Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sir Renfred Moves on to New Pastures

Sir Renfred Leaves the Farm

It was a bitter sweet day yesterday as Sir Renfred moved to his new home. You can see below that he is eager to get to know his new lady friends (as evidenced by the mouth foam). We are grateful that he has moved to a fantastic new home, with large pastures to roam. We know Farmer Drew, Full Boar Farm, will take great care of him.

Sir Renfred gets a first peak at his new ladies.
That doesn't keep us from getting a little emotional about the change! Sir Renfred means "mighty, but peaceful" and indeed he always lived up to his name. He was our first boar and has been an important part of our pastured pig operation. Below, Farmer John says goodbye. The night before he left we hung out and gave the good ole boy a beer, for old times sake. Good, good pig.

John says farewell.

So what's the story? Why the change? 

We have decided to take a break from farrowing (breeding pigs). We had been discussing this off an on for a little bit. When we, kind of, begrudgingly, made our final decision that was about the time Farmer Drew contact us looking to see if we had a boar for sale. Very serendipitous.

Taking a break from farrowing is like a two year process. It's a little laughable. Now, we have fewer pigs and fewer groups of pigs, which eases the work. The sows, Elsa and Suzy, will farrow in January. Post-weaning in March we will look for good homes for them. All of the weaner piglets (which already have good homes set), except about 3, will move off to other farms. With a group of 3 for us to raise over the summer it will be the smallest number of pigs we have had on our farm. When that trio is harvested in late Fall we shall enjoy a winter without pigs - our "break."

Summer 2017 we have one (or more) large projects going on, which we would like to put our focus towards. Our Deep Winter Greenhouse will be built and next winter will be our first winter growing. It will be nice to have more time and energy to dedicate to this, as pigs do take considerable time to care for (which we love, don't get me wrong). This also gives us great opportunity to rejuvenate the pastures, which really took a beating in the muddy, muddy, mucky never-ending rain this year.

So, while sad, it's all good. Hard decisions need to happen on the farm. It's definitely more difficult with animals that have been around a while. Scroll on, for a little Sir Renny slideshow.

Sir Renfred Slide Show!

 Here he is the day he moved in. He moved all the way from Ohio. Such a little guy!

Renny has brought us much joy.

His first wallow.

Always gentle and sweet.

That boy snoozed hard. Gotta love that nose...and those ears!

He surely produced some beautiful bacon bits and delicious pork chops.

He is a wonderful Dad. Loved the kids to pieces.

He even let them try and nurse him.

What a lover.

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