Information on our animals and how we raise them.
We started out with 3 Lrg. Black/ Hampshire piglets that we bought from a farmer in NC.
After we had those processed, we increased to 3 Lrg. Black/ Hampshire piglets and 1 Lrg. Black piglet.
The next herd were 4 pure breed Lrg. Black piglets, which were very docile and social. The picture below is of our daughter rubbing one's belly. They loved being rubbed on and would roll over for it as soon as you touch them.
The 4th lot of hogs, we weren't able to find Lrg. Black piglets, but we did find Red Wattles within 45 miles of our farm. We increase to 5 piglets this time and when we picked them up, they were younger and smaller than the other 3 herds we had raised. Red Wattles are very energetic and love to explore! They also love to root, a lot!! With the Red Wattles, we couldn't leave anything in the pasture that we didn't want them to chew on.
In May of 2017, we got our 5th herd and have increased to 6 Gloucester Old Spot piglets. They were only 8 weeks old when we picked them up and weighed less than 20 LBS a piece. It only took a few days for them to get used to us and already come to us when they hear us coming down to the lot.
In September of 2017, we decided to increase to 7 GOS piglets.
Sometime in November, we bought 2 GOS hogs that weighed about 150lbs. because we were running low on meat and knew the piglets wouldn't be ready in time to keep up.
Then in January of 2018, we bought 5 female GOS piglets.
In the 3 years that we've been raising the hogs, we've had a total of 36 hogs and have only lost one piglet. She was severly injured when the 7 pigletts were fighting over the food troughs and she was flipped really hard. The lowest number of pigs we've had at one time is 3 and the highest number of pigs at one time was 13.
We processed our last hogs in June of 2018. We had two large freezers full of pork and knew it would last until the end of 2018. We switched the hog lots into sheep lots and pasture after replanting them. Currently, we have a section to fence in so we can add hogs back to our farm in the spring of 2019. I have to say, the hogs are our favorite to raise as they are more social, but they are also the highest maintenance of all our animals and it's been a nice break.
We believe in taking special care of our animals. Our goal is to have happy, healthy animals. It's not a stretch to say that all of them are pretty spoiled. Even though we raise our hogs for meat process, we care about each one we've had and want to ensure their well being. We feel like they should have plenty of space to roam and the most natural life possible as they were created to have. It's also our belief that when they are well taken care of, the chickens will lay great eggs on a regular bases and the hogs will produce a great quality meat.
Hogs and Sheep
Hogs & sheep were created to live outdoors where they can root and forage for their food. Hogs love to wallow in mud holes to keep cool. As you can imagine, big animal producers don't have the time or money to invest, so they have developed hybrid animals and use unnatural means to get their products to market weight in a fraction of the time it takes to naturally raise their animals. This process they use takes away from the taste and texture that meat was designed to have. Farming the old fashion way is a lot of hard work, but the rewards are worth it.
Chickens were created to live outside as well, not confined in cages or big chicken houses made with concrete floors. Their natural diet consists of; grains, bugs, grass, plants, and shells or small rocks. It takes a natural diet to produce the natural eggs that are superior to commodity raised chicken eggs.
Our hogs are raised on approximately 43,560+ square feet of pasture and wooded area. We've fence in 3 separate sections and keep two open at a time for our hogs to roam. They are fed twice a day on a diet of 16% protein feed, cracked corn, molassess, kelp, our pasture raised eggs, and diatomaceous earth. On top of the supplement we give them, they forage on grass and roots. They are raised free from antibiotics, steroids, and growth hormones.
We give them fresh water daily, which we draw and carry down to the lot. In the winter time, the water has to be changed up to 3 times a day due to freezing.
As you can see from the pictures, we spend a lot of time with our hogs. They love to be petted and scratched, and will even roll over to let us rub their bellies. They're very docile and have friendly disposition.
Our hens are raised in one of 5 lots that are approximately 625 sq. feet. From about 7PM until about 3:30 PM the next day, the lots are closed. It's to protect them at night, then have them lay their eggs in the boxes before we let them out to graze. They are let out at least 355 days in a year. the only reason we don't let them out is when we are going out of town to protect them from predators, which have been a problem from the first day we started raising chickens. It's the one area that we have to stay vigilant in as chicken farmers.
The chickens diet consists of Non-GMO laying mesh. There are no steroids, antibiotics, or added hormones to our chickens. When let out, they eat grass, bugs, and little rocks to crush their food.
We give them fresh water everyday, but in the winter we change the frozen water out up to 3 times daily.
Our chickens are very docile as well.