We set out on this new homestead adventure ALL-IN. Our first procurement were chickens. I suppose we decided this was too “easy” and we immediately moved onto pigs. Yep. You heard me, simple to something over 500 pounds. We started with TWO.
These sweet girls were about 2-3 months old when we brought them home. Funny thing, we were still living in our HOA just outside the city on 2 acres. It was about this time we decided our HOA was going to have a huge issue with our newly found “lifestyle”. We put our home on the market and it literally sold for cash within 2 days! Holy crap! Where do we move? What are we buying? The race was on to find the perfect place where we could grow our newly started animal family and save the 1k yearly dues. (It’s quite lovely to not pay HOA dues anymore and I would never buy property again where we are told how/what we can have or do)
We moved the girls into the backyard and quickly learned they are better tillers than you can purchase at the store. Their entire yard was dug up within a matter of days. So? We found our homestead, simply by our pig purchase. We looked everywhere and finally found something we now call the MmmHomestead. Our original plan was to source the girls for meat but hey, we are ambitious! We decided to purchase a third (Did I mention we are crazy?) pig. This lil’ fella we call “Jimmy Dean”. He was about 12 weeks old in the photos below.
This guy has grown incredibly fast. He’s already as large as the girls, even though they are over a year apart. Well? He definitely knew his job and went to it rather quickly.
Well? Applesauce fell in love. Those two were inseparable, literally. We kept Jimmy separated from the girls until we felt he was old enough/big enough to not get kicked out of the feed trough. They integrated nicely and have lived as three for a good six months. We’ve seen him “attempt” to be the man and mount the girls. Applesauce seems to be most receptive. Pork Chop, let’s just say if she doesn’t get with the program, she is going to have another destiny in the near future. The one thing we have always said about the girls, was their disposition is so gentle and calm. We wanted that with our breeder pigs.
Applesauce got pregnant! 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days for pigs to give birth. We had NO idea how pregnant she was, since we keep them all together. Soon as we saw milk coming in and her teets dropping? Time to build another fence and pig area.
So here we are! Two weeks prior to her giving birth, we made their new pen. Now, if both sows ended up pregnant, we can separate each one and leave Jimmy Dean with his own bachelor pad. The day my husband finally installed the new shelter and decided to close off the pen? She gave birth in the middle of the night.
Here’s where things got interesting. She had three “little” pigs. Wait. What? We read sows should have anywhere from 12-30??? What’s going on? Where are the others? The last seed was born around 9AM. We called our local vet. After inducing her contractions and checking her, it was determined our beloved Jimmy Dean is still much smaller and probably couldn’t “hold on” long enough to produce an entire litter. Not going to lie here, the idea of 20+ bacon seeds being added to the food bill wasn’t exactly exciting. So realistically? I’m now thrilled to deal with these babies even three at a time.
Two males and a female. Awesome. Here in Texas this year, it’s been unusually cold for this time of year. We added a heat lamp to the shelter and let mama bond. Things are going splendid. We now have a minimum of two pigs that will be sourced at the proper time. I’m still debating on the female but truth be told? We’ve offered her to our awesome neighbors. (More on them later, but we couldn’t have picked more awesome folk to live close to for the rest of our lives)
So for now? We bid these bacon seeds hello and good health. They will be spoiled to no end and live a happy, loving lifestyle until their time comes. We always have to remind ourselves why we chose this new direction. It’s so easy to get attached. If I had to give advice a year after we chose to move our entire lives and get into the homestead life? I would advise everyone to DO IT. And do it NOW. I love the fact we are taking care of our family and know where our meat comes from and what it was fed. Here’s to the next year and starting our beef family. ♥