Around the end of September about a week before my birthday I got a phone call from my sister. “Happy birthday, I got you a pig!”
Now most people would think that was odd, but for me that was the perfect present. My continuously expanding farm has turned from a part time hobby to a fully devoted lifestyle. I’m not sure at what point I turned from normal house wife and mom to “crazy farm lady,” but I’ve graciously accepted the part.
Meet Daisy and Maple. Two female potbelly pigs about 9 months old. While not a normal “farm” pig, potbelly pigs not only make exceptional pets, but are a great addition to the farm. While most people don’t eat them, they can be raised for meat, usually known as Vietnamese Hog. However, these two have other useful contributions.
Like most farm animal waste, you can compost pig poop for manure. You don’t really want to use it on vegetable gardens. Pigs can harbor certain parasites that do not die during composting so it’s best to keep it out. However, you can use it for other plants you don’t eat, like trees and flower beds. I’ll be testing this in the spring to see how well it works compared to other manure.
Their poop may not belong in the garden but the pigs definitely have their place. In early spring before planting let those bad boys loose in the garden and you have your very own food powered rototiller. Pigs naturally root and turn the dirt making garden prep hassle free.
Lastley, and one of my favorite reasons for these pigs, companions. If you have never owned a pet pig you’re missing out. To say they are similar to dogs would be an understatement. They are incredibly smart, about three times smarter than your average dog. This makes it pretty easy to train them, even for an amateur like me. I had my pigs crate trained in one day. (Yes I occasionally let my pigs in the house). We never had a single accident. They simply grunt at the door to be let out. I’ve also leash trained one and intend to train the other as well. They are very food motivated and will pretty much do anything for a treat. A creature after my own heart!
They may not be as cuddly as dogs but they definitely enjoy your company. My pigs will follow me around all day wagging their little tails with delight. I’ll even get the occasional snout kiss. I feel so honored.
They also love the kids and dogs. My healer mix instantly decided they were part of his pack and has not left their side since they arrived. He even sleeps with them. I get a kick out of watching them play together. It’s not every day you see a fat little pig chasing down a 65lb dog.