Big Red’s Progression

Calendar Girl

This is not actually Big Red as a piglet, but another piglet, Brownie, that looked almost exactly like Big Red at the same age. It is quite remarkable how the color of piglets can change as they grow into big pigs. This is especially true for the red, yellow and fawn colored pigs. Black pigs and white pigs pretty much stay to their birth colors but Big Red and pigs like her darken up with age.

Big Red with Sister Little Red

After about six months Big Red and her sister Little Red were noticeably darker but the big change has yet to set it.

Big Red All Grown Up

Now after about 17 months she is almost black on most of her body. Looking closely you can still see her hair is red but if the light is at all dim she looks like a black pig.

Big Red’s New Litter of Piglets

Big Red’s new piglets showing some colors. The father is Franklin, and upright eared long white pig with a couple of skin butt speckles who carried the recessive black hair gene.

By the way, before you think of getting a pet pig, compare the top photo, cute as can be, with the full sized version and realize she is still only half grown. She’ll get bigger. Read more here about pet pigs. Note that there are smaller breeds like the Pot Bellied Pigs that only get up to 300 lbs or so – A better choice than a farm pig if what you want is a pet.

Outdoors: 50°F/37°F Light rain, Cloudy all day
Farm House: 45°F/38°F
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/57°F Small Fire

About Walter Jeffries

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10 Responses to Big Red’s Progression

  1. Maureen says:

    Hi there. We are pasturing two piglets and I have gleaned much info from your blog–thanks! A question–how do you deal with ticks and fleas..or is that not a problem?

  2. Hi Maureen,

    We don’t have flea or tick problems. Part may be our cool northern climate. Part may be that we have a lot of chickens who are fond of such things.

    Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is something people use for critters like this which may also help. Just don’t breath it as it is a fine dust.



  3. Janet says:

    Hi Walter,
    I have learned so much from your blog already!

    We have never raised a piglet before, but after reading your blog, I have decided to keep our future pig in our garden area which is aprox 100’x150′. I like the idea of letting the pig have room to roam and be “happier” before going to slaughter. My question is this. It is my understanding that pigs like to have a “bathroom” spot when confined to a small area, is this true in a larger area also. Will I still need to pick up manure daily? Also, will this be a large enough area to keep the smell down? The neighbors are far enough away to not be a problem, but the garden area is fairly close to the house so I don’t want too many odors waifting into the house! lol Thanks

  4. Hi Janet,

    I would divide the space up into a nine square grid and then rotate the pigs through it. See this article and read through the comments for additional details.

    I would suggest designing things so you shovel no shit. Let the animals do the work for you. They’re happy to do it. Rotate chickens behind them and then plant behind the poultry for nearly weed free gardens. See this article too about pig tillers.



  5. Anonymous says:

    OSU says:
    "Do not use dog, cat or pig manures in gardens or compost piles because pathogens or parasites may survive and remain infectious to people."

    Have you had any problems with this?
    I assume it would depend on how healthy your pigs are and climate/soils.

    But is it wise to advise people to use pig manure in their garden? Not everyone will have access to healthy pigs.

  6. Danna says:

    Have you read about outbreak of swine flu:

    Can not get by eating pork but could get from another human or swine itself. also article from Reuters:

    I read your blog every day when I can. It is one of the most enlightening blog I know of.
    Thanks for all your articles and hard work. I told my husband I wanted a small block home like you all have. And I Can’t wait to see the continuation of your green house
    Sending good Health energy to you and your family.
    Danna Smith

  7. Danna, I’ve read about that “swine” flu. Apparently it has shown up in California and Mexico and is being transfered by human-to-human contact, not from pigs. In fact, the articles specified that it wasn’t really swine flu although that is what they are calling it. Rather it is a combination of swine, avian and human flu – a whole new thing. This does emphasize the need for good biosecurity and calls into question the whole idea of long distance traveling and intimate contact with strangers like handshakes. We get a scare like this every few years – we’ll see what happens with this one.

  8. EJ, no, we haven’t had any problem with that and of course the best solution is to use manures from healthy animals, preferably your own animals since then you know what is going into your compost. I’ve read many articles that talk about using manure in compost. Properly composting manure, from any animal, kills pathogens. That article also differentiated between plants grown in the ground vs above the ground, just as I’ve commented before.

    The article at NOFA-NY says “even manures from conventional feedlots are cleansed by the process. Composting is an effective way of recycling materials and stabilizing nutrients

    Take sensible precautions but don’t try to live your life in a bubble. Of course, if you’re concerned about the risk, don’t use it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Another big thing is that pig shit and anything else exposed to sunshine gets naturally sterlized. so compost it, have healthy animals, use sunshine and keep in mind that the recent studies keep saying that people who are out in the country are healthier and have stronger immune systems BECAUSE they are exposed to stuff. They build up resistance. On the other hand the people living in the cities are getting weak because they are not exposed to stuff and they are getting asma and stuff like that.

  10. Dan says:

    EJ I dont usually say much here but your comment reminded me of something else I had read recently.

    “Children should be allowed to go barefoot in the dirt, play in the dirt, and not have to wash their hands when they come in to eat,â€? [Dr. Weinstock] said. He and Dr. Elliott pointed out that children who grow up on farms and are frequently exposed to worms and other organisms from farm animals are much less likely to develop allergies and autoimmune diseases.”

    So maybe it would be a good idea for people to get more exposed to stuff. Then we would have more kids built farm-kid tough!

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