Ramble On

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Talking Pork

Pending bacon.
(Update on yesterday's post:  I had mentioned that we didn't stick around to see if the pigs had eaten the spent grain I'd brought.  David sent me a note letting me know that the swine had indeed gone out and sampled the offering I left...Jim, I just wanted you to know that shortly after you left the farm the pigs enjoyed their Christmas treat.  I was going to snap a photo for you but I did not have my phone with me.  Anyhow, between the pigs and chickens, the spent grain was gone in short order.)

Speaking of visiting the pigs, and by pigs, I mean the gilts and barrows…there is a fine article about raising your own pigs in the most recent issue of Mother Earth News.  The byline is credited to Oscar H. Will III, but I thought I might quote a few highlights here – today, specifically, some of the technical names used for these animals…although I will continue to use the terms pigs and hogs interchangeably.

  • Piglet – a term for baby swine that is rarely used by folks who raise pigs (although I like to use it and frequently have with my younger siblings)
  • Pig – a young swine, something you might be tempted to call a piglet - but that's what I call them most of the time
  • Shoat – an adolescent pig that has been weaned but weighs less than 120 pounds
  • Hog – a maturing swine that has passed the 120-pound mark
  • Boar – an intact male
  • Barrow – a castrated male
  • Gilt – a young female before her first litter
  • Sow – a mature female hog after her first litter
  • Weanling or Weaner – 8- to 12-week-old pig tht has just been removed from its mother
  • Feeder Pig – a young animal (generally less than 70 pounds) you might purchase to raise for pork

Now that I am in my second year of having a pork share with Public House Produce, I’ve seen just about the complete life-cycle for swine…with the exception of the breeders- the boar and the sow.  

But at least I know what to call them now.

No comments: