The Pig Man Cometh

Sep
22

Updated to add: This is a real farm and the subject of this post is a real castration. Photos may be too graphic for some readers.


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The pig man came out to “cut” (castrate) Sausage this weekend. He brought the wife and daughter. Cutting pigs is a family affair. Even Jack was interested. Till the screaming started.
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There was a lot of screaming.
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And I mean SCREAMING.
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If we had any neighbors, they would have been calling the police, sure there was a mafia mass hit going on over here. I haven’t heard so much screaming since the last time I watched a horror movie. Pigs can SCREAM.
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I’m not sure if he was actually in that much pain. He started screaming as soon as the pig man picked him up, long before the knife got involved. But Sausage is a boy and we don’t want Sausage and Patty making any bacon bits, so it was off with his package whether he liked it or not.
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Notice the pig man’s daughter, a true farm girl, right in there with the pig and all the screaming. She’s been there, done that, and knows exactly what to do and isn’t too squeamish to do it.
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I think Morgan was up in her room styling her hair or something.
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The purple spray is an antiseptic.
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He offered up Sausage’s package for our dining pleasure, suggesting we take it up to the house and fry it. He said they are delicacies and people eat them, just like they do calf nuts.
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We said, uh, you can have it!
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He gave it to Boomer.

We had rings put in both pigs’ noses, too. With rings, we can pasture them and they won’t be able to root and dig out under the fences.

Pigs aren’t dumb.

Sausage, to Patty: “My name’s Sausage, your name’s Patty. I say we make a break for it.”

I don’t like keeping animals confined. Right now, Sausage and Patty are in a pen in the meadow bottom. A comfy pen on a shady rise by the creek with lots of fresh vegetables from the farmers market and dry straw regularly bedded down, but I still don’t like it. I want them on pasture. We’ve got a bit more securing to do to the fences and gates to make sure they can’t get out–they’re still not that big–but hopefully soon they will be out in the fresh grass. Sausage and Patty are late spring babies, so they won’t be ready for……(I can hardly say it)….the FRYING PAN!! till January. We’re planning to trade one of them for some farm-fresh beef and lamb.
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I try to not look them in the eye…………..

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on September 22, 2009  

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  1. 9-22
    2:28
    am

    …one word – OUCH! Do they give the animals anything to numb them up or deal with the pain? It’s just aweful to think about… I could NEVER be a farmgirl. Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept – just don’t have the guts for it… that and I am really afraid of spiders, lol.

  2. 9-22
    3:10
    am

    Electric wire to reinforce the strong fencing. It’s the only thing a pig will really respect. Then you wouldn’t have had to put rings in their noses and they could be put in areas you actually want them to root around and work up. I guess if you are putting them out in pasture with the donkey and sheep then that is ground you don’t want them to dig up.

    Keep an eye out for any signs of infection in the castrated guy. He is looking good. Nice and fat looking little guy. But they do have some growing to do to get to a decent butchering size. Hopefully, they will take off growing in length soon. You are going to have some great tasting pork there. Think sausage, bacon, ham, lard for pies, not to mention, chops, roasts, stir fries, etc. Isn’t a pig amazing. So many different delicious meals. You are giving them a much better life than if you purchased the meat in the store from a confinement grown hog. The only way to avoid death in animals is not have any (they all die someday even if they aren’t intended for the table).

    Locally raised lamb, oh boy are your going to love that too! Sooooo much better than the stuff in the store.

  3. 9-22
    3:30
    am

    That was both an educational & funny article! Thank you for taking me back to my childhood…& I agree, pigs can SCREAM!
    You’re blog is superb & I truly enjoy reading what you have to say!God bless!

  4. 9-22
    3:49
    am

    Um – I don’t want to split hairs here, but you’re supposed to grab a pig by the hind leg, not be the ears. You can cause damage to the ears which could create problems later with an injury that could potentially cause some infection. The ear will swell if injured and can become infected, and have to be lanced, etc, and sometimes medication is involved. Sorry, I just thought I’d bring this up for future reference. Glad you go Sausage cut, so you don’t have any piglets.

