True North is:

My photo
Michigan, United States

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pigs on Parade

The big moment has finally come to fruition at True North, and although to some this may seem a small event or even something blasé, for us it is a monumental occurrence. Our two feeder pigs have arrived.
Our excitement stems from a number of different reasons: like the fact that we have never raised anything remotely close to livestock or have had to so fully prepare in order to be able to provide for such creatures. In fact, the amount of time we have spent on education, research, and construction of their living area has been both exhausting and exhilarating. Yet, ultimately the arrival of these two animals heralds a gigantic step for us on our journey to self reliance. To be able to raise one's own for them, feed them, and yes, slaughter them so as to provide food for your family is, to us, the quintessential meaning of self sufficiency.
We have only had the pigs for a few days now, and to be honest, all the work was in the preparation. The actually day to day care for them has been relatively easy. Each day I make sure they have clean fresh water, and feed twice a day. Other than that they..are, well...self sufficient. We had heard more than a few stories about pig's abilities to escape from their pens but thus far ours don't seem interested in escaping. i hope this holds true for the duration of their stay with us.
All of us have so far adapted well to them being here. me and Melissa have been planning for this for so long it's almost like we were holding our breath and now that they are here we can breath again. Gabrielle understands what we're doing and the purpose of the pigs, but on more than one occasion I've heard her say "Geez...why do they have to be so cute?" As far as our pets go; the cat doesn't even know they exist, and our dog Gypsy has only seen and heard them from a distance. She does seem very interested in what lies beyond that fence though. Maximus, our 'Little boy' as we affectionately call him, is another matter altogether.
Maximus already has an identity crisis. Obviously he's a dog, but we think he wants to be a 'real boy', and he interacts with the cat so much that he has picked up some kitty like tendencies. Now, enter the pigs...
At the first chance he had he ran into their pen and greeted them with as much enthusiasm as he could, and believe me, for a little dog he has a lot. The pigs regarded him with indifference at first, but now, after only a few days we believe max thinks he's a pig, and they see him as a small but suitable friend. He gets in their house (when they let him), steals food from their trough, ruts around trying to find out what in the earth they find so good, and has even snorted once or twice in their presence. I know for a fact that if we let him, he would sleep with them...nestled in the warm straw alongside his new found brethren. Honestly, only a pig could understands Max's relationship with food.
In my next post I'll elaborate more on the building of their pen and house, but for now here are some pictures...hope you enjoy.


  1. Congrats on the new additions to the ranch, if it were me though, I would try not giving them names, if you know what I mean. lol. I guess it don't matter. I hav'nt had much to do with pigs, but good luck with them, it will be interesting to see there progress and yours. Who knows, maybe someday I too will become a pig rancher. Later.

  2. lol...Yeah we decided that calling them anything but "pig" would be a bad idea.

  3. Hi Patrick,
    I am new here, so I say hello first. My name is Bob from Sterling Heights.
    I am curious about the feed costs. Is it worth it?

  4. I love em...they are cool. You need to start building your cooking pit though. Nothing like a good old pig roast. yum yum...bring on the bacon.