Eeee Ayyy Eeee Ayy Ooooo…
Yes, I realize that says Old McCarty and not Old McDonald. I’m referring to myself as of late. I have recently become the mama to two wild piglets! My husband was hunting with some friends and the dogs spooked a nest of piglets, and oh how I wish someone would have been filming these grown men chasing these piglets! They caught four of them and brought them home, but sadly, two of them didn’t make it. I didn’t know how to take care of piglets, they’re definitely different than puppies!
First off, piglets are anemic at birth. They need iron supplements, or “clean” dirt to root around in to get their iron. Being anemic, they cannot regulate their body temperature, so 9 out of 10 piglets will die from cold weather rather than starvation. I did not know this, and when two of my piglets died in a matter of 3 days, on days when the temperature fell to freezing at night and rained during the day, I started researching anything and everything I could on hand-rearing piglets. Even though everyone said it probably wouldn’t help, that abandoned piglets rarely make it, I found different things to try to feed them. the first day I fed them with a bottle, which they hated. I started feeding them rice and corn in a pan, and they ate every bit of it. I put a dog kennel with lots of hay inside a larger cage my husband built for larger hogs, and little Wilbur and Gordy are doing fabulous!
Here’s a picture of my little bacon bit Wilbur:
Ain’t he cute?!
Even though they are technically wild hogs, they now know that when I come home, it’s dinner time. I can open the door to their kennel and they will climb out and let me play with them and pet them. I feed them this mixture of corn, rice and evaporated milk every day, and will do so until they are about 10 pounds each. Right now, they MIGHT way 3-4 pounds. They were around a pound when we found them, which leads me to believe they were around a week or two old.
Piglets are born with their eyes open, and can eat solid foods within hours of being born. How neat?!
I told Tyler that now I need some chickens and a cow and I’d be all set. He thought I was joking, but I’m serious! I told him for our anniversary I was to build a chicken coop and buy some chickens. As many eggs as my husband eats a week, it’d probably be cheaper to buy the chickens anyway! My in-laws are in the process of building their fence for the cow pasture, which hopefully will have a few cows and maybe some goats in there! I’m telling you…Old McDonald’s gonna get a run for his money… The McCarty’s are gonna have a farm!
When we talk about having cattle and goats, my mother in law says she’s going to buy all of her grand-babies mini goats and ponies. Personally, I think I would play with the animals more than my kids would, but that’s just me! But, the more we talk about Tyler and I having kids, the more I realize I want them raised a little different than I was. My mom didn’t like guns, so we weren’t taught how to shoot or hunt. My family didn’t own livestock. We did shell peas and shuck corn in the summer, but that was the extent of my farming abilities. Not that my parents didn’t teach me valuable lessons, which I will also pass down to my kids, I just have realized there is so much about the lifestyle my husband and his family know and love that I want my children to experience.
There aren’t many kids today who could go out and hunt and bring home game. They couldn’t skin a deer and prepare the meat and when they eat it know that they worked hard for that meal. They don’t know how to take care of animals, and understand that one day that animal will provide for your family as well. I want my kids to have every experience possible, and I personally think that a lifestyle that includes working and contributing to your family build amazing character in children and teenagers.
I can say all of this because I am a part of the generation who is known for being self-entitled, lazy, selfish, and all around horrible people. My generation whines about everything being fair, and thinks everyone owes them something for nothing. I was not raised with this belief. My husband was not raised to think he was owed something by everyone. We were raised to work hard and to enjoy the fruits of OUR labors, not everyone else’s. I don’t want to raise snotty brats, like so many my age have turned out to be and, inevitably, their children will be as well.
Am I the top pig farmer in Mississippi? Nowhere near close. But, I’m learning. I want to learn to be able to pass these things down to my kids one day. Am I a world renown chef? Nope, but I can cook healthy meals and teach my kids so they don’t rely on McDonald’s or other fast foods. I’m just a girl who is learning how to be self-sufficient late in life, in regards to raising livestock anyways. Academically and socially, I’m self-sufficient. But, whose to say in the generations after us, that being book-smart is what matters? Whose to say that growing your own food and raising animals won’t be the way of life once again?
Personally, I think that would be a much better standard of living…but the opinion of a millennial doesn’t go for much these days.