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The pigs are not a major source of income but I like pigs. My Dad raised pigs and lots of them. I have found the secret of enjoyable hog raising is to only have a few at a time. I buy 5 to 8 piglets at a time and that seems about right. Used to feed my Dad's hogs, hundreds at a time and even had 30 or 40 head of my own a couple of years ago and it was just work, a chore. With only a few, it gives you time to talk to them and give them treats.

The most important part the pigs play on the farm is turning unsalable organic vegetables into high-quality pork. Leftovers from the farmer's market, culls from the garden, etc. all go to the pigs. Pigs love tomatoes and pumpkins and about any thing else but won't eat cucumbers or daikon radishes. Go figure.

I give the pigs access to pasture when there is plenty of grass and they have a corn/soybean meal/ mineral mix available to them at all times. No growth hormones or antibiotics in the feed, I don't want to eat it. Commercial operations use sub-theraputic levels of antibiotics in their food because it helps their pigs reach market weight faster. Maybe I am slow, but what is time to a hog?

We use 1 or 2 pigs for pig-pickings, one is home-processed into sausage, hams, and pork chops, and the rest are sold to neighbors and friends. Sorry, but most people cannot buy this quality of great tasting pork if they wanted to.

Border collies will lay and watch pigs for hours.