Guys! I made my first livestock purchase! And I’m so excited!
Everyone, meet Belle! Belle is a 7 month old Spot gilt that I purchased last weekend at the CPS Summer Type Conference in Springfield. William has never raised Spots before, so this will be an adventure for both of us. And judging by what everyone tells me about Spots, “adventure” might be an understatement.
I’ve been known to be slightly impulsive when it comes to acquiring animals, but I promise I put a lot of time and thought into this one.
Just over a year ago, William took me to Belton, Texas to my first big livestock show. At the time I knew nothing- and I mean NOTHING- about pigs. (Or showing livestock, but I still can’t seem to figure that out. I’ll work on it.) As I was following William around the barn like a little lost puppy, he made the mistake of walking past the Spot pens.
SPOTTED PIGS?! Holy cute!
I don’t think I even finished asking William if we could get one before he told me no.
“Spots are stupid. We will never have a Spot on our farm.”
I marveled over the adorable pigs, but put it out of my mind.
Until about two months ago.
I started tending bar to make a little extra cash, and I got the wild idea that I would save up my tip money to buy my very own Spot. It kind of started out as a joke. I truly wanted to save up my money for a Spot, but I didn’t think it would happen for a long time. I attempted to look around for online pig sales, but had no clue what I was doing.
“You know, if you really want a Spot, this is where we need to go.” William turned his laptop to face me.
Wait… Did he really just… Was he… Was he really encouraging me?!
He pointed out that the CPS Summer Type Conference (a show for breeds like Chester White, Spot, and Poland China pigs) was coming up at the end of June. He said they showed during the week, and the sale would be Saturday.
So I waited a month and a half, and on the morning of July 2nd, we loaded up and headed for Springfield.
We got there early enough to walk around and watch a few of the other breeds’ sales. We had a couple marked down that I liked, but there was one gilt I had my heart set on. Of course, I just liked the way she looked. I had to rely on William to tell me if she was actually a good gilt to buy.
The Spots were toward the end of the sale, so I was feeling pretty good when the other breeds before her weren’t selling much. The barn cleared out a bit and I knew there wouldn’t be a problem getting my gilt.
I was wrong.
So, so wrong.
Just before the Spot sale began, people started surrounding the sale ring. I swear they came out of nowhere! The first few pigs, which were show winners, sold for a pretty penny. That was expected. But as more and more pigs were walked through the ring, the prices just didn’t seem to be going down. More than once I heard pigs sell for over $1000. Apparently I wasn’t the only one looking to take a Spot home that day.
Finally she walked into the ring. William- my own personal bidder- pulled out my number and got ready. It wasn’t long and she was bid up to $500. That was my top dollar. It broke my heart to say no when they looked at us to bid $600. I felt like a little kid whose favorite toy was stolen.
She ended up selling for $600. As I was thinking about how I would have paid that, I saw William hold up the bidding number. Somewhere in the bidding mess of gibberish and numbers, I missed that he was actually the one that won! (This is why I don’t bid. I get confused way too easily.) He decided he would bid her up and help pay the extra $100 if I wanted him to. Did I mention he’s a keeper? And that he’s really bad at telling me no when I want more animals? (Insert lovey-heart-eyed emoji here.)
So now we have Belle. She’s named after my favorite Disney Princess, of course. Our plan is to purchase semen and breed her in September. Hopefully we have lots of little Spot babies running around in January. I’m still deciding whether I want to show pigs or simply sell them. You’ll just have to stay tuned to hear more about the adventures of Belle!