  5. 9-22
    5:00
    am

    This is one reason I am not a farm girl. I do not think I could stand and listen to a pig scream. They get to me when they start doing that at the county fair. lol.

  6. 9-22
    5:48
    am

    Boy does this ever bring back memories! I was that farm girl once. Yes those pigs scream bloody murder. lol

    We’re getting ready to order both a pig and a lamb in October.

  7. 9-22
    6:04
    am

    Another farm girl here – ahhhhhh the memories – castrating in hundred degree heat. Blood, sweat and screams. :pirate:
    But now its done. Yay!!! :hungry:

  8. 9-22
    6:34
    am

    I’m saving this post until the hubby needs a reminder of where he lands in the pecking order in this house! He sometimes forgets who rules the roost. This will bring him up short!!

  9. 9-22
    6:36
    am

    I’m so glad our male pig was done before we brought him home! Our pigs are a good bit bigger, and one of them got out the other day when I was feeding them! I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the gate because it’s usually such a scuffle at the trough, I didn’t imagine one would try to get out. That was quite the scene trying to get her back into the pen. She refused to be bribed with food since she found so much fresh greens outside the pen. We had to lasso her and get her back in. Once the rope was around her neck, though, she started running, and I do mean running, for the pen nearly dragging me along with her. We really should have some of these things on video. Much greater care is used now when entering the pen for feeding!
    ~Jenny~

  10. 9-22
    6:39
    am

    I can do everything but raise an animal for butchering. I own 1/3 of a cow with some friends, on someone else’s property. I have not seen the cow, and I told them I did not even want to know what color it was. The friend told me, “It’s medium rare.”

    I was okay with that.

  11. 9-22
    6:47
    am

    Ah, am I the only one who only sees ONE ‘package’? Aren’t there supposed to be two? The pig man did cut off two, didn’t he? I’d hate to think poor Sausage went through all that for nothing and doubt you’d be happy with piglets after all…

  12. 9-22
    6:49
    am

    The only thing missing is Dueling Banjos!!! :lol:

  13. 9-22
    6:49
    am

    He picked that up off the ground to show us. I figure the other one was there somewhere….in Boomer’s mouth.

  14. 9-22
    6:51
    am

    one word: vegetarian :yes: :yes: :yes:

  15. 9-22
    6:51
    am

    :hungry: Wow! It’s a good thing I’ve already had my coffee this morning! Only one thing keeps going through my mind, Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web. You guys are now going to eat him after torturing him???? That is MEAN! Just kidding. I hope he’ll be tasty! :shroom:

  16. 9-22
    6:56
    am

    In 2001, while driving on the interstate in eastern North Carolina, I made eye contact with a pig that was inside a tractor trailer with his cell-mates. It’s what sealed my decision to become a vegetarian.

  17. 9-22
    7:08
    am

    I can relate to the whole pig story. My son wanted a pig for a pet…so we brought home a little bitty oinker. He was cute. He grew. And grew. And grew some more. At the end of 4 years he was topping off at 1000 lbs. and STILL growing. Our mistake was that we HAD named him (Arnold) looked him in the eye…many times! We thought about bacon and ham, but then we’d see him looking at us. Unable to keep him any longer due to his size, we found a farmer in Lancaster who rescues pigs from the slaughter house and lets them live their little piggy lives in peace and harmony. Thats where Arnold is right now…..living in peace and harmony in Lancaster. :)

  18. 9-22
    7:10
    am

    Oh, forgot to mention. The “Pig Man” cometh for Arnold before he left for Lancaster. Did you ever see a 1000 pound pig casterated? I have video. :)

  19. 9-22
    7:24
    am

    We had pigs on the farm we had. Butchering day was really something. I managed to just HEAR about it from my husband. I was early for work that day, didn’t want to be around all the, uh, mess!

    Didn’t mind frying up the bacon, tho!

  20. 9-22
    7:32
    am

    Pigs scream in advance! Paves the way for more screaming!

