We are Andra and Daniel Johnson. Andra works an eight hour day at a job in the community, and is also a big help on the farm. I work as a handyman but enjoy working on the farm and gardening as much as anything. One of my handyman customers started talking to me about raising pigs when he retired. After pondering the information for at least a month, I started to do some research of my own. We started with three crossbred feeder pigs. According to the internet, if you raise three pigs, sell two, put one in your freezer, the selling of the two is supposed to cover the cost of raising three. It doesn’t always work that way.
We built a small 16 foot by 16 foot pen with a lean-to style hut in a corner for our first three pigs. After building it, we thought three 300 pound pigs in that area would not give them a whole lot of room. So we expanded. Our pens are now roughly 45 feet by 75 feet with an 8 foot by 8 foot hut in the middle of each pen.
The huts have a floor so the pigs can get out of the cold wet slop during the winter time. The huts also have electricity so heat lamps can be put up when the temperature drops into the teens or single digits. We use tube waterers so that the pigs always have fresh clean water. We hand feed all of our pigs two times a day. That way, we know how much each pig is getting and can monitor their weight gain. The feed bowls are in the middle of each pen, so we must be in the pen twice a day every day. Our hands are on the pigs every day, so that they become even more docile.
The Fair and Farming communities are quite a great group of people to be around, kids and adults alike. They are friendly, thirsty for knowledge, a place to share knowledge and a joy to meet. We enjoy talking with customers or potential customers on the phone and even more so in person when they stop by out of curiosity or to actually pick out piglets. Sometimes it is the young people who have done the research and want to become farmers to raise animals for their fair projects.
We know that in general, these pigs are on this earth for only a short period of time. If we can make their lives a little more enjoyable, for example; clean pens, clean fresh water, ample room to walk around, plenty of quality feed, pests and parasites under control, and a little or a lot of lovin’, like back or belly rubs and pats on the head or even some hugs. The pigs in turn will give you joy by rubbing on your legs or even a little goose in the caboose and good tasting and nutritious food on your table.