Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The return of livestock to our lives.

I moved my pigs into a paddock that is right next to the county road, and had an unexpected result.  People drive to the farm and visit the pigs.  Not just some folks, but 30 to 50 a day.  I see them all day, out at the fence.   All ages, all combinations.  This couple were near the feeder and right after I took this photo reached through the fence and touched the back of one of the sows.  Not a mean gesture -- most Americans have never seen a pig up close.   You can see the backs of 3 sows just in front of them. 

Right now only 2% of the population are farmers, and that number is going down every day.  100 years ago it wasn't surprising that you lived with animals -- you had a horse that was your primary transportation.  if you wanted eggs, you kept chickens.  It wouldn't be unusual to find a dairy cow out back, if you liked milk, or a few pigs to provide your winter pork.   I'm not talking about pets, which are the modern thing, I'm saying that your life was much more involved with animals than most folks today imagine. 

I like seeing these folks out there.   I think that it's the way it used to be for thousands of years, and I think that we, as a race and a culture, miss it.


Angie said...

People would stop to look at mine too when they were right on the road, the most frequent thing i heard(they always shouted in amazement)was look at the size of those balls! I always laughed and still do thinking of it. My boar at the time was 600lbs, so you get the idea. I never had any actually get out of their car and touch one though, i don't think i would even like that. My pigs don't have a mean bone in them and i NEVER feed from my hand, but you just never know, plus they are contained with electric fence so maybe that deterred them.

T.J. said...

Hi Bruce, I just showed this post to my wife and we both agree with the fact that alot of people are interested in agriculture. We live in Iowa, an agriculture state, and since we have built our fence along our road people will just stop on the road with their vehicles and watch our meat goats out in their small pasture. Some people that walk or ride their bikes will go over to the fence and talk to them. It is kind of fun to watch the people interact with the animals. I bet if you could put a hidden camera with a microphone by the pig lot, you would here alot of crazy comments. Keep up the great work I always enjoy you're blog. It is the best one I have come across!

Bruce King said...

Hi TJ, I appreciate your compliment. thank you.

I was reading about an amish fellow who installed a vending machine to dispense grain, which could then be sent up to a rooftop pen for the goats. So people were paying to do his chore. Smart fellow.