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Pink 2.0 gets his first taste of the outdoors

  • Pink 2.0 goes outside for the first time March 20th. ELODIE REED—Monitor staff


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Carole Soule stood in position in the muddy paddock, opened the pig shed door and her piglets . . . didn’t come out. 

“This isn’t exactly what I expected,” she told me. 

Slowly, Pink 2.0 and his brothers and sisters poked out their snouts, cautiously joining their mother, Sarah, who chowed down on some grain. March 20 was the first time these eight piglets went outside of their little shed, and Soule said they’d be out there a couple of hours a day from then on.

“Just so they can have a more natural existence – they’re built to root,” she told me. “In a concrete pen, you can’t do that.”

When they do go outside, Soule told me it helps the piglets feel less stressed, which, according to farmers’ common wisdom, makes for better meat. 

“It definitely tastes different when they’re free versus when they’re in a feed line,” Soule said.

On a second visit this past Sunday, I could see Pink 2.0 was certainly happier outside. Inside the pen, he and his siblings skittered around and squished on top of each other in their covered corner – 240 or so pounds of pig was a tight squeeze – and only popped out when Soule pushed them. 

Outside, however, the piglets were focused on the ground, peacefully pushing their noses through the mud. 

“I’m letting them express their piggyness,” Soule told me. 

 

Pink (2.0) facts week 7

Age: 6 weeks

Weight: 33 pounds

Cost at this point: Previous cost ($98.42) + electricity + bedding + labor + sow feed + piglet feed = $126.46

(This article is part of an ongoing, six-month project by Ag & Eats blogger and Monitor staffer Elodie Reed, who is documenting “Pink 2.0” to see how locally raised pork is cared for, processed and eventually consumed. Have questions or Ag & Eats news tips, events or recipes? Reed can be reached at 369-3306, ereed@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @elodie_reed.)