Is it possible to have a pig delivered to someone?
July 18, 2007 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to have a pig delivered to someone? If so, how?

I live in AZ. I have a friend who lives in Longbranch Washington (near Tacoma) on what is turning into a small farm. By this I mean, he has a gigantic garden, a bunch of chickens (including egg laying hens), and the intention to soon have a cow, a pig or pigs, and other various farmish items. He wants to grow his own food, collect his own milk, raise his own beef etc... He is serious about providing for himself in a healthy and world friends type way. Anyway, I want to help in some small way. His birthday is soon, and having seen the movie Doc Hollywood, and being of impractical and unsound mind, I'd like to buy him his first pig. 4-H kids raise them. I imagine it isn't something he can't handle. He's quite capable. Ideally, this pig would be delivered to his door with a bow and a rope leash. I realize this of course is entirely unrealistic. But how close to this can I come?

Questions to be answered:

Is a pig something I can buy over the phone?
How much would one cost?
How old will/should the pig be?
How out of the ordinary will my request to have the pig delivered be? (buying pigs is something that I'm sure is quite often done. But how much am I going to have to bribe somebody to drive it over to his house in a truck? Or is this fairly standard?)
Who do I call?
What am I not considering?

Specific answers would be great. Such as: Call chuck at this phone number, send $75 to his paypal account. Give him your friends address.

ps. Choosing a category for this item was interesting:
Pets and Animals?
Food and Drink? :)
Home and Garden?
Shopping?
posted by gummo to Pets & Animals (26 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
It sounds like a great idea, and one made with the best of intentions.
I don't have any specific pig purchasing-related advice, but one thing to definitely consider is whether or not your friend wants or is ready for a pig *right now*.
Even though he may have plans for one in the future, I'm sure pig ownership takes quite a bit of logistic planning and time and effort on ones part, not to mention the potential need for specific pig-related facilities to be in place before the pig shows up on the doorstep.
I know, as a keeper of a small backyard chicken flock, that quite a bit of planning and preparation went into the pre-chicken days, and that having the chickens around has required adjustments in lifestyle/schedule etc...
Just something to consider, I still think your idea is a good one...maybe some sort of pig gift certificate or some similar promise of future swine?
posted by dan g. at 12:03 PM on July 18, 2007


I think you're going to find it hugely difficult to find and have a pig delivered out of state. I think most people you talk to would suspect it's a prank and/or a really bad idea.

If you do go through with this the pig ought to be young so it can be raised to be slaughtered. Or get him some sows and a boar so he'll have new pigs for years to come!

I think goats might be a somewhat more practical animal. Depending on the breed they can be used for meat, milk, or both.

But honestly, you really shouldn't be trying to buy your friend animals. If you want to do something nice take a trip up to help him with his budding farm for a week, assuming you're not the sort who ends up making more work for him.
posted by 6550 at 12:09 PM on July 18, 2007


Craigslist. Seattle-Tacoma area. Farm & Garden section. Search for "pig" or "pigs".

http://seattle.craigslist.org/search/grd?query=pigs&minAsk=min&maxAsk=max

Delivery seems only a bribe away...
posted by terpia at 12:12 PM on July 18, 2007


4H kids raise them in 4H, at working farms.

But generally: Don't buy people living things. No difference between kittens and pigs. Doubly so when it's the basis of a (hobby) business. When the pig shows up, he'll have to feed it, find and pay a veterinarian, clean up its pen (if he has a pen built at all), arrange for breeding or slaughter (assuming it's worth anything for either) -- a lot of trouble and expense for what is essentially a gag gift.

Anyhow, live farm animals are sold at auction. Swine prices for quality animals will be in the thousands, and you'll be competing with other farmers for them, if you're permitted to bid at all.

So I'd have to say "No, it's not possible to have a pig delivered to someone", unless it's packed and ready to go in the freezer.
posted by mendel at 12:17 PM on July 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


The big problem, of course, is that he probably doesn't have a suitable enclosure at this time, so where the the pig live when it arrives? And you don't know if he's ready for the financial committment of feed and vet bills.

