Posted on Apr 14, 2014
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Wild pigs are very agile and strong and live about 20 years. Scientists have taken the DNA of the wild pig and genetically engineered it to create a man made animal designed to get very big, very fast to go to slaughter at 6 months old. By the time they are fully grown at 3 years old they are abnormally large and have an average life span of around 4 or 5 years.
We met Biscuit at a pumpkin patch where he was kept by himself in a cage for visitors to look at.He looked so lonely and was so sweet and gentle that we spent the day feeding and petting him through the fence. As we were leaving at the end of the day, we told the owner of the petting zoo that we adored his pig. The owner told us that it wasn’t his pig and in fact the day after Halloween he would be picked up and taken to slaughter. My kids and I went home very sad and cried for 5 days. On the 6th day, my husband, Jay, asked us all to come out to the barnyard and there was tiny Biscuit saved as a surprise for us! Jay to the rescue!
At the petting zoo, Biscuit had been all alone in the tiny cage for months and had no access to straw or mud or any of the fun things pigs need and love. Biscuit spent that first day at The Gentle Barn running around and around stretching his legs in joy. Then he dove in the mud hole and took his first proper bath and itched and scratched and rolled and splashed to his heart’s content.
To see his first day at The Gentle Barn go to:
We celebrated Biscuit's birthday yesterday with our Sunday visitors. We all sang happy birthday to him and gave him a yummy piggy birthday cake made of carrots, bananas, apples and nuts. Biscuit loved it! A family even made him hand drawn birthday cards that made Biscuit feel very loved and appreciated.
Biscuit is now 8 years old and 1,000 pounds and thankfully for us, a gentle giant. He loves tummy scratches and gentle rubs behind the ears. He has a great appetite for food and life and, yes, he still enjoys a good mud bath. Biscuit has always been very disciplined and jogs around the barnyard every morning. With his careful diet of fresh fruits and veggies and his rigorous exercise routine, Biscuit will hopefully live forever. Fingers crossed that we get to celebrate his birthday again next year! Until then we will continue to play with him in the mornings, snuggle with him in the afternoons, and tuck him into bed with his blanket at night and give him kisses on his big pink nose.