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