  21. 9-22
    7:50
    am

    This is why it’s best not to name animals you intend to eat.

  22. 9-22
    8:27
    am

    This was the funniest (bacon bits) and grossest blog ever! Still chuckling. Read it to my husband who didn’t get the funny!!!

  23. 9-22
    8:29
    am

    Please keep them together!
    It will break their hearts to someday be separated.
    Please, Please, Please………

  24. 9-22
    8:38
    am

    Yes, they are staying together! When I said we were trading one for some beef and lamb, I meant after the death do them part occurs….. They won’t care if they’re separated then.

  25. 9-22
    8:54
    am

    Reminds me of the first time we had pigs. Their names: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
    :)
    Breakfast was one yummy pig – we sold the others at butchering time.

  26. 9-22
    9:12
    am

    What a great blog on real farm life. I remember having a neighbor come in to do all of our male hogs and he was really good at it. Jimmy used the spray also and we never had an infection. I swore I would never it the first one we killed, Herbie was his name, but then when Mom cooked the smoked porkchops; the smell of smoked pork chops was too much to resist. I once again became a high protein eater.

  27. 9-22
    9:16
    am

    Oh no! Please don’t eat Sausage and Paddy! Just go to the supermarket instead!
    :hissyfit:

    Juli

  28. 9-22
    9:18
    am

    Oh my…now I see what we’er in for if we get pigs eventually. I guess I better toughen up if I want this place to be a real farm one day! I love your pigs names Suzanne…perfect! I’ve been enjoying your other articles from the past…what a ‘hoot’ LOL…I love your writing style…you make me laugh and that’s a great way to start the day! Maura

  29. 9-22
    9:33
    am

    Yes it’s crazy how loud pigs can scream and squeal and you haven’t even touched them yet, you’re just trying to catch them. LOL! You’re piggies are just gonna love the pasture. They’ll have a nice life until it’s market time. Lucky piggies!

  30. 9-22
    9:41
    am

    Wow I really wish you would have put some kind of warning on this post. There are some things I don’t ever need to see.

  31. 9-22
    10:21
    am

    Rule #1 of farm life. DO NOT name animals that you are going to EAT!I believe that God gave them to us for eating but I prefer
    pork chops to be nameless. lol

  32. 9-22
    10:23
    am

    OK…a little warning about graphic nature or animal abuse or something…next time please, geeze…poor little Sausage

  33. 9-22
    11:21
    am

    I grew up on a farm, and I know how it’s done. But quite frankly, I was never so glad/relieved to move to town and find fresh meat already in a package. It’s hard to raise live animals for food. The reason we have commercial farms and slaughter houses is the fact that most folks just don’t have the guts for it, and they don’t have the taste buds to become vegans either. That’s my plight. As hard as that castration was to watch (without anethesia), home farms are much kinder to food animals than commercial. I think I know where your heart is Suzanne, and I think you are going to have a lot of trouble eating that particular pig…especially, if you do the slaughter at home. I’ve seen that too, and for a kid, it was really HARD to eat tenderloin for breakfast the next morning knowing it was THE pig I had carried food to and talked to every day. I miss a lot of the serene country life on a farm, but slaughter day ain’t one of them. If I were you, I’d trade that pig too.

    Unless…and here’s your challenge:

    You can watch him shot between the eyes with a 22 rifle, his throat cut before he hits the ground, and see him wenched up to a strong tree limb with a block and tackle to “bleed out” before he’s dipped in a 55 gallon barrel of boiling water so you can scrape the hair off his body and gut him. (Imagine Springsteen singing “Gory Days” in the background. You’ll need some kind of distraction.)

    If you can do that, I’ll applaud you and congratulate you for becoming a real farm girl. But remember…you still have to EAT that pig! :pinkpig: Trust me,it will be much better and easier going down if it’s a pig you don’t know. BTW, if you do manage that, I love your blog, but PLEASE don’t take pictures. The ones emblazoned in my memory are quite enough.

    I’d have been better off starring in a Disney movie where I helped all the animals escape (and disappear) on the eve before slaughter day.

