Pigs are less known for their regenerative capabilities due to higher disturbance and grain inputs. However, when managed properly, pigs can be helpful at increasing plant diversity. Our pigs do a lot of work in areas that have become overgrown with shrubs, berries,
and bushes. They help thin the overgrowth to let sunlight reach the ground which enables the growth of grasses and herbaceous plants.
Since we have started letting our pigs act as a reset button in these previously undermanaged areas, we have noticed an increase in forage plants in areas that were previously unproductive or mono-cropped. Forages are good for the soil, the bugs, the birds, the rabbits, the squirrels, the deer, and any other creatures that frequent these habitats.
We farrow our own pigs on deep bedding and wean them at about 7 weeks old. We then move the pigs around with two strands of hot wire when they are young, and as they get bigger we can move them with a single strand making for quick and easy moves from paddock to paddock. We average about two weeks on two acres with a dozen growers who search out greens, berries, roots, grubs, worms, termites, beetles, grasshoppers and anything else foragers might come across in their “hakuna matata” kind of lifestyle.
After they leave a paddock, we give it plenty of time to rest and regrow before pigs return to that paddock again. Often times we give a minimum of 12 months between returns to give the land an entire season to regrow, reseed, and improve. Our weaner pigs, growers, sows, and boars are constantly on the move to fresh ground.
Keeping them on the move keeps them out of their own waste and healthy as can be with all the fresh food they are able to find. We do not use drugs or any kind of chemicals (with any of our animals). Every so often we add food grade diatomaceous earth to their grain and Shaklee’s organic basic H to their water to minimize any potential parasite load in their gut. We bring them an organic grain ration and they live the dream up until one bad minute. Harvest time is never fun but we do it as quickly and painlessly as possible.
We sell our hogs by the half or whole, with the typical half weighing 200-240 pounds. We charge a price by the pound hanging weight plus you pay the butcher for their services. A typical carcass cutting will yield 75% of the hanging weight, so a 120 pound half hog will get you about 90 pounds of pork in the freezer. You get jowls, shoulder roasts, boston butt (or steaks + country style ribs), picnic roasts (or picnic hams), hocks, chops, spare ribs, bacon, loin chops (or roasts), hams, and ground pork (or flavored sausage). The frequenting of fresh ground coupled with feeding only organic grains yields us the healthiest, cleanest, most nutrient-dense, and most delicious pork in the universe.