I'd get him a copy of Story's Guide to Raising Pigs and a little ceramic piggy bank with money or an IOU for when he's ready to bring one home.
posted by saffry at 12:23 PM on July 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, you don't want to get just any old pig. There are a lot of different breeds that will have different temperaments, weights, tolerance to weather conditions, hardiness, etc. If this is something your friend is serious about, he'll know what breed he wants and may not be happy to be saddled with a breed he doesn't. Sorry.
posted by saffry at 12:36 PM on July 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


It may be possible but it is a bad idea as a surprise, what saffry said about the enclosure is a big deal, I used to raise a yearly hog and those guys are able to get out of some pretty tight pens.
posted by Iron Rat at 1:19 PM on July 18, 2007


Oh man this is an awesome idea. I think if someone bought me a pig for my birthday I would find a way to care for it. Think of it - he'll never forget it. Of course, you might end up with a pet monkey or something equally life-disrupting, but I suspect that if he already has a hobby farm, it shouldn't be too hard.
We found a small goat one time, and it only took us half a day to convert part of the back 40 into a woodland goat retreat. That goat is dead now, sadly, but several other small goats have replaced it. Goats are delightful.

Anyway - definitely get him the pig. Make it a small pig, that'll give him some time. And I would simply contact a local 4-H group, tell them that you want it delivered with said bow and leash, and tell them that you'll give the courier an extra $50 for making it happen. Shouldn't be too tough. Get a piglet.

Pigs are great. You are an awesome friend.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:43 PM on July 18, 2007


(i should mention that i was raised in somewhat hillbilly fashion and so you should probably recognize that random farm animal acquisitions were not viewed in a negative light in my family.)
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:44 PM on July 18, 2007


I Nth not getting him a gift that's going to cost him money.

A friend of mine's crazy (don't get me started) girlfriend (now ex-) bought him a horse. He loves horses. He always wanted to get a horse. Unfortunately he was never prepared (financially, time commitment-wise) to actually get a horse right now. He was fine with that. He ended up in a pretty tough spot, not wanting to hurt her feelings, etc, yadda yadda, but he didn't want to spend all the money on maintaining the horse at the time, either.

At least a horse is fairly easy to find a new owner for, unlike a dog or cat. I don't know if a pig is more like a dog or cat, or more like a horse, in that sense. However, I would say a pig is something a guy should buy for himself. Maybe offer to pay (maybe part of) the cost of a pig of his choice?
posted by ctmf at 2:31 PM on July 18, 2007


Don't buy him a pig if he doesn't have anywhere to put it. To keep a pig, ideally you'd need a solid, old-fashioned pigsty, or some space, some sort of shelter, and an electric fence. The electric fence is likely to cost more than the pig, initially, but if he has to buy food for it too, the pig would work out more expensive in the long run.
posted by Lebannen at 2:51 PM on July 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Buy him a guide to pig-raising and one of those long-term alarm clocks that will count down the days, hours and minutes to his birthday next year.

Have the pig (with leash and bow) be waiting on his porch next year, at the moment the alarm sounds.

This way you've got a year to work out your logistics, he's got a year to work out his logistics, and if he decides he doesn't want one he's got plenty of time to call it off.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:43 PM on July 18, 2007


(For maximum effect, deliver the clock and book by setting the clock to 1:00:00:00, ringing the doorbell, starting it and running off. Next year, deliver the pig the same way.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:46 PM on July 18, 2007


I agree with the "don't buy the pig" sentiment. Especially if your friend is new to livestock, and especially pigs. Frankly, I find pigs extremely stinky to be around. Imagine another human crapping in your yard all the time, and living with that stink. That's about what it is like. So if your friend isn't ready for that, he may want to check out some other farms or a local county fair to see if pigs are right. Horses, cows and goats are much, much less stinky in my book.

Another option is a "simpler" animal: a goose or peacock is a possibility. Peacocks are very pretty to have around, although can be a bit noisy (we've had city-slicker neighbors show up wondering where the poor, suffering cat is...).

Finally, in the interim, you could even donate money towards a charity in lieu of an actual animal gift for your friend. For example, this organization helps buy animals for people around the world.
posted by JibberJabber at 3:50 PM on July 18, 2007


People keep pigs as pets, in their houses, so I don't know why a special enclosure is needed right away. I knew someone who lived with a full-grown pig, a dog, and a cat in a one-bedroom apartment (with a yard).

IANAPO (pig owner).
posted by desjardins at 5:01 PM on July 18, 2007


Pigs are great.

Some, maybe. Others are THE WORST. Even worse than goats, because where a goat may be crafty and mean it's teeth are minimal; a pig is highly intelligent, much craftier, and can has a bite that can be very dangerous. I've kept pigs, both farm and domesticated, and your intended recipient needs to be prepared and educated to handle the animal.

Honestly, a good friend of mine nearly lost his leg to a pig, and it could easily have been his life.
posted by anadem at 6:38 PM on July 18, 2007


Ok. I guess I should have clarified. I didn't expect all the anti pig gift sentiment.

When I say that this guy is very capable. I mean VERY. A pig that needs a pen or an enclosure isn't going to phase this guy. Giving him a pig, or a cow, or a gorilla, would be less of a burden on him than giving your typical person a cat. People go to 4-H and bring little pigs home with them. And then try and figure out what to do with them. I know this because I witnessed it growing up. A piglet isn't going to unduly burden my friend. I can promise you that.

Second. He will be thrilled!!! No. THRILLED!! I can promise you that too. Thanks for the worry. But if you knew my friend, you woulnd't be worried.

Frankly, and I hope this doesn't sound dickish, but I really wasn't looking for advice on my choice of gift or friend. Just some practical advice on the actual aquisition. Thanks for the sentiment.

If anyone has any actual info on how one goes about obtaining a pig, let me know.
posted by gummo at 7:53 PM on July 18, 2007


Try and find out if his area has a future farmers of America (FFA) or four H group, they would be most likely to be willing to deliver a small sale. Heck I saw a pig on craigs list today but it is out of your area.
posted by Iron Rat at 8:16 PM on July 18, 2007


What am I not considering?
posted by mendel at 9:02 PM on July 18, 2007


Frankly, and I hope this doesn't sound dickish, but I really wasn't looking for advice on my choice of gift or friend.

That's the nature of the AskMe game. If you ask about something people find ill-considered you'll get answers that reflect that, regardless of what you were looking for.

Craigslist is probably your best bet. It's nothing to place an ad on the appropriate one for your friends area. And, as also mentioned, try contacting relevant 4H or FFA branches. The problem is pigs aren't a commodity traded nationally in any kind of way you can purchase from and I hope most people have the good sense not to sell livestock under those conditions.

But please report back to us if and how you bought a pig and what your friend thought.
posted by 6550 at 9:23 PM on July 18, 2007


Alive or dead? Might make handling the enclosure issue a lot easier.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 9:54 PM on July 18, 2007


When he was a kid, my dad had a pet pig, that he walked on a leash. They lived in Lincoln, NE, in the 1930's, and the pig stayed out back in a dog house in summer, and they put it in the basement in winter.

The National Swine Registry lists only one breeder in Washington state, but I'd start with them, and see what they can recommend.

Tom Toths Pig Farm
9574 March Pt Rd
Anacortes, WA
98221-6661
360-299-0461
posted by paulsc at 10:12 PM on July 18, 2007


Ignore all the antiporcine sentiment in this thread. Your friend deserves a pig. God placed you on this planet to procure one for him. Pig ho, young man, pig ho.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:29 PM on July 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


If I were a pig farmer and you made the request of me, I'd be delighted to deliver a pig with a ribbon around its neck. I'd drive pretty far out of my way just to have the experience. That would be the kind of story you'd tell for years, about the time you delivered a pig as a surprise gift. Brilliant!

Since you're asking something unusual anyway, see if the pig courier can take along a digicam and get some photos of the delivery. You, your friend, and the pig delivery guy will all enjoy having the photos.

Pig ho indeed!
posted by happyturtle at 4:37 AM on July 19, 2007


If you can't find a pig to buy in your state and decide to go across state lines, be aware that your state might require special health certificates before the pig can come into your state. Check the livestock regulations.
posted by cass at 7:24 AM on July 19, 2007


*ping*

I demand an update! Didja buy one? What happened?
posted by Deathalicious at 2:30 PM on September 21, 2007


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