  34. 9-22
    11:26
    am

    I think that buying meat from the grocery store just encourages people to eat more of it. I think we eat FAR too much meat and that if we are to respect them a bit more for what they do for us–we won’t be nearly as likely to consume unsubstainable amounts. I commend you and all of you that have enough land to grow your own food, but to supply your own meat–WOW. Farming isn’t all pretty, but oh it tastes so much better!

    LOL Bacon Bits LOL :pinkpig:

  35. 9-22
    11:46
    am

    I kind of feel bad for you Suzanne–a few weeks ago, somebody said that you were not doing things right because you were collecting more animals than what one of your bloggers thought you could manage. And here you are demonstrating how it is done to prevent future pigs from being born–that would obviously have problems since they are siblings and people are still critical. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    Now I am mad, just a tad. Wake up people: The cow doesn’t grow in cellophane wrap–it was alive once too. At least on a small farm, the animals get fresh grass and love and attention. Take a look at your food supply for a minute and thank Suzanne for teaching those of us who what to be sustainable and responsible how to do these things that we grew up with, but have forgotten how to do. Shame on you. :pinkpig: :pinkpig: Thank you Suzanne and please post future posts that give us the lowdown on what to do and expect.

  36. 9-22
    12:03
    pm

    Oh Suzanne! This post brings back memories…My neighbors raised pigs one year and when the pig man cometh and the screams began I ran from room to room of my house to try and escape the pitiful cries to no avail!! To this day I am still haunted by the cries of those poor pigs!!! Why can they not be sedated? :cry: :cry: :hissyfit:

  37. 9-22
    12:25
    pm

    I used to raise pigs and help castrate them. But my husband says ‘no way’ to keeping pigs today!

  38. 9-22
    12:29
    pm

    I can’t believe some of the comments on here from people upset because of the pictures today. Hey this is a Blog about a woman on a FARM trying to be more self sufficient and doing what she has to do to keep this farm running smoothly. A lot of you people who follow Suzanne’s Blog seem to be ‘dreamers’ wishing they could live the ‘farm life’…well today you just got a taste of reality on the farm. It’s time to ‘grow up’ and accept that there are going to be things done on this farm that you don’t like…but it MUST be done. I’m glad you showed the pictures Suzanne..I’ve never seen that done before and it didn’t look as bad as I thought it would. One day down the road when we get pigs…at least I’ll know what to expect. Thank you! I hope you’ll keep the pictures coming and that you won’t let some of the comments change the way you want to present your life to us. This is exactly why most of us can’t wait to start our day with you!

  39. 9-22
    12:53
    pm

    GROSE!!!! I hope he NUMBED that pig first!!! Poro thing. :cry: Is that box to the left of cucumbers and tomatoes, his PAY? LOL LOL I laughed at the “no bacon bits” and Morgen was up in her room, styling her hair or something. LOL well, it was INFORMATIVE anyway. LOL P.S. – thank you for the Bourbon Balls candy info – I would love to try those – just haven’t had Bourbon and didn’t want to make a whole batch, and then not like them…and first do a batch with Rom or something, that I KNOW I like.

  40. 9-22
    1:05
    pm

    Wow I hoped they numbed him, poor guy. It may cost a little more but I think you should take him to a vet put him under, pain free and then fix him. The screaming pig would haunt me for years. I love your website but this was just too much for me.

  41. 9-22
    1:05
    pm

    I have a potbellied pig as a pet and I am impressed with this pigman. Full-grown, our little Burger is about 50 lbs, and it looks like these piglets are already that size. I couldn’t imagine trying to flip him on his back and keep him down these days, he is too strong and energetic. When we got Burger fixed, it was in a farm-area animal hospital but the old dude who did him could have been Suze’s pigman’s dad or grampa and he looked like he might have done it with his pocketknife. I didn’t watch.
    I do eat pork but I ask Burger not to watch.

