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The Incredible, Edible Pig Essay

1390 words - 6 pages

There is no finer group of folks in this world than that of a hog farmer. They don’t sing songs about hog farmers like they do cowboys, but in this protein deprived world livestock farmers know that they’re keeping this world spinning. With mud on their boots and dings on their pickup, hog farmers really know how to live high on the hog and low on her hocks. A pig to many people is a pink mud covered creature with a swirly tail and cute oink. Well, although this is partially true there is a lot more to raising swine than meets the eye. Out of all major livestock, none is more misunderstood than the hog because of past myths and unlawful owners, but things could be different in the future once people realize why we raised them in the first place.
Feeder pig production is the best way to get into farming. Columbus brought pigs and sheep over for the simple reason of them being so small. A pig has small eyes, curly tail, and a snout for a nose. It has short legs with a thick body and four toes on each foot in a hoof type fashion used for walking. Pigs are omnivores and scavenge for any kind of food including worms, garbage, bark off a tree, and even rotting carcasses. They are foraging animals in the wild eating mostly leaves and roots, but everything else above can be included. Pigs have a long special bone that almost no other animal has running down their snout called the prenasal bone. This sense organ is very sensitive and allows them to dig deep into soil and find things that not even your average dog or wild coyote could find. When you forget to feed your hogs imagine how beneficial it is for them being able to find their own food anytime they wish. Many livestock owners have cattle that they raise instead of pigs, but they most likely started out with small swine production. A good metaphor for this reason is like farmers grow milo or plain pasture to make fast money and corn or wheat to make more money later on. Pigs are raised a lot faster than cattle, but cattle bring more money home in the end. What’s so glorious about pigs is their size and space needed to grow. According to Kelly Klober farmer, 4-H leader, and author of A Guide to Raising Pigs, it all depends on group sizes of the pigs. Klober states that “Pigs tend to congregate together”, which is completely, correct. Pigs instinctively herd together, so when choosing pen or square footage of land Klober says group sizes of one to five pigs only need one hundred square footage of land. Every five after that takes fifteen square feet off the land until it reaches fifty. This is a significant difference than having eighty acres of land for a couple heifers in the pasture. Pigs are just overall smaller animals with almost the same amount of lean meat that cattle contain in their body.
Pigs today are a lot leaner than they used to be back in the day. Kelly Klober states that “On average, the pork produced today is as much as thirty percent leaner that the pork of the 1950’s” (Klober...

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