For years now, I’ve wanted to raise pigs. I didn’t want to have a big production or anything, just one or two piggies for the meat. I even went so far as to spend hours talking pig details with our neighbors who butcher pigs every winter and know all things farm related. But my husband wasn’t on board. Pigs schmigs, he scoffed. You forget. I am not a farmer. Eventually, I dropped the subject.

And then one of my husband’s co-workers called him and said, “Hey! I’m on my way back from PA and I have pigs. Want some?”

And my husband was all like, “Whoa! That’s so cool! We should totally get some pigs!”

And I was like, “Huh? Are you saying something? Because there’s this buzzing in my ears.”

About twenty-four hours later, we said yes. And twenty-four hours after that, my husband hauled two pink piggies out of the back of the van.

All the kids were excited, ‘cept for my younger daughter. “I don’t want you to get pigs!” she hollered. “I don’t like meat! We need a new kitten! Wah-wah-wah!”

We’re planning—at this point, at least—to outsource the slaughtering, though the kids (minus the one) and I are lobbying to butcher at least one of the pigs ourselves. “Do it for the kids,” I hiss at my husband. “It’s their education. Just think of all they’ll learn!” So far, he’s remained unmoved. Then again, we have pigs, which is proof enough that there’s reason to hope (and keep badgering).

As is our custom, we’re doing everything backwards and wrong. The pigs are currently (and temporarily) bedded down in the garden, which is very taboo (bacteria-loaded poo and all that), and we don’t have a fence set up for them or easy access to water or anything else needed for raising pigs. But this is how my husband rolls. There must be a pressing need before anything gets done. Lucky us, two pooping squealers in the back yard makes for the best sort of pressing need.

Good thing they were his idea, not mine. I think we’ll be fine.

This same time, years previous: the creative norm, no buffer, and a fast update.


  • Rebecca

    Hurray for pigs! Well, honestly, hurray for pork. We did pigs last year and the final round-up into the stock trailer caused the hubs to say, with a steely glint in his eye, "Never again." Our own pork was so very delicious that he has relented and we have some piglets on the way. I think we ought to butcher one ourselves since my dad is here and can boss but since my assistance is mostly rendered (ha!) after everything is in a tidy package, I probably don't get a vote.

  • Karen

    But they're just so cute! My husband suggested raising a pig or two but I'm the one who can't bear doing that knowing the end result.
    Anyway, when I read this…"But this is how my husband rolls. There must be a pressing need before anything gets done."…I nodded my head in understanding. That's how my husband rolls too. Not that he's not busy & a super hard worker. It's BECAUSE he's always busy and a super hard worker that projects around our house are on the back burner until that pressing need sets in.
    Anyway, have fun with the piggies!

  • Anonymous

    We often raised pigs on our farm. My husband (an agriculture teacher) would use them after butchering as a demonstration of meat cutting in his classes. And we would cure and smoke our own bacon and ham. One of my delightful memories is of watching our 10 year old foster daughter capture one (was it Ham or Bacon?) and ride it around the yard.

  • Becky

    Piggies! I want a pig, but my husband says no. Says we don't have enough room. He's probably right. We have several friends that raise pigs – we've been lucky enough to see pigs being born during one visit to the farm.
    Although I have noticed my daughter's casual mention to friends that she's hand fed the sausage they are eating does tend to freak her friends out. My girl however, is horrified that anyone would eat an animal they weren't on a first name basis with.

  • Anonymous

    From (continuing) first-hand experience, pigs are tremendously fun. And, boy, are they smart. Once they learn a trick, you'll have to out-smart them to keep them from repeating it. The garden is a great place to keep them…temporarily. They're natural roto-tillers, so they'll make short work of the whole plot. They'll also make short work of the fence in the pictures, if they've such a mind and get a little bored. But you have hog experts within calling distance, so you'll be fine. Enjoy raising those porkers!

Leave a Comment