Thursday, July 05, 2007

More about the pigs

We have been meaning to get pigs for ages - in fact there was a distinct possibility that we were turning into those irritating people who say they are going to do something and never ever get around to it. they just talk a lot.

I had begun to get worried that pig keeping was becoming trendy - Liz Hurley et al - and as I tend to run away from trends we decided that now is the time.

So we have 2 unnamed Oxford Sandy and Blacks - ideal outdoor pigs - who are living in our rough field alongside the chickens with an electric fence to stop them getting into the henhouse and eating the eggs.

They will be with us for only about 10 weeks at which point they will be the right size for slaughtering locally. we could keep them longer and feed them up but we would not be able to use the local abattoir.

I know that the idea of killing animals is a great problem for a lot of people and I think that, if you are a vegetarian then that is fair enough. But we eat meat and we want to know where our meat comes from, we want the animals to be treated well - and for a pig that means living outside with plenty of room to root and forage. We want the slaughter to be humane and not involve a lot of travelling. We want to be sure that every part of the animal is eaten - not just the chops and fillet. So yes - these will be destined for brawn - we respect them too much for anything else.

It will be interesting to see how the children cope - Zoe has said that she wants nothing to do with the pigs as she loves pork. My mother thinks she has bred a monster - my father wants some pork.

They seem to have settled in well but have spurned Euan's lovingly made pig house and are sleeping amongst the long grass under a broom tree.

For anyone local looking for organic outdoor reared pork I recommend Peter and Liz Candy at Easter Ballat Farm, Balfron Station - 01360 440 480.


Wizzard said...

Is that the Liz Candy that has an interest in drama?

Sew Recycled said...

How sweet! But also mmm yum yum. I love reading about how people go about rearing their own meat. Something we really want to do when we eventually move to a place with land. I hope it goes well and will be following with interest. Great tulips by the way, you will be spoilt for choice.

Jane said...

It is in fact the very same Liz Candy! - as well as running Theatre Broad she and her husband run an organic farm about 3 miles from me - they have vegetables, sheep, cows, pigs and chickens. Apart from the sheep the animals are run really like an expanded smallholding and the meat tends to get sold to veggie box customers - it is a closely guarded secret!
However they do sell to the general public and it is very good - proper old fashioned meat (i.e. full of flavour & fat).

Anonymous said...

thats lovley i love pork my grandad kept pigs many years ago its nice to know were your meat comes from and good luck send me a bit of crackling xx jep

Blossomcottage said...

We had two Pot Bellied pigs I bought them for my daughter, and we sold them with the house! to my knowledge one is till alive, she must be about 16years old now, no bacon butties for her. think I will apply to DEFRA and get paid for not keeping pigs seems like a good weeze to me. Your look lovely.

ChrisH said...

Well done, I think its the way to go if you have the space.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

When I was a child, we had pigs that were raised for our food. We were told they were not housepets, so at our tender age we didn't get too attached. The entire pig was used, and I remember the pork being the best tasting I ever had (especially the bacon, which was more like your bacon in the UK as opposed to our bacon here in the US). My grandmother even used the "odd bits" for her very frugal native Lithuanian recipes.

In hindsight, I prefer my meat to be home raised. I went to a commercial slaughterhouse once on a holiday and I almost became a vegetarian on the spot!

Vintage to Victorian said...

Perfect! My cousin used to keep Oxford Sandy and Blacks and I have to say that the meat is superb. The best pork ever. Wish you were nearer!

Gigibird said...

I think it's wonderful what your doing - although I'm not sure I wouldn't end up keeping them as pets....
I can't wait to see some yummy recipes from them:)

Raindrops said...

Love the pigs wish we could do the same. Bet the meat will be the best. Good luck with it all. Tricia

carolyn said...

I actually aplaud people who can do this even though I'm far too sentimental myself.

Tracy said...

i have been a strict vegetarian for many years but i applaud people who raise animals for there own meat - i believe it is the only way that animals can be happy and killed without stress.
it is the people who buy meat wrapped in plastic from a supermarket that has involved an animal being driven hundreds of miles and killed in an awful way, and then saying how they could not bear to kill an animal that they had looked after - it drives me mad.... i better climb off my box now before i fill your page!
tracy x

tash said...

I know there is alot of problems with killing pigs and the general slaughter rules in the UK - around us, hardly any (actually, sadly only one) abattoirs will do 'private kill' i.e. less than a few hundred animals, and you've got to be a pretty big operation to want to do that many. It's a sad fact that this is the future of farming, but publicising growing your own and rearing your own livestock is only a good thing. A mere 5 years ago we'd be painted as 'hippies' for having chickens and growing our own, but now we're respected for choosing a nicer (more ethical) path.


weirdbunny said...

Our children have no problem at all about killing our chickens for food, but then the've grown up with it since they were little.

Talking about irratating people who just talk about thinks but don't do them, I know exactly what you mean.

2 years ago the woodcutter bought all you need for bee keeping, the outfit the hives, the books and all the other bits and bobs, he spent a small fortune. However he has never got around to actually getting the bee's ! - love Julia x