Mt. Shasta On The Hoof

Mama Shasta & Piglets

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

I’ve a longtime fascination with pigs. They’re supposed to be very smart, and many people say they’re good pets. Many years ago, I wanted to adopt a pet pig from people who were moving away. She was their very friendly and fully housebroken pet. But I lived in a neighborhood community that except for dogs, cats, and “pocket pets” wouldn’t allow animals. Later, after moving onto a small acreage, I looked on the internet for small pigs, but since my horses, dogs, cats, and birds kept me busy, it didn’t seem fair to a new pet, or to me, to adopt again. Besides, rumors have it that teacup or pigmy pigs, descending from potbellies, usually grow quite large.

This week, I met the massive and beautiful Shasta along with her week-old babies. Shasta is a recent import from California, two years old and very special, for she’s a show pig. I’m a novice, to my eyes Shasta could have weighed 400 lbs. with her every inch lean and solid. She’s very friendly but pushy, and it was astonishing to find how easily she could have pushed me completely off my feet. Apparently, a pig’s low center of gravity gives it power. Standing low and compact, it has the strength of a mini-tractor.

More Shasta Babies

A show pig must be as perfect a specimen of the species as possible. The animal should be correct in its every component. It ought to demonstrate an appropriate lean-to-fat ratio, and have good legs, feet, tail, and ears, and have correct numbers of teeth and nipples. Besides herself having it all, Shasta passed her good qualities on to her new babies.

In the “babies photo” above, the littlest one at the back, the litter’s runt, would have been my pick if I could have afforded her, although she’ll ultimately become a very big girl. These little piglets are being much-handled by adults and children, will become people friendly like their mom. Some will grow into breeders, others will be shown as 4H projects.

Oh, how I’d love to have had the experience and fun of a pet pig!

Dear Friends, the luxury of enjoying animals heightens appreciations of them. Diana

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