The Life of Porky Pig
I was the first of sixteen pigs born to my mother. She gave birth to me after being pregnant for three months, three weeks, and three days or 113 days.
After being born, my siblings and I had our navel cords clipped to 1 or 1.5 inches and then dipped in iodine to prevent infection. Then our needle teeth, almost six of them, were clipped from our mouths, so that we would not hurt our mother when nursing. Then we were given iron shots, to prevent anemia. These shots must be given on the day of birth or in the first two to four days. Our tails are also cut to keep us from biting them. and then dipped in iodine to prevent infection. (Iodine must be the cure all for everything!) This must happen in the first 1-3 days. We also had our ears notched to give us our own personal pig number. This is optional, but can be required by purebred operations. Each notch stands for a number.
After being poked and prodded, we finally get to see our mom. We get to stay in a farrowing crate, where she will be forced to lay still and feed us, for three to four weeks.
It is really important for new born piglets not to get chilled. We have a heat lamp in the corner to keep us nice and warm. Notice how we all like to sleep together in one big pile under the lamp. We really love each other.
It is really important that baby pigs nurse and get colostrum, which is full of antibodies, from their mother. The technician in this video is making sure that all my brothers and sisters are drinking.
If my mom can't feed all of us, or if we are too lazy to drink milk, we will have to be hand fed milk replacer by a bottle or a syringe. This is a picture of my Dorky getting fed, because he likes to sleep more than he eats.
Feeding sixteen of us is really hard on our mom. Our barn technician starts introducing us to solid food. She provides a bowl with some soft food that we can eat if we need more than milk. It is called creep feeding. It is helping to prepare us to be weaned from our mom and to eat only solid food.
My brothers and I were all comfy and cozy, when one of the technicians rounded us up and took us to the hallway. None of us had any idea where we were headed. Then I heard my brother squeal real loud. I knew something was up, but what was it. Dorky was being castrated. His testicles were removed to prevent tainting the meat later on and to prevent him from being too wild. Castration must be done in the first two weeks of life, but is usually done at 1-3 days old. How can I get away? Oh, NOOOO! I am next!
HEADED TO THE NURSERY
Twenty one days have passed and they are taking us away from mom. We are going to some placed called the nursery. If we have reached 10-15 pounds, we will be moved here and fed a balanced diet or nutrients to help us grown fast. We are also grouped with other pigs our same size. Dorky is not in my group anymore. He has been moved to a new group. We have slotted floors, so that we our poop can drop through. Our diets may change as much as five times to make sure we get a good mix of grain, protein and milk. We stay here in our 80-85 degree homes until we reach 40 -60 pounds.
TO THE FINISHING BARN
I have now eat so much and gotten so fat, I am headed to the finishing barn. Here I am grouped with pigs my same age, size and sex. Our house is climate controlled and our feed is automatic. We can have as much food and water as we want. You can see the great big bins of food outside of the bar. That is for us! This ration is full of protein so that we can gain lots of muscle. We are here until we reach twenty weeks of age. Then we are sold to the processor. Most of us will weigh between 220-260 pounds.
TO THE PROCESSOR
Moving day has come. We are outta here! Woohoo! Road trip! They have marked us with a mark down our backs and they are shooing us to get on the truck! Here we go!
I overheard the driver telling the foreman that the truck was headed to the Smithfield Packing Plant. Whoa! Isn't that where bacon comes from? I am not headed there.
Prayer chains really work! All of us pigs said a prayer and guess what. The truck overturned. This was my chance to get away! I started running for the woods as fast as I could!
AM I LOONEY?
I walked and I walked. I was so tired. I hopped into the back of a pick-up to rest. When the truck stopped, I woke up. I was on the lot of Warner Brothers. I saw a duck named Daffy and I told him my crazy get away story. He said, "Man, have I got a job for you!"
That is where Porky Pig and Looney Tunes began!
I miss you, Dorky, mom and my other brothers and sisters! I hope you got away, too.