I am an animal lover, which can be hard at times in this biz. As bittersweet as slaughter days are I usually maintain a level head and remind myself that this is their purpose and we take comfort in knowing we've given them great lives.
But for some reason I got attached to this little lady, who I named Skelly (short for Skeleton because of her skull-like markings). She was always the first to come running to see me and when the pigs made their way over near the house, I'd sit in the evening with a happy hour brew and my girl.
As slaughter day approached, I found myself dreading saying goodbye. We had raised plenty of pork this season, so the meat wasn't necessarily needed. Pigs aren't pets, so if she stuck around, she had to have a purpose - which meant we would need to breed her. I wasn't interested in having a boar around, but through the farm community on Instagram, I had seen other farmers have success with artificial insemination. I decided I'd give it a try so on the last pork processing day we sorted Skelly and her friend, Luna, out of the trailer (pigs don't like to be alone so we needed to keep at least two).
A few hours of instagramming, googling and youtube videos later - I had a plan. When the gals came into heat, I did my best attempt at AI-ing them, though I was not confident it had been successful. The only way I'd know was to wait three weeks and see if they came into heat again.
Well it's been nearly four weeks and neither pig has shown signs of heat. I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that they are bred and we'll be welcoming the first pigs born at Fair Valley Farm in about three months.
And with that I will leave you with a video of baby Skelly eating grass. I mean seriously, who could resist?! :)