When Jacob Biggle first published The Biggle Swine Book in 1898, hog husbandry was undergoing major changes. New feeding methods had come into vogue, new breeds of hogs had been developed, and significant progress had been made in curbing swine-borne epidemics. Even the public perception of pigs as filthy creatures wallowing up to their knees in mud had brightened, and pigs were accorded a modicum of respect. But with the onset of railroad development across the United States, the backyard pig farmer started losing ground to slaughterhouses and large processing plants.
The Biggle Swine Book captures this moment in American history when home animal husbandry was giving way to more industrialized meat production. Nevertheless, Jacob Biggle continued to offer guidance to the small-scale farmer on all manner of livestock issues, centered around the proper breeding, feeding, and care of pigs. His book includes valuable instructions on:
What to do at farrowing time
Constructing the piggery and sty
Keeping on top of the manure pile
Butchering and curing meats
Protecting your animals from various pig ailments
Illustrated with photographs, engravings, and line drawings throughout of all things pig-related, this book is a glimpse into a bygone era when sows and their litters had a place on every farm, and people knew exactly where their bacon came from.
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