Pigs are cute, in a chubby oinky way. They are also good eating -- pork chops and bacon are tops on my food list.
Swine, as the family is called, have many names. Farmers will recognize all of these, but you may not:
- Hogs (another generic name for pigs)
- Piglette (little pigs)
- Sow (mother pig)
- Boar (father pig)
- Gilt (female pig)
- Barrow (male pig that's been castrated)
I showed the hogs at the Fayette County fair in Connersville, Indiana in August. I was disappointed that my folks wouldn't let me stay overnight in the fair's hog barn like many of the other 12 year olds. My grandfather promised to be there when I showed my hogs. I arrived at 6 a.m. that day and found him already brushing my hogs for me! Amazing. He had gotten up, milked 8 cows, fed the hogs, fed the chickens, had breakfast, got cleaned up and drove 15 miles to the fairgrounds all before 6 a.m.
I could only show one of the two hogs in my 4-H class. Which one to pick? The breeder that I bought the pigs off of, pointed to one; my grandfather and I favored the other. I naturally went with my grandfather's pick and took second in my class.
To settle the which one is better question, I entered both of them in the large open class the next day, going up against all of the big hog breeders. I showed the 4-H second place one and my grandfather showed the other one. Mine took 5th in open class and the other one didn't place. So our selection decision was good.
However, it is a wonder that I got a ribbon in open class. While showing the hog, he got away from me and starting fighting with another entry. That pig's owner whacked my pig on the snout with his show cane and my pig spun around and ran right between my legs. As a kid, I was a runt. Picture a 220 pound pig running between my short legs. Now, picture me stuck on the back of the pig, riding backwards at a dead run for a complete circuit of the show ring. I finally managed to fall off sideways and regain control of the pig and placed 5th. Whew!
I don't know if it is good or bad that they didn't have video tape back in those days.
This isn't my pig, but it is a Hampshire barrow.