Why did I get pigs? Oh, I know why… I watch way too much Justin Rhodes, Art & Bri, and John Suschovich on YouTube and become “inspired”. We recently added two Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs (GSPs) to our homestead. Get pigs they said, it will be fun, they said! After 2.2 minutes of research, I settled on this breed because is known for its docility, intelligence, and prolificacy. Plus, I read that when the royal family eats pork, this is their pick. It has to be good, right? (I’ll let you know at slaughter time!) Well, I am going to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with you today based on my last 3 months with pigs.
- They are pretty cute. (That is not my pic by the way, but that’s what ours look like.) They are “supposedly” docile, however, when we got ours they were NOT so docile, more on that in the “bad”.
- Pastured pork is apparently no comparison to what you find in the grocery store. Like, no comparison. The verdict is still out on this as we obviously have not slaughtered ours.
- Your fridge stays clean because as soon as something starts going bad you can give it to the pigs! And it is fun watching them eat.
- The FLIES. Oh.Em.Gee. There are A LOT of flies. And everywhere. Our pigs are a good distance from our house, but the flies have found us. It is really quite annoying. I have gotten a bug-zapper light bulb above my kitchen sink and that seems to help, but really, they are still pretty bad. Someone on Facebook suggested sticking cloves in fresh lemon wedges and it seemed to work fairly well when I did it. I really don’t have a great answer. There are just flies everywhere!
- They aren’t that nice. This is supposed to be a “docile” breed, and they do come running when its feed time or when I yell “PigPig” but they also push their snouts against your leg and push. My husband claims they are “loving us” but I feel like I am about to get eaten. It is rather terrifying in my opinion.
- They are expensive. They are eating anywhere from 4-5 pounds of feed a day. There are 2 of them. A 50-pound bag of feed is $15. And 6-8 months until slaughter. You do the math.
- They stink. Honestly, it is no near as bad a people say, but they do smell.
- They tear up the area they are in. Fortunately for us, we have them in an area that is fine to tear up, so it is not an issue, however, I would be upset if I had some high-dollar grass!
The jury is still out on if these pigs are worth it or not…We will have to see how good this ham is. Normally, I am very generous with the meat in our freezer, but I may have to “hog” this (haha!) because this may be our one and only time! What have been your experiences with pigs? Are they worth it? I would love to hear your experiences!