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Quote of the Day: Joseph Harris

January 19th, 2014

“It is, nevertheless, a fact, that there is no more docile or tractable animal on a farm than a well-bred pig.”

-Joseph Harris in Harris on the Pig: Practical Hints for the Pig Farmer

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Yesterday we went to visit a local pig farm and I put down my deposit on 2 piglets. The farm was wonderful. You could see how much Mary loved her pigs.
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The pigs were all happy as clams, out on large areas of forage. They had cozy warm houses and lots of hay.
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This farm breeds heritage pigs, she has Red Wattle, Large Black and Guinea hogs. The piglets I ordered are a mix of the three, that should make for meaty pigs with a good layer of lard.
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Now I just have to start making the rest of the preparations needed for our future piggos. There are a few things I need to buy and a few things that need done to make pig keeping a little easier this year. We’re really looking forward to having them, being out at the farm reminded us of how much fun the pigs were to have around.

Have you ever spent time a lot of pigs?

9 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Joseph Harris”
  1. Mike on January 19, 2014 at 6:58 am

    I used to raise them when I was a boy, mostly had one ea. yr. for the stock show but I once bought 18 sows and 2 boars with the thought I’d get rich. The market was $27.75/cwt at the time…and two months later it was $12.25. Some had rhinitis and it spread through the herd and they wouldn’t gain weight. I sold some before they reached market rate just to buy feed and cut Johnson grass and soaked wheat I swept out from a nearby farmer’s grain bin to supplement the little feed I could afford.

    What’s the market now f/ weaners? Used to be 3/4 of the market price back then, but I imagine it’s prob. gone up these days.

    I’ve mentioned this in other forums and had people say their pigs did, but I never had a hog that would eat tomatoes, not even if they were hungry. Oh, they’d mouth them around some, but wouldn’t eat it. My dad was always killing rattlers and after chopping off the head and rattles, I’d throw them into the pens and after freaking out a little, the pigs eventually would eat the snake. They particularly loved the weeds I’d pull from the garden and the lawn clippings.

    They’re such smart animals, too. My show pigs knew when I was coming out to feed them or if I was going to exercise them. (they liked the former but not the latter!) I was feeding mine and my sister’s show pigs one afternoon when my parents were gone and before I was through, the sky had turned green and wasn’t a wisp of wind. The pigs started squealing and running in circles and a few minutes later the dogs started barking and howling. Freaked me out, so I jumped in my car and headed into town and while zipping down the road, I looked back and saw a tornado pass by just a few miles from our house.

    Reply to Mike's comment

    • Mike on January 19, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      Delete this comment if you’re not going to publish it.

      Good grief, what is friggin’ wrong w/ you?

      Reply to Mike's comment

  2. Ilene on January 19, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Those are some great-looking pigs! Lucky you! I’d love to make my own lard but am unable to find a source for pork fat here. Just think of all the pork roast, sausage and other good things you’re going to have. Oh! And I hear pigs are good garden weeders, not to mention all that fertilizer they’re going to make. Much success to you in your new venture!

    Reply to Ilene's comment

    • Susy on January 19, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      The fertilizer is a great reason to keep animals and pig manure is great fertilizer!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Jennifer Fisk on January 19, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I would love to have a couple of pigs live in my garden over winter until planting time. Not sure it will ever happen though.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  4. Nebraska Dave on January 19, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Susy, yes, I have raised pigs but that was back during my college years. It was to help with the costs of tuition. I believe it was about 8 or 10 of the little buggers. They sure found all the weak spots in the fences. They had about a five acre pasture plus approximately 30 gallons of skim milk a day from the 13 cows I milked. In the final stages a few scoops of ear corn were heaved over the fence to help finish them out. In my humble opinion, pigs are the smartest of all the barnyard animals.

    Have a great pig selection day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  5. DebbieB on January 19, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Yay pigs! Now perhaps a cow? ;-)

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

    • Susy on January 19, 2014 at 8:28 pm


      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Jill on May 1, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    We just started raising Red Wattle Hogs last fall. We has 14 piglets early spring and they’re growing fast! We’re doing pasture raised natural feed and we’re in New Mexico. Red Wattles are huge but are friendly, good mothers and everyday amazing.

    Reply to Jill's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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