We sold four of the piglets yesterday.
Once piglets are at least six weeks old, it is generally fine to separate them from their mama. Obviously, specifics need to be considered (e.g. we have one that is substantially smaller than the rest whom I wouldn’t sell until he grows a fair bit), but largely they have reached emancipation age by then.
Watching their behavior over the past month, it has been interesting to watch the mama go from Milk-Producing-Piglet-Feeding-Machine to Sure-I’ll-Nurse-You-But-There’s-A-Bucket-Of-Perfectly-Good-Food-Over-Here to Leave-Me-The-F*ck-Alone-You-Irritating-Little-Bastards-I’m-Trying-To-Eat.
The trajectory is fairly clear, even to the untrained eye.
So, when some lovely folks from a neighboring town expressed interest in three or four piglets, we were happy to oblige.
Knowing that yesterday would be the last day with ALL 11 piglets, I took some time to hang out with them in the afternoon. I’d been gone all day and was happy to have returned home in time to sit with them for a bit.
Mostly, they just tried to eat my boots and pants.
But it was really nice to watch them and see how they are thriving.
Knowing the horrors of how the vast majority of pigs are raised and treated in this country, taking some time to watch our happy pigs and piglets in their bucolic enclosure rooting mud and eating sticks (and my boots) was quite happy-making.
So, when the folks came to pick up the four who would be rehomed, it was only with the slightest twinge of sadness that we had to say goodbye.
And, while there was MIGHTY SQUEALING among the selected piglets during the getting-into-the-travel-crate process, and although Mama Pig became EXTREMELY AGITATED because humans were taking her piglets, all was smoothed over in the end with a delicious bucket of compost.
Because as much as Mama loves her babies, fewer piglets really just means more food for her.
And THAT’S what being a pig is really all about.