  42. 9-22
    1:39
    pm

    I really enjoyed your site,just found it a number of weeks ago and check everyday to see if you have a new post.When I saw this post it was so disturbing.I am very disappointed that something like this was posted.We know where our food comes from,but it was unnecessary to post the vivid account with pictures.I have been telling my family about your animals and your site,which I enjoyed.Now,I’m going to have this on my mind all day,thanks,wish there could have been a warning at the start of the post.

  43. 9-22
    2:09
    pm

    My Aunt Joy used to grow out pigs for our clan since she was the only one that lived on a farm. I loved feeding the cute little piglets and each time this city girl would go visit I’d watch them being pigs, wallowing in mud. Then in late fall when we’d go Daddy and his brothers would do the dirty deed and slaughter them. It wasn’t long before that delicious sausage would be fried up with eggs and biscuits. I don’t remember ever picturing their faces on the patties…

  44. 9-22
    2:25
    pm

    Lordy people, what did you think a castration was going to involve? Farm life isn’t all flowers, kittens and baby chicks.

    Anyway, when we had our pony colt gelded, the vet told us that it’s supposed to be good luck to throw the testicles over the barn roof. Ever heard that one?

  45. 9-22
    2:34
    pm

    My husband and I raised some pigs. This was one of the ugly parts of living on a farm.

  46. 9-22
    3:22
    pm

    If pig nuts are as good as mountain oysters you passed up a delicacy. I grew up a city girl wannabee farm girl, and the first time I tasted mountain oysters I loved em. When my mil got too old to clean them I learned how to do it myself. Delicious.

  47. 9-22
    4:29
    pm

    Good on you Suzanne, no bacon bits. I was raised on a farm and one of the earliest memories I have is getting to hold Daddy’s “cuttin” knife, opened no less. I was a big dog that day. It wasn’t a pig, but it works much the same way for calves.
    I never had a problem eating what we raised. The best fried chicken I ever ate was a rooster that had chased me and pinned me against the back door, floggin me the whole time.
    My daddy also worked for a time on a cattle ranch and every year at brandin, doctorin time, they would have a calf fry that evenin. There would be at least 2 or 3 5 gallon buckets full of Mountain Oysters to clean and fry up. Yum.
    I know some people would not enjoy seeing the “ugly” side of farm life and that’s ok. But please do not put anyone down that is showing how it really is. I saw the warning at the top of the post. Off my soap box now. Good Eats Suzanne.

  48. 9-22
    5:15
    pm

    “Wilbur” is living down here in Murfreesboro, TN on Mr. Batey’s farm. After his brush with Hollywood and his 15 minutes of fame, Mr. Batey was fixing to serve him up as sausage. Mrs. Batey said no you’re not and so Wilbur lives a life of luxury on the farm. I’m not sure what Mr. Batey may still be in the dog house over that one. Enjoyed the blog today, BTW.

  49. 9-22
    6:05
    pm

    I can’t believe some of these comments…you did the right thing Suzanne (not wanting bacon bits!) I saw the warning at the beginning of your blog and chose to read it and am glad I did read it. This may not seem like a humane thing to do, but it is…it just is. It has been done forever, and even though most of us don’t see it actually being done, it has to be done. You go girl, you are doing the right thing!

  50. 9-22
    6:11
    pm

    P.S. I think the “screaming” may have been what really got to some, but heck, remember “Arnold” on Green Acres? He screamed a lot for no reason, and I remember when you first got Sausage and Patty and how you didn’t want to try to catch them because of the screaming.

  51. 9-22
    6:14
    pm

    Oh Girl! I couldn’t look! :pinkpig: I made the mistake of watching Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs do that to a sheep. I’m still discusted with it and I don’t think I’ll be able to look at Mike that way again!

    :wave:

  52. 9-22
    6:16
    pm

    That reminds me of when I was a little girl on the farm and my dad and uncle would put the pigs rings in. I’d go behind the barn wall where the pigs were and scream at the top of my lungs to see if I could scream louder than the pigs. I could not.

  53. 9-22
    6:52
    pm

    Suzanne, I admire all that you do on your farm to be self-sufficient. I wish I could do half the things you do. I was raised on a farm and we had pigs for a few years. I don’t remember castration time, but I do remember how loudly they squeal.

