Friday, July 22, 2011

The End of the Harvest!!

Yes it is here !!  We are on our last batch of pigs to Harvest I took them in on Monday and they will be done in a couple of weeks. Our next batch to harvest is in Nov/ Dec. is what we are shooting for so get your name on the list if you are interested. Our pigs have been having a great time running in the pasture and eating the green grasses!! There is nothing more satisfying than going out and watching the different sizes of pigs running around they are so happy and healthy!! We are looking forward to our new barn just for the pigs coming hopefully in august. We will keep you posted on the progress of that. Our moms are about to farrow in the next  few weeks so you know what that means Spring Harvest. Look for new baby piglets pictures in the future!! Not much new but for now that will do.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Seems Silly But.....

Yes to all you who read this it may be silly but I am so excited watering our pigs have been a daily dirty issue. How to keep the water clean always out of water needing to fill it, oh yeah and if we go out of town who do we get to come do this twice a day?!?! Well we have our feeders which take care of feeding them, but today was like Christmas for me, why you ask? Well I got four new nipple systems that should go on our new big (350 gal. and 250 gal.) water tank. Now just have to wait till the weekend and good weather, a hard combo to come by, and they will have very clean water and it will hopefully last a few days!! Which the cleaner the water and the more accessible our pigs grow and grow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We are almost there!!

Just to let all our customers to know that our pigs are looking great!! We have a handful that are almost ready to go. This is so exciting for us to let everybody taste the pork that has been my passion. Everyday I go out when I feed our horses and cow and check on the Pigs, I am excited at the growth, So a big shout out to Sheep Rock Feed for some great chow for my pigs. Rich Holden, is who does this work and trust me when I say not only do we all get excited for the growth of the pigs, but every time he comes to deliver we always love to take a minute or two and smell the grains he has put together, It is so fresh and delicious smelling. He also chops for chickens, so if any of you city dwellers have your own little chicken coop he is the man to see for some great food for your ladies. We are also thinking in the fall of buying a small herd of sheep, to add to our farm. So we would like to get some feed back to see if this is something that people are interested in. Some fresh lamb would definitely add variety to your meat selection. We also are now taking orders for our winter pork, it should be done around December we hope. So let us know if  you would like to be on the list to order. And thanks again to all our customers without you this wouldn't be possible!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Milking a Pig?

I got a interesting call over the weekend from a local pig farmer, he had a connection with a radio show in Pennsylvania called the Mediocreshow it does podcast. They have been having a on going debate of the ultimate meat. What exactly is the ultimate meat you might be asking. Well Cows have meat and milk which in turn you can make cheese. Chickens have meat and they lay eggs. Pigs they have meat and they do not lay eggs so why not milk one and see if the milk from a pig is better. Well with that question in mind that is were I come in, we on our farm breed pigs and he tried too and it didn't work out so well. So they came out a couple days ago with their film crew and tried to milk one of our sows it didn't go so well we only came up with a drop of milk. So when our moms laid down to feed he decided to take that opportunity to squeeze in and go for it!! Yes he did!!! It was hilarious.We at our family farm were happy to have these sows here to try this out. He is on team pork and said that the taste was a little saltier and with a hint of bacon. Which our Heritage breed is known for their bacon so it doesn't surprise me. We decided it was more the logistics of it and if possible it would make a fantastic cheese.  I have not tried it but my interest has been peaked on the issue.  But as I came in that night and thought about the ultimate meat it leaves me to this conclusion eat pork and drink water. If you are team beef and love steaks well you wouldn't have any milk because you would have steaks. If you are team chicken and love eggs you won't have any meat because that would result in the end of your egg production. So me being team pork thinks that the pigs have made it easy on us and only left us at this time the best choice. I will be adding there podcast to the blog in the near future so look for it. Not always suitable for kids .Also they make it sound like it is at my friend Christians farm but this actually took place at our farm in our pig pens. I guess they just failed to mention it.Here is the link to the podcast.  the crew on x96 talking about milking my sow!! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Introducing Our Girls!!!

