Although there is still plenty of pasture left for our Mulefoot pigs to root around in, we have been supplementing their earthy excavations with a grain and mineral ration that’s certified organic. The coarsely ground Mulefoot pig feed includes such goodies as roasted soybeans, corn, wheat and a host of minerals suited specifically to porcine preferences. The pigs also enjoy trimmings from the various organic greens that Kate brings home from the market … often the Mercantile in Lawrence … but sometimes Dillons in Topeka.
Now that the weather has turned cold … at least for a few days … we have been giving the pigs some of our leftovers. For example, after everyone had eaten their fill of turkey soup, we poured the remaining fat and broth over some leftover rice and about a dry quart of whole oats. After soaking for about 8 hours in our stainless-steel slop bucket, I poured the turkey-flavored stuff into the trough. The Mulefoot pigs squealed with such delight … snorting, rooting and smacking … there was no doubt they were enjoying themselves. Last night, there was a similar scene, when I gave them the smoked chicken remains … sans bones.
One thing is for sure about Mulefoot pigs. They aren’t afraid to let you know how they feel. And when they are happy, it is sheer delight.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.