone gets frost bite the cold can be hard to take. Having her in the kitchen is hard to take but it is better than her dying.

From the kitchen Frosty progressed to living in the old shower stall for a while. That worked pretty well. It was easy to wash her down. When we got into town this week we stopped at the farm supply store and picked up a rubber horse watering trough. Frosty is now in that most of the time. It keeps her mess to a minimum. Interestingly, when she is out and about in the kitchen she tends to stay right in her corner on the papers or burlap bag. I suspect the reason is that she is weak and unsure of her footing. The rest of the kitchen floor is wood and plastic which is quite slippery for her.

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By the way, this is my first post from our tiny cottage. We now have phone and internet at the cottage. Today marks the one year anniversary since we’ve been sleeping here. But until now it was with only an extension cord for electricity and no internet or telephone service. This past week Holly, Will and I got enough copper up to the cottage to bring full power, phone, DSL and Ethernet to our new home. It’s one more step in our transition from the old farm house to our new cottage.

Outdoors: -3°F/29°F Cloudy, 1″ Snow, Ice rain and high winds
Farm House: 52°F/41°F
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/52°F

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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12 Responses to Kitchen Pig

  1. MMP says:

    I imagine you have thought about outside solutions already, but a cattle panel structure might work for her. Our Cattle panael structures for the goats are generally 15 to 20 degrees warmer than outside temps and would be even warmer with a couple of pigs and closing the ends (although I know you like to have lots of fresh air). Maybe the biggest problem would be that you would have to setup on frozen ground and either insulate or wait for it to warm up.
    From last year and
    Last year also and from this year

    mmp

  2. At this point Frosty’s condition is delicate enough that she can’t be out with other pigs who would beat her up. They tend to be fairly aggressive towards an injured pig. Altruism is not a piggy trait.

    Additionally, she needs the extra warmth as she heals from the frost bite. Perhaps when she is fully healed she’ll be able to take someone colder temperatures.

    The issue with the cattle panel structures covered with tarps and plastic is the pigs tend to rip them apart. We find those work fine for other animals but pigs grab onto the plastic and tear it, rub against the walls and crush it, etc. Thus the reasons for building our greenhouse out of concrete.

  3. Around here we call that a “Pig in a Blanket” ( a pastry with a sausage in it..) Congrats on getting wire to the new digs. Electricity sure makes life easier. The best to and yours and a Happy New Year.

  4. *grin* Art, I love pig’s in a blanket, the pastry sort. My son Will makes a most excellent croissant for wrapping our hot dogs which makes an elegant and tasty, flaky pig in a blanket.

  5. Amy Nelson says:

    Hi Walter,
    I am wondering if you have ever taken on an “apprentice” or “intern” or other such helper-type person to learn your trade? You see, my husband (who is a 41yr old former techie, but is truly an all-around renaissance man) is OBSESSED with becoming a pig farmer. And quite frankly, I think you are to blame. He talks non-stop about Sugar Mountain Farm, about raising pigs, etc. In fact, we’re moving back to VT next week in order for him to pursue this (new to him) dream.

    Can you please either talk some sense into the man or take him in for a few months and teach him a lesson or two?

    Sincererly,
    Wife of the pig crazed man.

  6. Amy Nelson says:

    Hi Walter,
    I am wondering if you have ever taken on an “apprentice” or “intern” or other such helper-type person to learn your trade? You see, my husband (who is a 41yr old former techie, but is truly an all-around renaissance man) is OBSESSED with becoming a pig farmer. And quite frankly, I think you are to blame. He talks non-stop about Sugar Mountain Farm, about raising pigs, etc. In fact, we’re moving back to VT next week in order for him to pursue this (new to him) dream.

    Can you please either talk some sense into the man or take him in for a few months and teach him a lesson or two?

    Sincererly,
    Wife of the pig crazed man.

  7. Amy,

    Winter is here and the land is locked in snow so this is the time to read and research, planning for next year.

    Get your hubby a late Christmas present of the book “Small Scale Pig Raising” by Dirk van Loon. It is a most excellent source of information about getting started with raising pigs. There are many similar books out there, many newer ones, but that is the best.

    Next he should read “Harris on the Pig” which is a far older book from the 1800’s filled with excellent information.

    Vermont is not the easiest place to raise pigs. On the advantages sized we have cold killing winters that destroy pests and parasites. On the negative side we have cold killing winters than can kill livestock, people and limit the growing season to a maximum of six months of the year. Each place has its own special challenges. Down south it is easier to raise pigs, and other livestock, because the grazing season is longer but they have more problems with heat, parasites and sunburn.

    My advice to someone wanting to get started is to begin the first year with four to six piglets to raise up to finisher size. This will give you a chance to learn about pigs. In that first year of raising them to market size you’ll solidify what you gained in the books and learn much that you can’t get from the books. After you’ve done that for one to four years then try raising a batch of pigs over the winter. That is a whole other challenge. When you feel confident in that move to farrowing, during the late warm spring time.

    Do everything in stages. Make baby steps as you gradually take on more and more. This way you can solidify your skills and build your farmstead without making too great mistakes.

    Cheers,

    -Walter

  8. Mydnight says:

    Hah, Amy got to it before I did!! I too have my other half chomping at the bit to raise pigs, sheep, chickens, other fowl and other animals. We’ve been researching for years now and I am afraid he’ll go off and do some hare-brained scheme just to get back to the country. Thanks for all the great info here Walter.
    (by the way, as a slightly funny note, my other half’s name is Walter too!! lol)
    Peace, Mydnight

  9. Amy, I hadn’t answered the other part of your question. No, we don’t have interns or apprentices. But I hope that you and your husband will find the articles here useful. If you have any questions, just leave a note in comments. Cheers, -Walter

  10. Anonymous says:

    Luv the kitchen pig! Great story again.

  11. Nicola says:

    I know this post is from 2008 and I looked as far as Jan 15 2009 – what ended up happening to Frosty? Did she survive the winter?
    Just curious.

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