Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"do you sell small pigs?"

"do you sell small pigs?"

I get this question once a week or so; and when I do I smile a bit when I say "yes, but they get big pretty quick.  ".
Hogs the couch: Smithsonian article about pig rescue groups

For the farm buyers - the people who are going to be raising their own piglet out for meat, this is the answer that they expect and appreciate.   A healthy fast-growing pig is what you want to raise, and they're happy.

But there's another group of people who aren't so happy -- the teacup pig crowd.  Now don't get me wrong -- I love pigs, and enjoy having them on my farm and I enjoy working with them.  As far as livestock goes, I have a lot more contact with the pigs than I do with the cattle, for instance, or the chickens that we have in quantities.

So if you'd like to add pigs as part of your small farm, or large farm, I'm there for you.  But I'm not there for you if you're interested in having them as a pet, particularly if you think that the pig won't get big at some point.

Pigs, domestic pigs have been a valuable contributor to farms for at least 8,000 years.  But the value that they represent is for their ability to grow fast, and convert otherwise inedible stuff, into good pork efficiently.  

I've written in the past about animal fads fleecing farmers, but this is a little different.  People are selling piglets to consumers with the understanding that they'll never get big.  And apparently it's been happening a lot -- the article linked below the picture claims 300,000 times -- and that's a big number.

If you've got an unwanted pig, there's an easy solution that is time tested.  Just eat it.   You don't need a rescue,  you don't need $400,000 in donations.  You don't need to think too hard about it.  Pork is delicious and if you can't do the deed... well, I'm sure there's a farm-kill guy out there that will take care of it for you.

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