Monday, January 31, 2011

Ode to an Ernie Bob, or......It's a Pig's Life..........

I come from a long line of pig farmers.  We always had pigs when I was little and Dad worked for a farm that farrowed sows and raised pigs on dirt.  When they converted over to confinement Dad's lungs couldn't handle it so he found a job as a diesel mechanic.  The house we lived in was the hired man house at the hog farm so we had to move, but that's neither here nor there.  On to the purpose of this post!

You may be asking yourself, what in the heck is an Ernie Bob?  Well he was a pig of course!
This is Ernie Bob and he was my first baby.  When I was about 16 or 17, a family member called and said one of their sows had only one piglet.  The pig business bein' what it was, he didn't want to leave just one pig on his sow, so he called and asked me if I wanted a pig to bottle feed.  Well.......DUH!  Of course I did, so I went and got this little boar piglet.  Nobody ever told me it was hard to raise a bottle pig, or that you couldn't do it on plain old cow's milk, so I guess that's why I didn't have any trouble.  That little pig was my baby and I loved him!  He lived on our enclosed back porch and he'd squeal in the night to wake me up for his bottle. 

 My dad named him Ernie Bob (don't ask me why, you'd just have to know my dad) and he was a trip.  Dad wanted to cut him and pull his tushes because he was worried about him gettin' mean but I wouldn't let him.  I just knew that would make my Ernie Bob not love me anymore, so he stayed a boar with all his teeth.  I couldn't get him weaned from the bottle because he knew I'd just melt when he asked for it, so one weekend when I had gone to a friend's house my dad weaned him off the bottle.  He lived on the porch till he got too big and then we built him a pen out in the old chicken house.
At this time, I also had a pet chicken named Bernadette (after Bernadette Peters)
and I'd walk around the yard with Ernie Bob right behind me and Bernadette right behind him.  We got more than a few stares from the neighbors! 

He never got mean and as an adult boar would suck on my bare toes!  The only thing you couldn't do to him was push on his head.  Hogs fight with their heads and when he was a little bitty pig and living on the back porch, when Dad would come home from work, he'd take his boot and push on the side of Ernie Bob's head.  Ernie Bob'd go crazy, bucking and fighting Dad's boot while Dad cackled like a loon.  Well once he got big, he'd never offer to get rough with you.......unless you pushed on his head.  Uncle Big Dog was over one day and standing at the panel lookin' at him and scratchin' him.  Dad said.... Now don't push on his head, so of course baby brother Big Dog had to do it.  Ernie Bob climbed right up that panel and up the front of Uncle Big Dog.  There was nothing left of his t-shirt.  Ernie Bob ripped it off him! 

After he got about 8 months old or so, my dad arranged for a local hog farmer to buy him to use as a boar.  I was very sad to see my Ernie Bob go, but he lived a long life breeding sows for Johnny!
Before Ernie Bob there were lots of feed lot pigs.  Dad and Grandpa kept sows on dirt.  That's me in the blue flowered dress and my sister in the green t-shirt.  You gotta love that there was an old dead push mower as well as numerous other trash in the hog lot.....

And here I am makin' friends while my sister is doin' something and my cousin T is figgerin' out what that long thing attached to the rear of the pig is!  I was right at 2 1/2 or 3 in these pictures.

Since then The Man and I've raised feeder pigs several times, but they were always MEAN and I never got too attached..........

You may be askin' yourself why all of a sudden I'm waxin' poetic about pigs?? 

Well here's a hint........

What does a Goodwife like me want for her birthday??  PIGS of course!  Sorry OFG, I know you're disappointed in me.........

Tune in tomorrow for the whole scoop on the pig situation at Goodwife Farm........

God Bless.............


  1. Aww! I've not been around many pigs, we raised a few for butchering.

  2. I've never owned a pig, but have always wanted to. I'm almost 49 yrs old and my dream is still to own my own farm one day....
    The story of you and your pig is adorable. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I am a terrible person, but I am not a fan of chickens of pigs. I like 'em fine cut and wrapped, but I am a horse and cows girl.Obviously you are better (nicer than me) and will raise them up just fine

  4. I dated guys in high school who showed pigs. My shoes always stunk like them (years later) if I went around them. They always told me that was the smell of money.

  5. I want pigs! The Husband says 'no' because he tried to raise some and they were all kinds of trouble - they even got sunburnt when they went on vacation once. I'd love to be able to say that I raised everything for my breakfast table. The Husband says that I can't have pigs cuz I'll get attached and try to keep it as a pet, but I try to convince him that I love bacon more than I love a grown pig!

  6. Oh yay! Glad you got ya some pigs girl! How old are they and what kind are they?

  7. Awwww..... I'm so happy for you! I loved this post. Your pigs are so cute! Know wonder you was wondering where I been all day. Cant wait to see more!

  8. We have raised them for meat several times. They can be very dangerous if not fed enough. SomethingI tried to explain to a not very bright person that we managed a farm for.. Anyway I would like to eventually raise MORE Bacon and Ham one day!!

  9. There used to be pigs raised on my place before we bought it. that's as close as I've come to raising pigs.

    Loved your story. Hope you find the pigs you're looking for.

  10. My brothers showed pigs a couple years. I have to say, I never liked them. Piglets are too cute but after they grow, I don't care for them.

    But I'm happy for you. Your hubby is like mine. Gets us what we want!

  11. I missed our feeder pigs this winter. Okay I'll fess up I don't miss the fact that they tipped over their water( no matter how we tried to fix it so they couldn't) It's frustrating when it's -20F and you're hauling water from the house in 5 galln buckets, you pour it in and they take a drink and then abruptly dump it over
    I did miss their sqeals and greeting each morning and evening, as well as scratching their backs and ears :o)

    Have fun, and thanks for sharing the photos and the info about the breeds. The feeder pigs we get are crosses between Berkshire and Dovrc( not sure of the whole name)

  12. OH NO!! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha now THAT a is great birthday present! whoooot! thems a lotta bacon walkin'

    great job!

  13. My friends laugh at me when I want tools for my birthday :) but pigs! now there's an idea for another year.

    We are just starting out on the homesteading journey and need to start small, so for this year it will be chickens.

  14. Hi, actually I got tools for my birthday as well. I got a drill bit set and a tape measure! They were to add to the tool box hubby got me for Christmas, with hammer, screwdrivers, and some other stuff!

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment!


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