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How to say goodbye

I8Iggy Senior Member
edited September 2010 in "Off Your Chest"
Living on the farm and understanding the cycle of life, I thought this project would be easy for our 4H(er). But on Monday, when we went to the Swine Unit, he told his cousin and the person who was giving us the tour that he wanted to step back on taming Gilbert and Spot. He just did not know how he was going to handle sending them to the auction barn at the end of July. Then it hit me, if we are sending them off at the end of July and his Hereford Hogs don't come in either at all or at the end of November.

Should we try and raise and set of pigs between the two?

Any advice on how to help him say goodbye to Gilbert and Spot when they reach market weight? They are barrows, so it's not like we can change our minds and breed them.

Thanks.

Comments

  • blonde Senior Member
    edited April 2010
    Get another small piglet that might be a sow and give him more time with the tiny one. It is difficult when little boys are little boys, but they do grow and they grow to understand that is what happens to pigs. Also try talking to h im about what happens to Gilbert and Spot as they mature. You might pull it your way and he may understand.
  • I8Iggy Senior Member
    edited April 2010
    So if we are able to get him a gilt between Gilbert/Spot and Tic/Tac, I've always been told that two is much better than one. Is this true?

    How would we introduce the older gilt to the new Hereford Hogs in November (who will only be maybe 8 weeks of age)?

    We are so green at this.

    Thanks.
  • blonde Senior Member
    edited April 2010
    I would keep her in a seperate pen so he has two pens to feed not just one. He will also become attached to this little pig as well. When the others are auctoned off he will still have a pig at home to look after and if she is mated babies as well. this might help get around saying good buy to 2 barrows that will not produce. Just a thought....
  • Stevie G Super Moderator
    edited April 2010
    blonde said:
    I would keep her in a seperate pen so he has two pens to feed not just one. He will also become attached to this little pig as well. When the others are auctoned off he will still have a pig at home to look after and if she is mated babies as well. this might help get around saying good buy to 2 barrows that will not produce. Just a thought....
    Yes, that would be the go, get another pig before the others go and then it won't make the situation quite as hard!
  • Rockrothwell Member
    edited May 2010
    I8Iggy said:
    Living on the farm and understanding the cycle of life, I thought this project would be easy for our 4H(er). But on Monday, when we went to the Swine Unit, he told his cousin and the person who was giving us the tour that he wanted to step back on taming Gilbert and Spot. He just did not know how he was going to handle sending them to the auction barn at the end of July. Then it hit me, if we are sending them off at the end of July and his Hereford Hogs don't come in either at all or at the end of November.

    Should we try and raise and set of pigs between the two?

    Any advice on how to help him say goodbye to Gilbert and Spot when they reach market weight? They are barrows, so it's not like we can change our minds and breed them.

    Thanks.
    You might let the kid know that the pig will probably have a much better death than most humans do these days (due to the burocraps) A lesson on the dangers of burocraps might also be in order.
  • Stevie G Super Moderator
    edited May 2010
    Rockrothwell said:
    You might let the kid know that the pig will probably have a much better death than most humans do these days (due to the burocraps) A lesson on the dangers of burocraps might also be in order.
    It seems to me that it is a very mature decision for a 4her to make, as to deciding to take a step away from being so close to them, but it is probably a wise decision by him inorder for him to soften the blow. Such a wise head for someone so young. Unfortunately it is something every person in life must learn to deal with whether it be a dog, aunt, pig, parent, etc. And each person learns his/her way of dealing with it. And for your son this is it. Buying some more pigs as a destraction may well help. Time will tell, and I wish you luck.
  • alexloramer Junior Member
    edited September 2010
    This is always very tough. I have worked on a farm since I was old enough to do any type of job and I really get attached to my animals. I just take comfort in knowing they had a good life and it will be a quick end. Their time on this earth was good and that helps. It doesn't solve it but it helps.
    ___________
    Animals are the greatest healers of the troubles of man with other man, for, they have no hidden agenda.
  • I8Iggy Senior Member
    edited September 2010
    Up date...sorry so late...we'll our son decided to take them to the slaughter house with his grandfather. We were unable to get a set right away, but he knew they would be coming. So it took two of us to load them up. Having a pen on side of the hill has it's advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage was that the cattle trailer was higer off the ground then we would like. We got the ramp in place and Spot was the first to go in. I had to get behind Gilbert and push him up the ramp. I was too dirty and Pa-pa was on a tight schedule, so our son went with his Pa-pa to take them to the slaughter house.

    When they got there Gilbert/Spot were the only white pigs there. Pa-pa let him watch one or two of the black pigs being shot and answered questions. Pa-pa took him off when he saw his two were a few pigs down the line.

    So when it was time to pick up the meat, Pa-pa, my son and I went to the slaughter house. It took a while to get our meat. That place was rocking with people purchasing fresh sausage. So our pigs came out on racks, and OMG there was Spot's skin in a bag on the top rack. My son looked at me and asked "Spot?" Well I could of lied here but I'm blunt. I'd asked him about the color pigs that were there the day they were killed and he answered all black. So I said if that was another color skin in that bag, would it be ours and the answer I was looking for was no. Then he pipes up, well if that's Spot then Gilbert is in the other bag. :eek: So we paid the cashier, got the meat loaded up and went home.

    To my suprise my child asked us to cook him up some of the sausage, on the trip back home. So Pa-pa did. Seating at the table eating lunch, he looked at us and said you can't buy good meat like this. What a releaf. We grow out our own steers, but never got that close to them. Needless to say we are out of meat and now my child is counting down the days when he can bring his freezer gilt to the slaughter house...LOL

    It was about 3 wks when his next set came to the house. He has a show pig and the freezer pig and once he shows the show pig, he's looking forward to mating her and having babies of his own.
  • Stevie G Super Moderator
    edited September 2010
    Thankfully all I've ever done is load them up, and thats been it! I've very rarely gone any further than the farm gate, so its always been so easy, which is a good thing. I am amazed hes taken it so well, but for you what a relief hey!
  • I8Iggy Senior Member
    edited September 2010
    Oh yhea, it sure is funny when we go to the food store, he's telling those at the pork section that raising their own pork has their advantages.
  • Stevie G Super Moderator
    edited September 2010
    I8Iggy said:
    Oh yhea, it sure is funny when we go to the food store, he's telling those at the pork section that raising their own pork has their advantages.

    Unreal, but nice, and I am amazed hes taken it all so well!!!!
    I personally would have rather just put them on the truck and not seen the rest of it, as it would have been a darn!! sight easier in many respects.
    Its lucky for you hes really taken it so well. Not sure what I would have done at such an early age, and thankfully we will never find out.
  • blonde Senior Member
    edited September 2010
    I8Iggy said:
    Oh yhea, it sure is funny when we go to the food store, he's telling those at the pork section that raising their own pork has their advantages.
    I think that kids raised on a farm have a different perspective and out look than those raised in the cities. They understand how the farm runs, where the animals go and that the meat that is put on the table may once have been grown on their farm. If the parents slaughter themselves then they see first hand at what happens to the animal and the process by which meat ends up on their plate. LIke wise milking cows and the fact that the milk is used within the house hold.....milk does not come out of a cardboard cartons or plastic milk cartons either...And then you have eggs. they also dont come out of paper cartons.....I think that being able to say good bye to an animal you have reared yourself is a brave feat for some one so young, but as I have mentioned above their is a difference between city kids and country kids particularly those brought up on a farm!! :)
  • Stevie G Super Moderator
    edited September 2010
    Seen how a pig is killed both in a slaughter house and on farm and have never enjoyed any moment of doing it, unless it is a must and that where it ends!!!!
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