Tag Archives: Organic Farming

Hay Maker

Being as we eat chickens for dinner, I’m not one to get overly squeamish at the thought of raising things which I might potentially eat one day. However, I do love my girls a lot and the action of having to actually EAT one would just be almost impossible.

I use to tease my Mother about how she was about eating the hog meat we had in the freezer.

Penitence was a Duroc Hog (Mom said) which my brother brought home as a   cute little pink wiggly thing he saw on the side of a highway. After about a year that pig grew into a huge hog. None of us saw that one coming until way later; when she almost tore down a full barn with her rooting and pushing timbers to grub up some morsel of chow hidden in a dark spot. She was a huge hog. She would have easily won a 4-H Blue Ribbon for the most body weight and beauty.


Penitence had a love for my brother. Of course, SHE was a girl. She absolutely hated anyone else, and tolerated Mom. Frequently Mom fed her and brought goodies, so she was spared the wrath of Penny. No one else dared enter the “dead zone” with her.  You know, that space just beyond the gate into the corral. Yeah; don’t go there.  Bad. Bad, idea. Penitence was easily a 1200 lb beauty. A one hog demolitions expert, with a bad temper.

On the last morning Penny would breathe, Mom had just brought her a bucket of tasty goodies from the house for her. Mark was already outside giving her the morning feed. They stood there talking a bit leaning on the gate rails. Penny stood waiting on the goodies from Mom. She opened the gate to take in the bucket and pour them in Penny’s pan.

No one is really sure what happened next, except Mom had to run out very fast to escape Penny’s charge. She was determined to hurt someone today, and it better not be my Mother.

You’d have to know Mark to really appreciate the real significance of his next actions.

After making sure Mom was alright, he headed for the house, grabbed the hunting riffle and loaded it meticulously with four bullets. The 44 was enough to stop a bull moose, it took three shots to kill Penny. She was not stopping. Not even with a bullet through the head.

After that Mark was sullen. We just didn’t kill our animals. Not even for food. But No One, and I mean NO ONE hurt Mom. That was the line.

Now to lighten up a bit…  How does one slaughter a 1200 pound hog without a proper place?  They are easily 10 feet long. What the hell can dead-lift, over a tree limb, a 1200 lb hanging weight hog?  Oh god… What now?

I really could continue this mental exercise with explaining how Penitence (true to her name) ripped up a Doge Pick-Up-Truck’s transmission; broke several ropes and almost kill another guy on the ground “helping” when her body fell from the tree. Yea, not fun.

The resulting days festivities yielded 800 pounds of butchered hog. Thankfully, you could take farm raised meat to the butcher then and they’d do the cutting and wrapping for you.

Mom could eat none of Penny’s meat. She said, “It just gets bigger and bigger the more I chew”.  Poor Mom.  I took it off her hands… Eating Penny brought me no moral dilemma, and her pork steaks were the size of dinner plates.

Thank You Penny.

Yea, this had nothing to do with chickens, did it? (Laughing Loudly)…