Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Three Little Piggies - Week 1

Basically, so far, so good. Everybody seems to be in good health and good spirits, and no one has tried to make a break for it yet, which is maybe the best news of all. The hotwire that Bill ran around the pen - maybe 6 inches off of the ground - seems to be more than enough to stem their curiosity of what lies beyond. The piglets aren't the only ones figuring out what hotwire is about, our puppy Penny seems to have learned the hard way that the pig pen is no place for a 7-pound morsel such as she. She's fine, but let out quite a yip upon encountering the wire.

As for feeding the pigs - that has been going well so far too. We went spelunking in the depths of our chest freezer for the freezer burned, forgotten and out-of-date items that have a way of accumulating in there. In just 7 days, the little porkers have cleaned us out of old bread, last years frozen goat milk, 3 1/2 year-old fruit (apparently `09 was a bumper year for blueberries) and some incredibly freezer burned fish. All mixed with a generous scoop or two of the leftover kid milk replacer powder that was leftover from this rocky kidding season that we've just come through. The pigs relish this mish-mash of half-frozen leftovers, and clean their trough of every last speck, every single time.


We do have a bag of Pig Chow that we've been mixing in with their slops now and then. At $13.99 per 50 pound bag though, we probably won't be feeding much if any more of it once that first bag is gone. Our goat milk and bakery outlet haul will make up the larger part of the piggies' diet, which will also be supplemented with garden gleanings and rejects, kitchen scraps, odd or elderly hard-boiled chicken eggs, and, if we get lucky, more imperfect produce generously given by our local grocery store.

We're really trying to keep the costs of our grass-to-bacon experiment as low as possible, so far, we've fed the pigs - our freezer gleanings (free), half a bag of kid milk replacer, which would have been wasted after having been opened to feed a baby buckling who didn't make it (about $8.00 worth), kitchen scraps (free), and about 1/2 of a 50-lb bag of pig chow ($7.00 worth), which brings our total feed cost so far, to $15.00, or roughly seventy-five cents per day, per pig.

Billy is picking up a new load of critter bread from the bakery outlet as we speak ($25.00), and we're presently trying to make a plan for starting to wean the goat kids, freeing the mamas' milk supply for our use in the kitchen and in soapmaking, and for sharing generously with our porcine pals. I'll be keeping a close watch on every penny spent on this piggy project, in order to determine just how much a pound of non-antibiotic saturated, happily wallowing, well-fed pork really costs.

We anticipate that our portly Three will be ready for harvest around late August/early September, but their size and weight will be the final deciding factor on just when Bacon Makin' happens, exactly. I look forward to the final crunching of numbers and cost/value analysis almost as much as I look forward to that first rack of ribs hitting the barbecue. This is food nerd nirvana. :)

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure the cost will be less than what you would pay per pound at a big supermarket or a Costco or Sam's, What you are getting is full control over what you are putting into your body,and that has high-value. So don't forget to add a column on your books for that :-)

    Great post. I enjoyed it.