International Day of the Pig!
Did you know that March 1st is the International Day of the Pig?!?!
Me neither ... until just recently. You'd think that as farmers we might know these things but the truth is the pigs never told us! :)
We may have missed the March 1st day of swine celebration but here at 6S, we think pigs deserve far more than 1 single day of appreciation so we are officially celebrating all of March as the Month of the Pig!
Keep scrolling to learn some fun facts about pigs and to see some cute pics of our happy piggies. Warning: Serious cute factor inside! :)
6 Fun Facts about Pigs ...
1. Pigs are incredibly intelligent and have great memories! A good example of this is that our sows will remember their exact route from their winter barnyard paddock back out to the pasture where they spent the fall. (Note - this can be frustrating at times in the spring if you're moving them to a completely different area of the farm! lol)
2. Pigs LOVE belly rubs! Especially sows. Rub a sow's belly and she's likely to lay down on her side in a hypnotic-like trance and soak up all the attention.
3. Pigs are very clean animals! It's a little known fact but it's true - given a good amount of space (like a 6S pasture paddock) pigs will keep their eating and sleeping areas very clean and tidy.
4. Pigs can't sweat. That's why we make sure that they have plenty of cool, shady places and lots of fresh water to beat the heat on hot days.
5. Pigs are very very strong and stubborn! You cannot make a pig do what it doesn't want to do- that's why we've created very low stress handling practices for our piggies.
6. Pigs are cautious but very curious! They will run away from something or someone new but if you patiently sit down in their pen they just can't help themselves and will eventually come over and sniff your boots and chew your jeans and make friends.
Piggy Dictionary ...
1. When first born, all pigs are called piglets.
2. Once they are no longer nursing from their mothers the piglets are called weaners.
No not the hot dog kind ... note the spelling - weaner vs. wiener :)
3. A young female pig is called a gilt and once she has farrowed (given birth to) her first litter she is called a sow.
4. Male pigs are called boars.
6 Not-So Fun Facts About Pigs ...
1. Most pigs in Canada spend their whole lives in large, windowless buildings called CAFO's (Confinement Animal Feeding Operations) and never get to go outside. :(
2. These pigs live their whole lives inside on concrete floors and never get to express their innate natural desires and abilities - like rooting and grazing. :(
3. In large confinement farrowing facilities baby piglets are taken away from their mothers as early as 4 weeks after being born. Sniff - every baby needs their Mama. :(
4. Hog CAFOs are usually built over huge lagoons that store the manure that falls through the slats in the floors of these buildings. The pigs inside breath these fumes all day, every day. :(
5. Pigs in CAFOs are routinely fed antibiotics. Since living in these conditions is so unhealthy these pigs must constantly receive antibiotics to keep them alive. :(
6. In Canada, there are very few small family farm pork producers who raise their pigs outdoors left as huge corporations have taken over the industry. :(
Click Here to read an article about corporate monopolies in the hog industry and how bad they are for animals, people, communities and our environment. This particular article is about a huge hog producer in Iowa but it is much the same here in Canada.
That's why we LOVE our 6S Farm Fans!
This is why what YOU do is so incredibly important! By knowing where your pork comes from and how it's raised you can help to ensure that pigs will have a much better quality of life like they do here at 6S!
So THANK YOU for supporting ethical agriculture
and THANK YOU for letting us be your farmers!
It means the world to us ... and especially to our pigs!
Pigs live the good life at 6S ...
Piglets at 6S
Our pigs are born right on pasture and stay with their mothers for three full months or more learning how to be great pigs. Then they're ready to be weaned. We gather the whole group of piglets and put them all together in their own pasture paddock where they eat and play and romp all day then crash in one giant piggy pile to sleep.
Growing Pigs at 6S
Our piggy litters grow out their whole lives together in the groups they were born in, just like one big family. They spend all their time on pasture and especially enjoy laying out and soaking up the sun (except on hot days - then they seek out shade).
Sows at 6S
The sows at 6S raise 2 litters of piglets per year. They too spend their whole lives on pasture and like all of our other pig groups are given shelter and bedding as the seasons require. All of our sows are sweet and gentle and there's always a few who see you coming and wander over for scratches or belly rubs, as you can see in this pic :)
Boars at 6S
The boars at 6S truly live the life! Their services are required for a few weeks every year and other than those busy weeks they spend their time grazing, rooting, sleeping and lounging like they don't have a care in the world ... cause they really don't! lol