HOW CAN ONE ANIMAL CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
I have been spending a lot of time on the internet in the wee hours of the morning so I can get my education on pigs, especially the KuneKune pigs. I finally went to the Kunekune pig association website. The Kunes are considered a heritage breed and folks are really into preserving their lineage.
As you know my husband and I rescued a 2 year old female Kune and like most pigs that have to be rehomed it was due to a complaint by a neighbor and neighborhood restrictions on what animals you can house. You can read about Ginger in an earlier blog I wrote.
In my search for help with behavior and advice on pig husbandry I met a woman on line that breeds these special pigs and was very helpful and honest with her advice. We still email each other back and forth because we have a commonality not only with pigs but we both have farms and are into sustainable farming. Dana Reid of Balanced Earth Farm in Hood River Oregon. They not only raise pigs but have sheep as well and a three acre vineyard.
She told me to reach out to farm stands in my area for culled fruit and veggies because buying produce can get very pricey. So I took her advice and found a great Farm stand in Elma, WA called the Elma Farm and Public market, 617 E Young St Elma, WA 98541. They have a great food and juice bar there. I went in to ask if they had a bag of throw away produce and they said they did and it included the juice pulp from the night before. I felt I scored for Ginger.
I walked out of the farm stand with a big smile and could not wait to sort through the box of rubby veggies like I was in a dumpster. I got three big meals out of the box for Ginger and last night was the first meal. She loved it. Of course I put aside some for the chickens so they can partake in the good food. I have made popcorn, corn bread, and baked sweet potatoes for Ginger. Yesterday with the rain and cold weather Ginger stayed inside her house so I bought her a pumpkin. She took the whole pumpkin and put it in her house and enjoyed every bit of it while resting on her bed of timothy hay.
I keep asking myself, what are pigs good for? As far as I know they make a lot of noise, and make a mess in there pens and, people just eat them. Well, now I have learned that when you have a farm and you want a certain pasture tild up, you put the pigs in that area and they will root up the ground for you. Then when it’s all tiled you move them somewhere else depending on the time of year. The farmers will go back in with there tractor and make the soil even so they can plant crops again. Now this is sustainable farming, the big corporate farmers do not do this anymore. I also have learned that you can train them to the electric fence and move them in certain areas where you want; the Kunes like to graze because they are a grazing grass pig. The noses are shorter so they can not root like other pigs with longer noses. Did you know they can smell three feet under the ground.
Well the horses and other farm animals are getting use to Ginger, so is the peacefulness of the farm showing itself again, except when feeding time comes around. Then Ginger is screaming for her food. I have to say that learning about the behavior and the breed has been very interesting to me. It just gives me another way of looking at life and what has been created in it for us to enjoy. This Ginger kune pig is also teaching me patience and looking for ways to find answers to puzzling life circumstances.
That reminds me, got to find a pig puzzle for her.
Do you have pigs ? I would love to hear your comments.