This is from the early 1800’s…..
In the case of pigs, much must depend upon the situation of the cottage; because all pigs will graze; and therefore on the skirts of forests or commons, a couple or three pigs may be kept, if the family be considerable; and especially if the cottager brew his own beer, which will give grains to assist the wash. Even in lanes, or on the sides of great roads, a pig will find a good part of his food from May to November; and if he be yoked, the occupiers of the neighbourhood must be churlish and brutish indeed, if they give the owner any annoyance…
The cottager’s pig should be bought in the spring or late in winter; and being then four months old, he will be a year old before killing time; for it should always be borne in mind, that this age is required in order to ensure the greatest quantity of meat from a given quantity of food. If a hog be more than a year old, he is the better for it. The flesh is more solid and more nutritious than that of a young hog, much in the same degree that the mutton of a full-mouthed wether is better than that of a younger wether. The pork or bacon of young hogs, even if fatted with corn, is very apt to boil out, as they call it; that is to say, come out of the pot smaller in bulk than it goes in. When you begin to fat, do it by degrees, especially in the case of hogs under a year old. If you feed high all at once, the hog is apt to surfeit and then a great loss of food takes place. Peas, or barley-meal, is the food; the latter rather the best, and does the work quicker. Make him quite fat by all means. The last bushel, even if he sit as he eat, is the most profitable. If he can walk two hundred yards at a time, he is not well fatted.
The whole essay was a fascinating look into the past.