Wednesday, April 6, 2011

P. Chop and Curly

This story would be much better if i had a before picture. Our son won a pig at the greased pig contest at the fair last fall. The pig was a lil weiner pig who weighed about 20 lbs. We have bought pigs before, but have never feed one out oursleves.

We were told the pig would do better with a "buddy" of some sort, and that another pig was best. This being a sheep ranch we were short on lil pigs so we went with the next best thing....a lil lamb.

The pig was named P. Chop and his first friend was named "Ed." Ed was born with neurological problems that left him with a stiff neck that he carried very low. Ed and P Chop were friends for a few weeks, but eating that good pig food made Ed to heavy for his damaged body. We had to slaughter Ed.

About this time we were selling our lambs, and there was one lamb that was just to ratty to put on the truck. No matter how nice a lamb crop you have there are always a few lambs who you just hate to admit came from your ranch.  This lil ewe lambs mother died so it was not all her fault, but she was a sorry lil lamb.

We named her "curly" because she had patches of wool missing and all around a sorry looking fleece. Curly and P.Chop became fast friends. They slept together, ate together and romped around their pen snorting and baaaing.

We don't feed any of our sheep grain. I was worried that Curly would bloat the wait she kept pace at the feeder with P.  Curly did not bloat and both animals grew well throughout the winter.

Each year we give a cut and wrapped lamb to my parents and to my brother and sister in law. My dad is old school and likes the older yearlings, we do too.   What he really likes is a grained lamb, but i never have the time to do that so he is more than happy with the yearling.  We also don't like the taste of a grained lamb.

This year dad gets his wish. Curly would not be suited for a breeding ewe.   My dad comes and helps with lambing each year so Curly was butched today so he can take the meat home with him. As you can see Curly is no longer a scruffy lil lamb.


P. Chop still needs another month of food and i think this cold spring has slowed his growth some, but he is a long way from 20 lbs.  Some friends asked if the kids would get attached to P.Chop and have trouble when it was time to slaughter him. This week our daughter went in to scratch  P's nose and talk to him, she then turned to me and said " his pork chops are going to taste great hu mom?!" 

 Nobody loves animals more that katy, but ranch kids are realistic about where food comes from. I admit i can see how people get attached to pigs. They have great personalities.  P.Chop was our first pig, but he will not be the last.



  1. "Bacon" and "Wilbur" are both in my freezer, rest their adorable little souls. They are much harder to slaughter than sheep.

  2. not coming from a farming background it is very hard for me to go that extra step of eating my own animals. Not sure if I ever will be able to. Still eating correctly raised meat right off the farm is a taste you can never buy in a supermarket and am hard pressed to have tasted when dining out. I think it is the most humane way to raise cramped trucks, no misery in a slaughter house through bad handling. Just "one bad day" is all they know. I think it is wonderful your children are able to detatch themselves from the animal and understand why you are doing what your doing with and for your animals. It is a wonderful glow for any parent who farms. Gold Stars to both of you!