Piglets on campus

Piglets on campus

Caileane Thurston, Reporter

As of 2022, NHS has a new set of four-legged creatures just outside of the main campus. Brought to campus by senior Reagan Gay, the pigs will serve as a key component to Gay’s Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE). Reagan’s responsibility with the pigs is working with them, cleaning their pen, making sure they stay healthy and safe, providing them their needed food and supplies and then eventually selling them.

The pigs were born on Jan. 12-13 and the whole birthing took approximately six hours. The whole purpose of having these pigs on campus is for Gay’s SAE school project. The goal of Gay’s SAE is to provide her an opportunity to help her learn more about animals primarily raised on farms since she currently does not live on a farm of her own. 

“[My SAE project is an opportunity where] I get to experience things I would not be able to do where I live now. This gives me a chance to have and learn about farm animals since I live in the city, I’m not able to do so,” Gay said.

While 11 piglets were born, due to complications with three, there are currently eight healthy piglets to be taken care of. The pigs are named from many different shows such as Sandlot and Dumb and Dumber. The names of the pigs include, Frank, Fred, Smalls, Harry Loyd, Karen, Richard and Donny. 

“The purpose of [having the pigs on campus] is to raise them to sell in March for show pigs. It also gives other people in classes to see a little bit of the work that goes on with owning animals,” Gay said. 

Prior to when Reagan graduates, she will have to have all the piglets already sold, and additionally a new home for the mother pig, Becky. She is trying her hardest to find them homes to ensure they do not get eaten. Gay states that throughout her time at the high school, she has not seen or heard of any other pigs that were born in the FFA barn. Gay says she really enjoys having pigs and having the opportunity for others to learn more about them. She says that her teacher originally suggested that she should get pigs of her own, and now her and her family love them. 

“I chose this breed because you can show them and that was the whole point of me getting Becky. I chose pigs because my teacher wanted pigs in the barn and suggested I get one. It took me a while to convince my parents but they love them now,” Gay said.

Gay states that she and the other Ag Academy students have learned a lot from the various animals, including the pigs, in the FFA barn. The pigs, in particular, have some interesting qualities that she has had to learn. The pigs are very smart, can develop their own personalities and grow extremely fast.