Sunday, February 28, 2010
Chester Enjoys the Mud
Chester is a Yorkshire and would have been raised for his flesh. Production pigs are slaughtered when they are a mere 6-mos-old - 100-110 million annually. They have been bred to convert food quickly into muscle and fat. Chester currently weighs about 800 lbs. Like most adult production pigs, he has problems with arthritis. While a smaller, heritage breed of pig might live 12-15 years, Chester and his kind are lucky to live eight years. His mom lived in a cage where she could not turn around and he was taken from her when he was 3 weeks old. Normal weaning is 3-5 months of age.
Most people are impressed with the size of the pigs at the sanctuary. They are even more impressed when I tell them they all know their names. Sometimes, I prove this by individually calling a pig amongst a group and watch everyone's eyes light up when that particular pig comes forward. Of course, like with dogs, the pigs don't always want to come and just stare at me when called - "as if, lady."
There is one pig, Susie, who I tell people will roll on her side on command. This is untrue, although she could be taught. Pigs are very tactile and will almost always stop and roll over on their side if you start rubbing their belly. Susie is extra sensitive. You can touch her with one finger along her side and she will plop over. If I stand behind her, people cannot see me touch her, just hear me say "roll over" and bam! pig on the ground, belly up for a rubbing.
You have now learned my secret. Do not share with those who visit the sanctuary.
As a warning, a pig's penis will be mentioned below. Don't read if that might offend you.
Chester does not roll over on command and it takes a vigorous belly rubbing to get him to lie down. Also, he will sometimes become a little too enamored and his cork-screw shaped penis emerges. This will be disturbing for everyone involved, except Chester. He is not embarrassed by anything. I do not know why nature designed a cork-screw penis for male pigs or a matching shaped cervix for the females. Also, another fun pig sex fact: When trying out sex for the first time, males always try to mount the female's head. Farmers try to pair experienced sows with newbies, because experienced sows do not give head. This is perhaps more than you cared to know about porcine copulatory behavior. I suppose I can blame Retrieverman for posting a video of the Malaysian Tapir, a species whose males have an even more disturbing penis.