Saturday, June 21, 2008

Small-Scale Pig Raising :: Chapter 5 & 6 Book Report

Well, I'm tearing my way through this book! Actually the chapters are fairly short, which I tend to like because it makes it easier to knock out a section each night. But, I'm also working through it pretty quickly because I think it is a pretty good read. I also think that it helps that it is about something other than grazing or cattle. I have been hitting the grass-fed cattle books pretty hard for quite awhile no so this is a change of pace. It will probably make me more interested when I pick up "Grass-Fed Cattle" again.

Chapter five of Dirk van Loon's book, "Small-Scale Pig Raising" deals with selecting a pig. Mr. van Loon writes mostly about selecting a pig for your own home pork, but also includes a few paragraphs on buying pigs for breeding. This is something that I was somewhat ready to read, although I already have our pigs picked out, because it dealt with what we are dealing with right now.

Of course he is specifically talking about "small-scale" and in this case that means two or three pigs. This is a perfect number for the family that is looking to provide meat for themselves and maybe to sell in order recoup some of their feed money. This is the number of pigs that I was looking to buy, but that isn't what happened (more on that next week). The chapter is full of great information for the beginner and I am beginning to understand why Walter Jeffries recommends this book so highly.

In Chapter six the topic is pig handling. Again, it is full of a lot of good information for the beginner including stuff about transportation (think small-scale and people without stock trailers) and moving on the farm. I do like the section where he talks about using the tail of the pig to direct them where you want. I believe we are going to be a farm that leaves the tails on our pigs.

Overall my impression of this book is very good and I think it is perfect for someone who doesn't know much about pigs. It puts everything in good practical terms and makes it all seem doable. Pigs is one area where I have the benefit of a little prior knowledge. For much of my growing up life we had pigs on the farm and I was able to help out quite a bit, but there is still a ton of good information for everyone!

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