experiments in farm to pork
We love bacon and thought, why not give pigs a try.
A year-or-so ago we acquired a heritage breed male -- a Big Black, for the breed's docile nature and forage capabilities. 6 months later our female Tamworth arrived. She was chosen for her bacon making powers as a breed.
As the pigs grew, the male quickly out paced the smaller female. Boris was gentle and calm with face-engulfing ears that hid his wise eyes. The female, Rachael was named by Gabe's Dad after a movie starlett from 1 Million Years BC. She developed differently and more true to her diva name.
While we cannot blame her entire breed for the high-strung, nervous and shrieking tendencies of one pig, we can note the stark behavioral differences between this pork breed and our other heritage breed.
Our initial thought was to balance food scraps and a bit of feed with foraging. However, after a few months it became clear that without rotating pastures, letting the pigs forage was a hassle and potentially more detrimental to the soil we were trying to improve.
With a considerable weight difference blocking our path for breeding (and any type of co-mingling or foraging), we started to look for a Miss Big Black for Boris. It soon became clear that a female would be either genetically or geographically unfeasible. Those in CO being too closely related to our Boris to be an option.
With the scarcity of the Big Black breed and the ongoing shrills from our Tamworth, we re-assessed our Pig Project.
It is now November and our two farm raised pigs are in route to a nearby butcher -- Old Fashion Meats in Arrey, NM. Come January, bacon and pork will return to the farm it was raised.
Next goal? Butchering at RWF.
Send us a note if you're interested in further cost analysis of raising your own pigs for meat.
Old Fashion Meats: