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Ted Hall
 
January 7, 2010 | Swine | Ted Hall

Red Wattle Pork!

Thank you all for your support of and contributions to the Red Wattle pig project.

As those of you who have been following the project know, we have not had much success with breeding Adam and Eve after 3 ½ years of trying. We received the piglets (aptly named Adam and Eve) in June 2006 as part of a project sponsored by Slow Food USA. The goal was to of create a viable breeding community of rare Red Wattle pigs west of the Rockies.

Unfortunately the two pigs have not been able to conceive after many months together in the Garden of Eating (the pen formerly known as the Pig Palace).  

Adam has had a challenge with his back and multiple trips to UC Davis have not diagnosed the problem.  This past spring we even tried artifiicial insemination using Adam's semen with the help of UC Davis vet student, Pam Coy, and Dr. David Gold.  But, after a sonogram-confirmed pregnancy by Eve and three months, three weeks, and three days of waiting, we did not have the birth in August as we had hoped.

Reluctantly, we decided that we should not go forward with these two animals. Rather than continue to try to breed this, now aged, pair and carry them through an uncomfortable winter (especially for Adam), we have made the difficult decision to slaughter.

Yesterday morning they were handled very well by John Taylor right at the ranch. The excellent carcasses are now on their way to Browns Valley Market where they will be hung and then butchered.

Chef Sheamus will do something appropriately special with the pork, I am sure.  And, we'll have the opportunity to confirm the reason why Red Wattle pork is so prized.

We have enjoyed hosting two St. Helena High School FFA seniors' projects (Laura White and Molly Salinger) who cared for the pigs and we have all learned a lot through the efforts of "docs" Pam and David.

We still have a dream of helping revive and protect this breed through a project that would benefit St. Helena FFA. We’ll just have to look for another opportunity in the future.

As Laddie said this morning, the Garden of Eating won’t be the same. . . But, I am confident we have made the right decision.

Posted by Ted Hall


 

Comments

Cathy's Gravatar
 
Cathy
@ Apr 12, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Wait a minute - I knew those pigs..

Donna OShaughnessy's Gravatar
 
Donna OShaughnessy
@ Apr 12, 2011 at 12:34 PM
Hiya. Just found your blog as I was taking a break from writing a grant application for our "Save the Red Wattle" project. So sorry to hear about Adam and Eve but I think your trial will make me even MORE diligent about preserving this special breed. We have two RW sows due to farrow in March. Our first litters, Cross your fingers for us and P.S. Great website

Ted Hall's Gravatar
 
Ted Hall
@ Apr 12, 2011 at 12:34 PM
Thanks for your blog post. We are a very impressed by the carcasses and are just now preparing some dishes for our restaurant. The chef is very excited. We, too, will find a way to keep this going.

G's Gravatar
 
G
@ Apr 12, 2011 at 12:35 PM
Hi Ted! Delurking here. I loved the way you handled the info in this post. Very dignified for Adam and Eve. I would have said something along the lines of "Eve decided to die rather than sleep with the last pig standing" or "Adam and Eve decided to go 21st century by rebelling all the way to heaven against arranged marriage."

Dot's Gravatar
 
Dot
@ Apr 12, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Sorry to hear about Adam and Eve. If you need help locating stock or making connections with breeders or anything else for that matter, please, don't hesitate to contact me.

Dot Parker Jordan Red Wattle Hog Assoc. Sec/Treas 812-360-7765

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