A Pig’s Tail – Another Perspective

It’s important to consider multiple perspectives when hearing about farming practices. There might be more to the story.

Another Perspective on A Pig’s Tail

You know what makes me uncomfortable?  Cities, parking garages, elevators and continuous impervious surfaces.   I bet I’ve only hailed a cab a couple times in my life.  If I had to do it tomorrow I know that I would be nervous.

Was the world created for large sections to be covered in in concrete, steel and iron with pipes, parking and subways running below ground level?  That is certainly a scene that could be painted to be very impersonal, cold and unnatural.  And the inner workings of the city, or the behind the scenes sewage, energy generation, and trash removal would certainly disgust the common person.  Yet billions of people live in cities.  Maybe millions live there by choice.

As a country dweller that enjoys working the earth, caring for animals and doing manual labor outside I personally feel like being made to live in a city would be punishment.

Do you know why all this makes me uncomfortable?  I believe it’s uncomfortable to me because it’s not what I know.  I grew up driving tractors, using a parking garages was a rare pre-adulthood occurrence.  Aren’t most new experience more challenging than doing what we’ve always done and know?

Is change wrong?

I do not believe that change is wrong.  I do not believe change is universally right.  I believe change should occur for a good reason, not just for the sake of change.

old barn wood removal
I’m not very creative, but we’re going to do something cool with some of this old barn wood in the future. The Little Farmer was using his crow bar to pull out the nails.

As the sun rose one day this week my son and I were taking boards off of an old barn – probably more than 100 years. The barn that was blown down this summer in a storm that passed our family’s farm.

I had some help working on it last night.  My friend asked if I ever remember pigs being in the barn.  Absolutely.  I remember feeding gilts (female pigs pregnant with their first litter of piglets) regularly.  I remember a waterer that we reached down inside of on a regular basis and dug the solid dirt, mud and crap that had sunk to the bottom out so that their water would be a bit fresher.  I remember the waterer freezing in the winter.  I remember pouring feed on a frozen ground for the pigs to eat off of.  I remember pouring feed on the driest spot you could find in the lot when it was muddy.

I remember remodeling barns and installing newer, better waterers that stayed cleaner.  Then I remember building a couple brand new barns with even better technology like a drinking fountain, so there was always fresh clean water available.

The same story with ventilation.  That old barn that fell down this summer, it didn’t have a fan or a heater.  The newer barns are designed to allow space and appropriate design for newer, better, more efficient fans and heaters.

I believe that if you seek out some real farmers, watch some real videos inside real and have conversations with a variety of farmers you might be surprised how much barns have helped our hogs and our farmers over the years.

When we consider a Pig’s Tail from multiple perspectives our own outlook may change, more than once.

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  1. Old Burro says:

    Be nice to see some actual pictures. In nature, pigs don’t need fans and heaters… they root in the mud for cooling, they lay in the sun for heating. They build their own shelter to keep themselves dry and comfortable. Pigs know how to be warm or cool all by themselves. It’s amazing how well they’ve taken care of themselves in the wild, with NO help from Man and their confinement, LOL!

    1. I appreciate your comment. For clarification there were no pigs in this barn when it blew down a few months ago. There had not been pigs in the barn for a few years. I do recall pregnant gilts being there all year around and occasionally a litter of pigs would be born outside. The piglet survival rate is much lower outside than inside. I believe it is beneficial to the animal to provide protection from the wind, rain, heat, predators and yes, even each other.

  2. I feel the same way you do about the city. Thanks for the great narrative. Being a gal from the country I feel the same way you do about animal care. That may be that pigs can do fine on their own in the “wild” but that is not what we are raising-wild pigs. It is my wish for people to stop demonizing what we do based on their perceptions. Get out and talk to the real farmers, large animal vets etc.

  3. Jennifer, you should write a book. You write so well about the real life of hard working country farming people. Some times this life is so hard and raw unless you’ve lived it you can’t understand. Thank you for being so honest. I have lived it too.

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