Sometimes words we use on the farm can be confusing….and create funny conversations.
I’m a pig farmer and the other day I was talking to an interested mom who asked me “Do you eat the pork you raise?”
“No,” I replied, “I only raise weaners.” (which she heard as ‘wieners’)
“What!?!” she asked, a little bit shocked. “You only have wieners?”
After some nervous laughter and a bit of embarrassment, we sorted out the confusion. I wasn’t talking about hot dogs, and it wasn’t a euphemism!
Allow me to explain. On my farm we have mother pigs (called sows) they give birth (called farrowing) to piglets. At 20 days the baby pigs (weighing 12-15 lbs.) are weaned, which means moved from their mother and transitioned to solid feed.
I don’t think it is actually a word in the dictionary but on the farm, we refer to each group of piglets moved from their mothers as “weaners” or pigs that have been weaned.
My farm is a specialized farrow to wean operation, so the piglets go to a different farm to grow to market weight (280 lbs.) Because we don’t have pigs ready for market, I don’t have pork (meat) straight from my farm
So if you ask me why I don’t eat my own pork it is NOT because I don’t have wieners it is because I only have weaners!! Get it?
And if you ask me for a wiener (hot dog), be sure to be clear or you may get a piglet that is no longer with it’s mother, also called a weaner!