This little piggy did not go to market. In fact, she stayed home and gave birth to 12 piglets.
On Sunday, Goodale Farms‘ Priscilla the Pig gave birth to seven females and five males.
While many animals are bred on Goodale Farms, 2-year-old Priscilla is special, said owner Hal Goodale.
“She was one of the more personable pigs, so we figured we’d keep her around for breeding purposes,” he said. “Out of all of them, she was always the one who would come up and be friendly and personable. Maybe she had a mission.”
Priscilla’s current mission is feeding 12 hungry little mouths. On the day Northforker paid a visit to the farm, all of the babies were sleeping peacefully, giving Mom a little downtime she spent rooting around in the dirt and approaching the fence to let Goodale pet her.
“We had her locked up in there with them, but pigs grow quickly and after a day or two they had gotten bigger,” he said. “As they get bigger, they’re fighting for food and they have a tendency to drive the mother crazy, so we started to let her out so she can get some peace.”
Goodale Farms prides itself on being one of Long Island’s main sources of local dairy products and pastured meats. They raise cows, pigs, goats and chickens without steroids, antibiotics or growth hormones. While not certified as organic, they farm as close to nature as they can.
Priscilla’s brood will eventually become bacon and pork chops, but it will take a good year before they get up to the proper weight. For now, they are enjoying milk by-products and scraps from the farm — as well as their mother’s milk.
This time of year, Priscilla and the other grown pigs are enjoying the fruits of the North Fork harvest just as much as we are. They are fed goodies like fresh-grown broccoli, apples and potatoes.
“Right after Halloween we run around and grab all the pumpkins that are left,” said Goodale. “Between these guys and the cows, they love them. It’s good protein for them.”
Goodale Farms is located at 250 Main Road in Riverhead. For more information, visit goodalefarms.com.