Piggy Progress

by David on August 22, 2012

16 week pigs

The growing pigs in this picture are now 16 weeks old, and they’re coming on nicely!

They have about 1/6 of an acre to roam on – this consists of an overgrown vegetable garden and some pasture.

The pigs are making excellent progress in converting weeds and old vegetables into great-tasting free range pork. They are also turning over the ground and manuring the area ready for the next crop – another major benefit of keeping pigs.

We’re supplementing their feed with a mixture of oats, barley and peas. We aim to feed them just enough of these concentrates, twice per day.

Feeding for Flavour

Allowing pigs to consume lots of green veggies and forage radically improves the flavour of the finished product.

The animal will develop a healthier fat profile, with a higher proportion of unsaturated fat. I really notice this when I’m butchering our own pigs – the fat literally melts in your hand, reflecting the lower melting point of unsaturated fats. Much different to the “hard fat” on a commercially reared pork chop.

As the year moves on, we’ll have loads of windfall apples which we’ll feed to the pigs prior to slaughter. I find it much easier to be raising weaners during the summer months, as there is always plenty of grass, weeds and surplus fruit for them to eat.

Pigs reared on plenty of fruit & veggies in this way have an incomparable taste. Even if you’re buying organic pork, it may well have been fed primarily on organic grain. In my opinion, this doesn’t give the same result as a pig that consumes plenty of fruit, grass, weeds and other forage. Sure, they may not come up to slaughter weight as quickly – but when they do get there, the meat tastes sublime. We’re raising pigs so that we can enjoy a high-quality product in an extremely cost effective way. In this context, a bit of extra fattening is no problem – I’ll take quality over quantity any day.

We’re planning to slaughter these pigs just before Christmas – I’ll keep you updated on their progress. In the meantime, here’s a short video of them cleaning up some plums!

Related Posts:

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: