Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

This little piggy went home with us

SANY6908 Pigs have always been on our homesteading agenda. The original plan was to get our feet wet with a couple of feeder pigs in Spring 2011, and then maybe get 2 or 3 breeder sows and a boar the year after. A great plan, and only one hitch so far - it got jump-started.

Abe was talking to a guy in the village who mentioned he had some piglets and was about to take them to the market. Abe naturally asked to see them, and 5 minutes later he had arranged to come and pick three of them up the following day or so. That was Thursday.

We went from his house to a nearby town to get some sacks of feed, a nipple that the pigs drink water from, and a few T-Posts. That afternoon, we began work on building a corral and house for the newcomers.

By 3 O'Clock Friday afternoon, we had finished the remesh pen, the water and feeding system, and the hoop-house, which we filled with hay for bedding. So we went to the village to pick up our pigs.

Joel caught them (not too hard as they lived in a pretty small pen) and lifted them up. Abe held up a feed sack under them and pulled it up over the pig. In the sack, they were fairly calm and couldn't run around. It was funny to see these feed sacks with a pig nose sticking out of them!

SANY6900 We took them home and let them loose in the pen. They were over the moon - they had never seen grass before and were immediately rooting around. We were in the pen with them and Leo just loved it. The hardest thing about the whole thing was getting him to leave.

Abe checked on them a couple of times in the night. The first time, they were bedded down outside the hoop house, so he picked them up and threw them into the hay. The next time he went to check on them, he couldn't find them anywhere. The giveaway was the fact that the straw (where they had buried themselves) was snoring.

Now all we have to do is put up some electric fencing, so that they can pasture. We plan to make the fences follow the contours of the land, so that when the pigs are rooting, they will actually be doing the foundation work for swales.

First thing Leo said this morning was "See pigs?"
"Sure. Let's go. How many pigs are there?"
"That's right, one for papa, two for mama, three for Leo."
"One Nicky?" (Nicky is what we're calling the new baby at the moment).
"No baby, Nicky's going to share mama's pig."
"Poor Nicky."

For more photos, click here.

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