Boar, Boy, Dog

I’m kind of sad.  I sold Bewilder today, (pictured).  He was one of the first two herdboars used on my new farm, (Able, the other boar, died).  He weighed 680 lbs. and I received 14 cents per pound for a grand total of 95 dollars.

If he would have been doing his job better I would have kept him longer, but he was no longer consistently settling sows.  It’s amazing how much he grew.  Look at him in this post from last year.  He gained over a pound per day since then, and I’m feeding less grain than I ever have.

Alas, I run a business and I can’t keep any dead weight around even though I would like to.  This is something that is giving Shepherd some distress.  He just can’t continue to butcher his showpigs.  I thought we had reached a fine compromise by designating some species as pets, (goats, alpacas), and other species as business, (cattle, hogs), but this doesn’t work for him.  He gave it a fair shake, showing and butchering hogs at the fair twice, but he doesn’t want to anymore and I’m not going to push him.

We want him to stay in 4-H because we think it’s valuable and he likes it.  I asked him what he thought he could show at the fair.  He said crops, so I’m going to help him grow and sell sweet corn next year.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

6 Responses to Boar, Boy, Dog

  1. Crops. That sounds like a win-win. Shepherd is lucky to have you as his Shepherd. I’m sorry about Bewilder.

  2. chris says:

    You don’t say what it will cost you to purchase another herdboar to replace Bewilder. Surely more than $95!?

  3. Jeanenne says:

    looks like Bewilder turned into Begone after all!
    As I read your blog, I am often reminded of these words:

    A Time for Everything

    There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,

    Pretty much sums up farm life, huh?

  4. Thank you for your kind comments.
    Jeanenne, I agree, and I was trying to teach that to Shepherd that to have birth we need death. I guess I’ll be teaching him about planting and uprooting now. 🙂
    Chris, I haven’t brought a new pig onto the farm since August of 1994. I get my new genetics through artificial insemination. I have some nice AI litters right now. If I were to buy a boar, it would probably cost $350 minimum.
    The boar I’m going to use in the near future is Domino, a son of Able. I’ll use AI until Domino is big enough to service the sows.

  5. Does your local show do any non-slaughter animal shows? I was watching a documentary on alpacas (which you have already?) and the farmer showed the males to get a higher price for breeding them. I think because the alpacas are sheared instead of slaughtered it’s less circle-of-life-ish. Plus alpaca wool gets a pretty good price (at least in the UK) compared to sheep.

  6. Toasted, Yes, I talked to him about showing something else but he doesn’t seem interested. I’m not sure why, he seemed to really enjoy the showing. He said he had enough to do taking care of his animals now.
    Do you need some unprocessed Alpaca fiber? We sheared them in June and haven’t done anything with it.

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