"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This little piggie went to market

Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! We visited the brother-and-sister-in-law, who live on sixty acres of pasture land out in the country near Austin. As is the case with many Texas farmers, ranchers, and other landowners, wild hogs are a big problem for them. The population of feral pigs has exploded in the Lone Star State in the last few years and is now estimated at between two and four million. Once a sow reaches breeding age at 7 or 8 months, she can produce up to one thousand piglets during her lifetime. At full growth they average 100 to 150 pounds, but in certain regions can reach up to 500-600 pounds. Among many forms of destructive behavior, feral pigs tear up fences, destroy crops with their rooting and wallowing, compete with native deer for food sources, carry disease and parasites, and some even kill lambs and other livestock.

To try and get rid of them, my brother-in-law has contracted with a local trapper who will catch and haul them off for free in exchange for their meat, which is supposedly even tastier than domestic pork. While we were there, they nabbed two adult swine and several piglets. Easter Ham, anyone?


  • At 3/25/2008 10:04:00 AM, Blogger SupaCoo said…

    But he's so CUTE!

  • At 3/25/2008 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Mr. Toast said…

    Yeah, I have to admit I did feel kinda sorry for the little guy; it appeared obviously terrified, and would squeal pathetically when the big pigs stepped on it. But the others were ugly, hairy, and nasty - they snorted wildly and tried to charge us through the cage. I had to remind myself that baby ANYTHINGS are cute, and that little piglet would grow up to be a mean adult monster. Folks who live on the farm have a more personal relationship with their food than us city folk; tossing a package of bacon into the shopping cart at Kroger is about as close as I want to get to my breakfast. I'm a wuss.

  • At 3/26/2008 05:03:00 PM, Blogger Chandira said…

    NOOOOOOOOOO!! No ham!!!! Not even!!! Can you ship them here, and I'll take care of the likkle piggies.. Awww..

    (I am a Chinese astrology pig, does it show?)

  • At 3/26/2008 07:43:00 PM, Blogger Janelle said…

    It's odd that TX is having a ferral pig problem. Just recently is was published in a local paper that there have been many more ferral pigs spotted in ND than normal. The Game and Fish department is thinking about trapping them too! How weird.

  • At 3/26/2008 08:43:00 PM, Blogger Sphincter said…


  • At 3/27/2008 11:21:00 AM, Blogger Mr. Toast said…

    Sorry, didn't mean to freak out any vegetarians in the house. Feral hogs are a serious nuisance for landowners though, not just here in Texas but nationwide. They can tear up hundreds of acres of crops in a single night, carry diseases that can infect livestock, and attack and kill domestic dogs and (especially) cats. The Dept of Wildlife Services doesn't want to eradicate them, just keep them under control -- but so far they've been unable, as the wild hog population is exploding. If you call and ask, they might be glad to ship you a few! :-)


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