Right now we have three Tamworth Sows. Our first moms name is Bella she is a darker color red. Rosalie is our second mom she is the biggest of the three. Our last but not least is Alice, yes you guessed it when we went to pick these girls up in Oregon, they were only six weeks old, and Twilight was the big thing.
They are all fantastic mothers and super friendly.
We are what you would say a hands on pork producer and feel an important part of the business is the relationship with our clients. We invite you all to come out anytime and visit our farm. See for yourself how happy pigs can be, just because the end result is butchering we still what them to have a happy and energetic life while they are here with us!!!

Our Stock

We are excited to have our wonderful breed of sows we have. They our registered Tamworth pigs. What is a Tamworth pig you might ask and why does it matter what the breed of pig is we are eating. Here is a little information to bring you up to speed on them. The Tamworth is considered a endangered breed, which before you get to upset means that the numbers are of course low here in the United States. But does not mean that it is on the verge of extinciton like other wild animals. The Tamworth pig is a red- gold colored pig with straight fine hair. They are a curious pig by nature. The Tamworth Sows are know for their great mothering skills. If you consider a full grown Tamworth weights between 600-800 lbs. then you take a tiny pig maybe a coupe lbs when born it is a formula for disaster, But not with this breed and not with our girls we have only lost one piglet due to being laid on. Yes that was a sad time and we felt sorry for it, but if you look at the death ratio in piglet for this reason you should expect to lose one to two for every sow and every time they delivered. Well our ladies have each had two batches so out of forty piglets just losing one is unheard of. They will actually get up to go eat and cover there piglets with straw, for us we believe for two reasons one is to help keep them warm the other is to keep them hidden and protected. It is amazing to watch as these huge animals slowly lay down ensuring there is no babies under them, and jumping up at the slightest squeak. The Tamworth is know as a bacon hog and has lean and highly flavorful meat.

Farrow To Finish

Here at our small Farm we pride ourselves on farrowing to finish, What does this mean? Well we have a small herd , we have a Boar (male pig), and we have three sows (female pigs who have had babies already). We leave our boar with our sows up till they are about to Farrow (give birth). Some who raise pigs keep their boar isolated, away from the female only allowing them to be in with each other when they are ready to breed.  We feel that there is nothing natural about that and leaves the boar unsocialized which could we feel lead to aggrasion when with the sows.
When it is time for our sows to deliver we take them out a few days prior so they can prep their area and feel safe and confident in what is about to come. We do not us a farrowing crate when they deliver, this is inhumane and definatly something we do not believe in for any reason. What is a farrowing crate you ask well it is only big enough for the sow to move front and back a few inches. and can only get up and down, farmers use these to try and reduce the fatality in pigglets and if they have to give shots or anything it does make that easier, but what is easier for us humans doesn't make it right for the sows. We believe in being very hands on with our sows when it comes time for delivery it shows they are use to us and by being hands on with them everyday they trust us. If there is a problem we can get right in with the mothers and give them a helping hand. When it comes time to nurse they can move around and get comfortable. Giving birth should be natural and we have chosen to do anything to minimize stress on our moms.
By raising our pigs from birth to finish we can ensure to our clients they have been treated with kindness and feed only the best in nutrients. Most commercial farms that raise pigs pump them full of hormones and antibiotics to make sure they can mass produce the product in a certain time line.
With our pigs we do not give any hormones and we would only consideration the use of antibiotics if the overall health of our herd was in jeopardy. By avoiding hormones our pigs take longer to reach market weight but they are growing at a natural rate so the muscle and fat in the cuts are the highest quality.
We do not tail dock our piglets, which is cutting their tails when little to prevent the others from biting at each others tails. We also do not ear knotch (clip ears to identify), Or cut what is called there needle teeth. When you have a hog in the wild there is not people there to do it so we chose not to also.