Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Observing Pigness

The first task I jumped into on my first morning at Polyface was helping get ready to take pigs to pasture! 

One of the properties where Polyface raises pigs
Pigs "piggerating"
I've heard Joel talk lots about letting animals express their unique-ness. Polyface even has a t-shirt that says, "I respect  the pigness of the pig." Allowing animals to "express" themselves means allowing them to do what they love to do - what God has designed them to do. Pigs love to roll in freshly turned dirt. They love to root with their snout. They especially love finding and crunching acorns! During the winter months the pigs at Polyface use their snouts to turn composting carbon.

 In the spring, the pigs - large and small, are turned out into pasture to allow them to continue expressing their pigness. Here the pigs can root, roll, and eat acorns, grass and grubs to their hearts' content! The pigs are still offered free choice grains and plenty of fresh water. I got to help set the paddock for the delivery of the piggies. We set up an 80 gallon drinker with a float valve, placed and filled the feeder, and made sure the electric fence was hot. 

Corn is laid between layers of carbon so that the pigs search for it.

A few days after the farm manager and apprentices dropped off the pigs, I went back to make sure everyone was happy! ...Plenty of water, plenty of food, lots of grass, everyone looks good! It's a good way to end a day!
Preparing to take the pigs to pasture.

Stay tuned! There's a post coming about chickens, too!

No comments: