Friday, July 13, 2012

Show Em Your Piggies

Oh the joys of living in the country.  Hog Shows. Swine Shows. Pig Shows.  Whatever you call them, they are a blast. This is our oldest and she wanted to show pigs a few years back.  What's any good set of parents to do, but dive in!

When you show pigs you need MANY items to get going.  One of these things is "bling bling" jeans and a shiny belt.  For the record, this belt doesn't cut the mustard, but is going to have to do (says mom.) Look at that cool clip to clip of her number, yup, gotta have one of those special clips too!!

We are at national show here that is held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. There were over 1000 pigs here for this event.  Pretty awesome I'd say!  The temperature is 102 so that's rough on all these pigs who are already out of their element by being at the show, but you know what? PIGS DON'T SWEAT!  So you gotta keep them cool or they keel over.  Read---very bad deal for show pigs to die! 

Look at all of those fans!  The barns weren't really all THAT hot, with all of the fans going.  The kids and adults were very, very busy watering down and washing off the pigs to keep them cool during this heat.  

The picture above is just one of the reasons we dove into this pig showing business.  Daddy and daughter sweating it out, working hard, taking care of something outside of themselves.  We walk, feed and wash these pigs 2-3 times a day.  That's what SUMMER BREAK is for us. You know what, we love it!  It's teaching hard work and responsibility and animal husbandry.  Love it.

 The show ring is the center of it all.  We primp, wash, clip, spray, feed, water, walk, exercise and weigh the pigs in anticipation of the moments spent in the ring.  The showmanship is important too.  Presenting the pigs just so to the judge.  Such a fun dance it all is! We don't have the best of the best hogs.  We are just beginners, but we are still competitive even at a big show like this.  At county fairs, now that's more comfortable territory, but it is all great!
Little man is always right there in the heat of it all.  A pig bit his tiny arm this summer trying to eat the marshmallow he was holding. Luckily he just had a little bruise on his arm, but he was m.a.d. that the pig slobbered on his flip flop.  Though he will tell you each time he sees a pig in a picture book: "pig bite you," that doesn't stop him.  He's in it to win it.  Or maybe I should say, he's in it because we are.  Slopping the hogs with dad looks fun doesn't it?

Though the middle guy doesn't want to show pigs this year, and didn't want a pig of his own, he is there to help.  (A bit of parenting advice from me: buy your kid a hog sprayer like this.  I mostly only see orange ones, and it's probably not safety tested but it's worth HOURS of entertainment for kids of all ages.)  We are making this a true family event, where we all have a role, we all work hard, we all take care of the livestock and each other.  Most of all why we love it...we are doing it together!    

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