I am Captain Ben Green, Pirate chief of the good ship “The Barracks”.
About two years ago, I started a fundraiser to help feed my piggies through the winter. I didn't expect to save three furry Mangaliza piggies from the butcher's knife; it just sort of happened. I didn't know a thing about keeping pigs either.
Without this naivety, I would not have done it. My ignorance, the piggies' bliss!
Since then, I have learned quite a lot.
I have learned that piggies don't eat hay. And that they grow. And they are never not ready to eat.
This was the fundraiser from two years ago.
These are the facts today
There are still three (3) pigs.
Brunni is still a bit bigger than Marilyn (it seems the spelling of her name has changed over time) and Fat Tony is now quite fat.
I don't know what they weigh now, but it's definitely not under 150 kilos each.
I don't want to say that a year from now, I will be self-sufficient in pig food. But, will be planting more apple trees, and they will slowly start to produce actual harvests, the pig food field (called the "vineyard" for historical reasons) will be productive, and fertility will be increasing.
I can absolutely say, it won't be this year though. Not even close.
So what do they eat?
They might not like hay, but they do like freshly cut lush green grass. There hasn't been any this year. It hasn't rained.
I've tripled the amount of windfall apples that I have access to. The baker brings me stale bread from time to time.
The most important change from last time, though, is that I have dug up a massive area, to be dedicated solely to pig food- the "Vineyard" mentioned above.
I started serious work on it in April this year. I have managed to get some crops in, but they were very late. Next year, this field will be available from spring for pig food, and I hope to grow enough for them. It's probable. But it's also a year away.
Mostly they eat horse food. Horse food is far better for pigs than pig food, and at the moment, and for the next year, I need to buy it in.
Pigs eat 4 - 6 % of their own body weight per day. I did the maths last time at 4%, so I'll stick with that.
4% of (3 x 150kg) is 18kg food per day.
18kg for 365 days is over 6500kg
Maybe next year, almost certainly the year after that, the orchard and the pig food field should be that productive. Really. I'm making a lot of food here! This year, I'm optimistically hoping to provide a tonne of that. Maybe one and a half.
I'm also hoping they stop growing by next year!
So far, I've spent over 4,000 Euros just on food. The fatter they get, the more they eat, and I am spending about 250 - 300 a month on them.
Every penny of your donation is amazing. The piggies are still really the soul of the barracks. Without public contributions, I am going to struggle badly, so if you can't help out, please share and recommend this to other people. If you can manage a fiver, though, thank you!
10€ feeds one piggie for 2 days, so
35€ provides all the nutritional satisfaction for one piggie for a whole week!
and 100€ keeps all three of them in great tasting pig (horse!) food for a week.
I know I am asking for twice as much as last time. We have made teriffic progress here, almost all of which has been cancelled out by the pesky porkers putting on 2.5 times as much weight, and the real tragedy of climate change meaning I have not been able to give them even one mouthful of fresh green grass this year.
If crazy things happen, and we blast through the target, I have some really cool stretch goal ideas as well!
Thank you, from all four of us