Brand new batch of piglets.
Josh filling the sows huts with bedding (straw).
Chilling in the sunshine.
Pigs out in the spring, just doing what pigs do.
These guys are as free range as a pig can be. They live in the bush. They root. They wallow. They run. They play. They are pigs.
Our original herd was Tamworth, Mulefoot, Berkshire and Large Black breeds. Unfortunately, the gentleman who was our supplier and breeder passed away and we've found no one to take his place. We decided to keep a few of the originals and do our own breeding. We now have a blend of all these breeds. As adorable as piglets are, their mothers are not! We've run from a miserably protective sow a time or two and have to be very carful when feeding!
Over the years we've had many challenges with breeding our own! Sows not getting pregnant. Entire litters dead. Huge litters with healthy piglets, then ravaged (eaten) by their mother or another sow. Tiny litters. First time moms abandoning their piglets. And more.
We've also experience the intelligence and instinct of these heritage breeds! Watching a sow in January build a huge straw nest and burrow into the middle of it to farrow in -40C. She came out with a beautiful healthy strong litter once the weather warmed up. Watching sows share the duties of nursing each others piglets. They just all accept the others with out issue.
The "intelligence" is a bit of an issue with fencing. The pigs will find any weak spot in the fence line and blow it wide open! It seems we spend more time chasing pigs and fixing fence then anything else around here! We find makes the pork taste so much better!
Tamworth, Mulefoot, and Large Black pigs are heritage breeds that are nearly extinct. Why? Because they don't perform well in confinement. These are old school range pigs. They have a smaller ham and and a shorter loin, these qualities are undesirable to the industry. We, however, embrace the heritage characteristics full on!
Their fat renders down to a beautiful lard, perfect for pastry. I've even switched out my butter, when frying, to lard. Much healthier (Don't laugh! It's the fat from a grass fed animal, which has many nutritional benefits found in it!) and far more economical.
The smaller ham and shorter loin are not an issue as the equally delicious shoulder is beautifully marbled and tender, ranking it possibly higher as prime cuts go.
Don't forget the belly! Oh the belly! Belly means bacon! Mmmmmm... That's all that needs to be said.
The flavor of their meat is vibrant! You can taste the forest they've forged from!
Along with their forest feasting we also offer free choice grain ration from ZS Farms. Bryan is doing some seriously cool things with pigs and composting. He has eliminate synthetic fertilizers on his farm! Thankfully, he's not too far down the road from us!
With farrowing our pigs at various times a year we have more butchering dates available for your convenience.