Today was like no other day here at Spiral Ridge Homestead. The family had to move the boar pig out of the fencing system that houses the new piglets, their mama and another pregnant sow. There are several reasons to do this. First, boars have been know to hurt the young. So just in in case we needed to move him out and allow the sows to be mamas without old papa pig. The other reason we moved the boar was rather simple. We want to butcher him soon and since we did not castrate him he needs to at least be away from the females for 30 days. Boar taint is a musky smell that some boars have and can taint the meat. Boar taint is due to the testosterone levels that a boar has when a female is in heat. Our boar has no taint but we moved him anyway.
To move a 300 lb boar takes patience and all family members. As we got him out of the fence he went immediately to the rye that we sowed in the fall. As he enjoyed this sweet nutritious treat we slowly moved him up to the new paddock. This paddock is filled with rye, vetch and fescue. He will be in there for 30 days eating his heart out. Then we will butcher him here on the homestead with the intention to use every piece of him. No waste. This harvest of the pig will be a community affair. Our friends will be here to help in the process of harvest as well as the process of preparing head cheese, pate, lard, bone meal, bacon and cold smoked meats.
The new piglets are doing well. I am starting to observe behavior patterns even at this young age. We will carefully select one female from each litter to have as breeding sows for the next generation of our homestead pigs. The traits we are selecting for are friendly, good foragers/grazers, size up well, and if they train to a rope lead. These females will then be bred to a boar American Guinea Hog. The Guinea Hog is a small hog that has been used in the United States since Thomas Jefferson. We will start breeding the good qualities of red wattles and mule foots into a more small farmstead size pig. We will have Piglets for sale in 10 weeks or so. We can put you on the list.