The pigs at Bread and Butter Farm in Shelburne were on the move last week.
In order to take advantage of the summer weather to re-seed their regular pasture, farmer Corie Pierce said they move their herd of pigs to a spot farther out on their farmland.
The pigs’ new digs include two acres of fenced woodland, portions of pasture, and what Pierce called a “shrubby ramble area” where the pigs are “doing some good work digging up the roots” of invasive species.
Three sows and 25 of their babies were moved to the new pasture on July 20. The trip is about a third of a mile long.
But because Pierce isn’t keen on trucking animals even short distances, the swine were led with the help of farm summer camp children and a crew from the University of Vermont Farm Training program.
Pierce said the sows are “fairly well-trained to a specific food call. We basically enticed them with some of their favorite treats.” The sows followed the treats, and the babies followed their mamas on a “nice long march” through the fields.
Pierce said they bring supplemental food out to the pigs in their woodsy home and the pigs are happy for the deliveries. “When we call for them, they come bounding out of the woods,” she said.
The pigs are being raised for pork and will return to the main area of the farm at the end of the growing season in late October.
The sows are kept from year to year. The oldest, Gertie, is 8. Pierce said she is an “amazing, wonderful pig.”