It seems there is some force in the universe that knows we are trying to do this farming thing. Not to say we are all that well prepared for it, but it is the end goal of our property. Part of farming, in my mind, is critters. We want several kinds; goats, horses, rabbits, turkey, etc. to go along with the chickens and ducks we have now. One that was being loosely discussed (but we were not clambering to go get) was pigs. That discussion has now changed, as there is an 11 day old piglet in my living room.
My sister knows a gentleman who works on a hunting ranch here in Texas. Hunting ranches are unique in that they raise game animals for the purposes of sport hunting. Often these are unusual animals or those that are non-native, but sometimes it includes local feral animals. In this case they had a litter of feral hogs. One of the males was smaller than the rest and not growing as quickly. Instead of facing a case of the mother pushing him out of the litter, or worse, they culled him and asked if anyone wanted him. He passed through several hands before coming to my sister, who called me.
Our last attempt at feeding an infant animal was a litter of rabbits the dogs and kids found. Those did not last very long, about 10 days for one of them. With that as a track record, I am a little nervous.
However, I think there are some significant differences, with this guy. First, we do know that he was able to suckle from his mother, at least for a few days. Also, he has already eaten from a bottle, so we are not trying to force something new on him. From what I’ve been reading, I think we will be able to teach him to eat from a bowl and not have to continue with the bottle for long.
The upsides are that he is cute, the dogs (especially our very mothering great dane) are not aggressive towards him, he is not so small that I feel the kids can’t handle him, this will offer the kids another experience with farm animals, and now we can decide if we will be interested in more pigs in the future.
I guess the Adventures in Farm Life continue….