  54. 9-22
    9:00
    pm

    It seems I’ve noticed none of the cats are spayed/neutered, I know they catch mice etc… but why not “fix” them?
    And, Pigs scream for a reason, you’d scream too, if someone tackled you and cut you balls off.

  55. 9-22
    10:11
    pm

    I’m finding the comments hilarious! I so hope you ignore the negative ones and keep on posting more about your pigs. I’m just curious, are you not going to breed the mama, for more piggies?

  56. 9-22
    11:58
    pm

    I so agree with all the comments about how much more these piggies enjoy life.
    Like somebody else said..for every piece of meat..an animal died, so don’t fool yourself that is it comes in a plastic wrap it is ok and what Susanne does isn’t!!
    We castrate the bulls in the spring (cousins farm) and yes we castrate our cats too.
    That is a 3 minute job…and done before they realize what hit them.

    Our turkeys are going to be butchered in 2 weeks (thanksgiving is in October in Canada) they had an awesome life, with veggies, room to roam indoor and outdoor etc, I;m pretty sure, the Turkeys you buy in the store are raised quite different.

    Keep on going Suzanne.

  57. 9-23
    4:20
    am

    ALL of my cats are spayed/neutered.

  58. 9-23
    12:17
    pm

    I’m a farm-raised girl and I still live on a farm! I’ve been the holder many times growing up while my Dad (or Mom) did the cutting. This has to be done to eat the meat otherwise it tastes awful or if you decide not to eat it, you have a HUGE stinky (sometimes mean) boar hog living on your little farm. Each and every one of the hogs that made the pork chops and bacon on the store shelves went through this at some time or another.

    Thanks for posting the “real” stuff Suzanne. I love your blog!

  59. 9-23
    12:19
    pm

    Hi Suzanne:

    I applaud you for you blog and your farm life. I was raised in town, but a lot of my adult life has been working with livestock. I hate to say that I worked in a hog confinement setting for about 9 years, but learned so much about handling pigs. And worked a little at the University farm. There are things that HAVE to be done when you are raising livestock. I, too, hope that you ignore the negative comments that some folks have written. Your blog is about REAL life on a farm, and I love hearing about it since someday I would love to own a little property with many animals. I can learn a lot from you and also enjoy in your daily activities. THANK YOU!! and YOU GO GIRL!!!

  60. 9-23
    2:53
    pm

    We are getting a couple of pigs soon. The kids think it is funny to come up with names for them. We have thought of Wilbur and Babe, too nice though. Crispy and Crunchy. Ham and Bone. I know there were others, can’t think of them right now.

  61. 9-23
    6:09
    pm

    We had pigs when I was a kid–Sir Francis Bacon and Lady Olivia de Roast, Pork Chop, and Sweet and Sour Pork. My parents believed their daughters should know from the get-go that the sweet little piglets would be on the dinner table by autumn. Since the pigs became less and less friendly as they grew up, I don’t think we minded. :)

  62. 9-24
    8:09
    am

    OK…I am guessing my comment about graphic nature was taken the wrong way….just teasing…lighten up peps… :lol:

  63. 9-24
    8:58
    am

    We raised pigs for a while. My daughter loves animals. So I expected it may be hard on her. We told our daughter (age 4- a the time) that we were raising them to eat. We explained to her where bacon from the store comes from, and that animals should be raised with kindness and compassion but there comes a time for them to pull their own weight at the farm, which is to provide food for our family. It didnt seem to bother her. Breakfast morning she said, “Moma, our pig sure does taste good”!

  64. 1-22
    1:34
    am

    I just came across this post as one of the “more posts you might enjoy.” You know, I had livestock in highschool-not too long ago- and this was my livestock too, not my fams, but just mine, and I do not remember ever castrating my pigs. I guess it had been done before I got them or maybe they were made into dinner before it was necessary …? I have, however, castrated bull calves and banded sheep, much the same way Annabelle’s tail was banded (we did tails and testicles at the same time).

