Chewie the FFA fair pig is progressing wonderfully. The fair is in late March, so she still has time to grow, but remember, she must fall between 230 and 280 pounds at fair weigh in. I think she has grand champion potential, more so than any show pig we have ever raised.
She has the long, muscular body and round butt that swine judges love.
(Don't go there...)
Combine all the physical attributes with a sparkling porcine personality and you have a contender.
She really is a funny pig and about as tame as one could be.
I can already tell that saying goodbye to THIS pig at the end of the fair will be tougher than past pigs. She is a charmer.
Charmer or not, she is a livestock animal and not a pet. She also has to be the correct weight at fair time, so every once in a while, we weigh her.
Did I say "we"?
Mr. Basketball star had a game on the rainy afternoon when it was finally my chance to borrow the FFA livestock scale.
So it fell to me to get Chewie weighed.
The scale consists of a small chute with gates at both ends. You lure the animal into the chute, slam the gates and read the scale dial.
Nothing to it, except that pigs naturally avoid any confining area ... like this chute.
I can't force her in. Not only would she resist pretty efficiently, but it would scare her ... possibly scare her to death.
Pigs are easily stressed and it's not uncommon for a stressed pig to drop dead within a few minutes, so I always allow the pig to take her time rather than forcing her into it. This involves some bait ... a mushy pear in this case, and lots of back scratching and encouraging words.
On this particular afternoon, she was being extra cautious, so it took about an hour in a misty rain before Chewie put her whole body in the confines of the scale.
Slam! I shut the scale gate and flipped the switch to activate the scale dial.
175 pounds ... same as me!
Well, that should be easy to remember, but I AM 50 now so I still wrote it down.
That is a good weight for this time in her progression.
We'll weigh her again in a month.
Flounder's imitation of a leopard seal.
He's just showing me he's still got what it takes when it comes to a sock toy tug o war.
I love him, but it creeps me out when he does this leopard seal imitation. To me, there's nothing scarier than one of these reptilianlike mammal predators. Snorkeling in Antarctica is definitely not on my life list.
Flounder is not a real leopard seal of course, so even though it looks like it in the picture, I did not lose a thumb during our little wrestling match. Sorta been there, done that anyway ...
Hershel's is a tiny country store at the blinking light intersection in Otter Creek, Florida. From time to time, Hershel's goes dormant, but lately it is an active store again. It's a little speck of a store with beer, basic food essentials, bait ... and swamp cabbage.
It makes me wonder a bit if the treerustling incident might be related to the menu at Hershel's. That is pure conjecture of course, since it is legal to harvest your own palms and there certainly are a lot of them in our neck of the woods.
General rambling updates on stuff:
- The baby turtles are doing fine. They don't eat much this time of year and are just maintaining until spring. This is the year they will be released ... no, really ... I mean it.
- The atlatl is right where it was the last time I posted about it. If it changes, I'll let you know.
- My high school sweetheart called to wish me happy 50th birthday this week. I told my high school students about it as an example of: if you are nice to each other, you might get a surprise birthday call 34 years later that makes you smile.
- The coonties are producing bright orange fruits again and I am collecting them as they do. Currently about 200 baby coonties are growing in my nursery beds.
- I've been picking up hickory nuts (have none here) where I find them during my adventures and planting them around my property ... sort of a Johnny Hickorynut thing.
- The rains have begun again after a very dry winter/fall. Last weekend PFHQ received 3.5 inches and today promises more.
- I received the coolest box of goodies in the mail this week from some blogger pals in the frozen north. I'll share it with you later this week.
So there you have it. I told you I was in a ramblin' mood.
Now I need to ramble outside before the predicted rainstorms arrive. It's 48 and grey outside my window as I type this.
Have a great Saturday!