I'm often asked what it's like to raise pigs. I don't have lots of experience in this department, so every time I get new piglets I keep learning more about pigs. Prior to coming to Hawaii, my pig raising escapades involved commercial piglets. They were far, far different from the part ferals I'm working with now. These part ferals are way more active and aggressive.
My current pair are very active rooters. In fact, I'm exploiting that trait in order to rid my future garden area of grass. As soon as they are moved into fresh grass, they both root around ear deep (and often have their complete heads underground!) ripping up the sod. This pair could destroy a manicured lawn in minutes.
Another very piggy trait I see more so with this pair than any previous pigs is their aggressive eating habits. They will both dive into the same bucket and try to out gobble their sister. Within seconds they are pushing, trying to flip the other guy out of the bucket, biting ears, and squealing. Then they will switch buckets, repeating their piggish behavior.
Somewhere along the way one pig gets flipped right over the back of the other, ending up being in the other side. But the eating never stops. They just shove their faces right back into the one bucket again until all the food is gone. Then it's a repeat performance with the other bucket of food. When they finally get full, I'll refill the buckets so that they can nibble with less tussling until it's dinner time. Whereupon they do it all over again. My previous piglets never carried the food fights to this extreme.
Another piggish habit, one that I don't like, is that the reddish brown one bites. Not fun. She's smart enough to not bite if I'm holding a short length of pipe in my hand. But arrive without the pipe and she'll try to bite my hands and feet. She's the smaller of the two sisters but surely the meanest. And she's going to be the first one to go into the freezer. At the rate she is biting, I won't be waiting for her to get very big. The black one is just fine and enjoys head and belly rubs. But I have to fend off the red one in order to do that. So I've learned with this duo, some pigs are aggressive and not interested in being tamed.
So far each piglet I've raised has been different. Some nice. Some not. Some smart. Some pretty stupid. Some that I like. Some that I'm more than willing to butcher. I've had rooters and non-rooters. Jumpers and non-jumpers. Some afraid of dogs. Some that liked to run and play with our farm dog. And now the red one who tries to attack and bite the dog. Poor Crusty is afraid of this red pig.
I wonder if mean pigs taste different? Naw, I don't think so. But we'll find out soon enough because the red pig will be going to feed a bunch of people at the Saturday night get together. She just needs to get a little bit bigger first.