    I laughed out loud at the people who suggested a vet and sedation, mostly because that’s what a vet would do if you suggested it- Laugh out loud. At you.

    Way to go Suzanne for being one of the people who understands that 15 minutes of a crappy day is worth the other benefits it provides those animals. Poor people: “Oh, I could never eat those (poor, well-cared for, free-range, organic) animals; I get all my meat at the store.” Yep- those animals-also castrated- and living horrible lives in tiny, filthy, cement cages. I hope someday I can be self-supporting and practice sustainable farming like you. For now I have to content myself with buying from those who do and are.

    I simply love this blog.

  65. 4-8
    11:15
    pm

    “Anyway, when we had our pony colt gelded, the vet told us that it’s supposed to be good luck to throw the testicles over the barn roof. Ever heard that one?”

    I’d hate to be on the receiving end (on the other side of the barn) of that one. :bugeyed:

    My husband is making me put this joke on here…now, be warned, it won’t be for all…

    There is a Frenchman working for a farmer. One day, they are castrating the bull calves. That night for supper they had beef fries. A few days later, they castrate their pigs. That night, they have pork fries for supper. The next day, they finish chores early and the farmer tells the Frenchman he can go in early and get ready for supper. A few minutes later, the Frenchman comes running out of the house, jumps in his truck and drives away. The farmer asks his wife why he left so quickly. His wife says, she doesn’t know but that he asked what was for supper and she had replied french fries.

    I warned you. ;)

  66. 4-8
    11:20
    pm

    Up here, they band both piglets and calves when they are very young. It depends on the farmer, but usually calves – 3 days to 3 months, and piglets within the first week.

    The pigs will scream even if you touch them. It has nothing to do with castration. Banding is much simpler…something similar to docking lamb’s tails.

  67. 7-30
    9:49
    am

    I can understand not wanting extra sausages around but man that’s gota hurt. :cry: :hug: :pinkpig:

  68. 10-16
    1:23
    pm

    I am so happy to read this cite. We too are starting a small farm in GA, I have a few muscovy ducks, chickens and pigs at the moment. We are expecting our first litter of piglets at the end of the year! We were just discussing the fact that we will have some castrating to do here and are not sure if we should hire someone to show us the first time or read up on it and do it ourselves. We have a pig that was the runt that I saved that had already been castrated when I got him he is growing but very slow. he will be going to slaughter soon.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Emma D.

  69. 7-24
    3:39
    pm

    I’d be interested to know how old Sausage was. I’ve moved from the UK to France and it seems different countries have differnt policies for castrating animals. Here(France) Pigs are done within a week (very fiddly!) Very interesting article – good for you to put it up.

  70. 7-24
    3:45
    pm

    Lizt, usually you do it within the first few months. Not within a week, though! Well, we’ve never done it within a week and I don’t know anyone who has done it that early. I didn’t know you could do it that early. I’ll remember that. Thanks.

  71. 7-25
    1:31
    am

    Suzanne, thank you so much for your blog! As someone in the process of beginning a small homestead farm of my own with very little experience (only some farmer friends), I so value the honesty of your posts and lack of sugar coating about what needs to be done and the less blissful aspects of farm life. This particular post was very enlightening and although I already know I am too weak yet to even consider raising pigs, I will at least know what to expect in the event I am stronger in the future. Reading your blog with my morning coffee is one of the highlights of my day. Thank You! :D

  72. 10-7
    6:38
    pm

    I am a city person, thru no fault of my own. But , can somebody tell me how that sweet Sausage isn’t biting that lovely industrious man in the butt? He’s sitting on the pigs chest, I see that…but when he leans forward to do the , um…extrication, then doesn’t that give Sausage some motivation to up and attempt an ‘eye for an eye’ maneuver ?
    just wonderin’
    Suzanne, I love this stuff. I know that the reason we aren’t as aware of what we eat, or allow all sorts of chemicals and junk in our food growing culture is beCAUSE we don’t know what it means to do it the right way. We got duped along the way.
    laur

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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