We finished the first piglet from this August’s litter today.
With five of the original 11 piglets remaining, we still needed to thin the herd a bit heading into the winter. Also, we needed Thanksgiving dinner.
Now, while these wonderful creatures are technically still piglets, they are no longer the adorable little footballs they were back at the end of the summer.
They have grown up strong and healthy and, we were guessing, were hovering somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-70 pounds.
We were guessing incorrectly.
Weighing a pig is exponentially easier when the pig is dead and on a table than when the pig is wiggling and snorting and trying to eat the boots you’re wearing.
Once the piglet was rendered unwiggly and upon said table, we calculated her weight at a surprising 141 pounds! I was so sure that couldn’t be correct, I asked Dave to lift me, then the pig, to compare and see whether that could be possible.
Turns out, it was.
So, while a whole roasted suckling pig was our original plan for Thursday’s dinner, we now found ourselves with far too much pork for one meal.
We set to scalding and scraping. This is the most time-consuming, boring, messy, and tedious part of every Pig Day.
Dave set up our dedicated pig bathtub over a fire and, once the water was up to temperature, we submerged Miss Piggy into it to loosen the skin and hair and make scraping easier.
With bell scrapers and knives, we freed that lady from her porcine husk, leaving her as smooth as a baby and ready for evisceration.
We’ve done this frequently enough that the rest of the process went fairly quickly.
It had been our intention to finish two piglets today, leaving one of the remaining three to put on another hundred pounds or so, and the other two for winter breeding.
But Bubble (aka Mama pig) had other ideas about that plan.
I’ve mentioned before that pigs aren’t particularly sentimental.
The loss of one typically only means more food to those that remain. That being said, Bubble quickly figured out that the humans showed up and then one of her piglets went missing. As we tried to separate the second one, she became increasingly agitated and started behaving in a way that encouraged us to get the heck outta the pig enclosure tout suite.
So, we gave the no-longer-ill-fated piglet a one-month reprieve and a moldy baguette, and watched as it went wee-wee-wee-wee all the way home.