Tuesday, May 26, 2015
The One Bad Day
After seven months of twice daily feeds and water top ups I have become very used to Blanche and Maud being around. But scraps and fallen fruit are diminishing so we have been feeding them more pig pellets to finish them off. They weigh about 65kgs with Blanche being closer to 70kg. It is time for their one bad day. The night before I entice them up into the stock crate which I have lined with tin to make it more sheltered for them. They step up happily, willing to go anywhere for a white bucket of food. They spend the night in the shed on their bed of hay, protected from the howling gale and savage gusts of rain outside.
The next morning we take the windy 100kms to the nearest abattoir. I take it slowly and when I stop to check on them, Maud and Blanche don't seem too phased by the new feeling of speed. It is hard to tell what their reaction is but they do not seem to show any signs of stress. I back into the abattoir shed entrance. The system here is that you drop off the pigs and write in a book your contacts, how many pigs, how they are marked and where you want the carcasses to go. Blanche and Maud are sporting an Opportunity Farm orange ear tag so they can be easily recognised amongst any other pigs. We are the first to arrive (they only deal with pigs one day a week) so my pigs get the place to themselves. It is not an easy departure but I have to leave sentimentality behind and concentrate on the fact that they have had a good life before this day and the thought of the wonderful pork that will fill the freezers in a few days.