Friday, April 3, 2009

This little piggy went to the fair....

This is Daisy, our prize winning Blue Butt Pig. The entire experience of raising/feeding/showing a pig has been a family affair. I certainly never realized the amount of time and effort that the 4-H and FFA kids had to devote to the handling and raising of their animals. Basically, I thought they just fed and watered every day and then on show day the animals were loaded up and brought into the fair grounds, for everyone to see.

Oh how wrong I was!!! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! This poor pig suffered through the winter with pneumonia and we suffered through the vet bills, then she had mites - I'm not even going to elaborate on the nastiness of that! Next up she wasn't gaining as much weight as we (I say 'we' because this pig has frequently been the topic of conversation around our dining table.) wanted, so more pig experts (pig farmers) were called and visited to teach my husband and Bailey about the various mixes of feed and the effects of these combinations. I guess they knew what they were talking about, because Daisy weighed in at a whopping 226 pounds, and according to said pig experts, that was exactly perfect. Perfect weight that is for the light weight class, which is where Bailey wanted to be.
By Thursday morning the pig was weighed, shaved, lathered up with baby oil, and looking bulky around the middle, as it should, and we were hoping that all was well with nothing more to do but wait until the actual show on Thursday afternoon.... UH... not quite!

The pig began to limp - UGH - oh yes...day of the show and we've got a pig with a bum foot! It was the end of the world, I tell ya' - the end! Okay, so maybe I exaggerated just a bit, but the mood in our stall was less than friendly as Bailey and her dad rushed around to figure out how to alleviate the pain in the foot and try to fix the problem.


It just so happened that since the pig had been walking around on the concrete at the fair grounds, she had torn the pad on her foot and the nail and raw pad area were giving her a great deal of pain. The pig experts told us to try and fix this problem with super glue - yes, folks... super glue - apparently it is 'supposed' to help seal off the sensitive nerve endings and thus the pig will not feel the pain.

Did you know that a pig can take approximately 11 aspirin, at one time? We know that now...we didn't try that out, but in the future we might need that ever important information for those occasional pig ailments! As it turned out the super glue trick didn't really help much and the pig's gate was definitely changed for the show, but Bailey still placed 5th and made the Saturday Livestock Sale - which is of course the reason for the entire process. Right? Sell the pig to make money for the next animal or COLLEGE??



Whew... what an experience - I suppose the next animal we learn about will be our newly purchased heifer! Yep, you read that right - we're in the heifer business now. Additionally, Briley has big plans for her first pig show next spring - Oy vey!

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