One of the questions we were asked recently was about our pigs…. So here is a brief overview of what we have learned with pig 1 and pig 2…
We recently took pig 2 to the butcher shop and we are absolutely thrilled with the difference in taste and quality of meat between pig 1 and pig 2.
With pig 1, we didn’t know what we were doing…like all new farmers–trial and error are sometimes the greatest learning experiences. We built him a square pen out of hog panels and fed him all the scraps we had. We also gave him cracked corn. When we had extra milk or sour milk, the boys would soak the corn or a some hog finisher in the milk before feeding it to him. While the meat was far superior to what you find in the store, we did learn a few things to improve the meat quality.
With pig 2, the guys ringed her nose (she eventually lost her rings though) and released her into the pasture. She wallowed around in the mud in the pond and ran around with the cows, sheep and goats. She ate nuts she dug up, ate grass, a bit of stolen sweet feed from the milk cow, occasionally some corn (she didn’t like much) and soured milk and also a plenteous supply of fresh scraps from our kitchen. Pig 2 was leaner. The meat off of pig 2 is much better and in the future we will be pasturing our pigs as opposed to a pen. The boys hope to set up an area for raising pigs in a wooded area on our property where there are lots of nuts to root up.
If you are thinking about raising a pig or two, from our experience, we can tell you that pigs are fun and relatively easy to raise. They grow quick and you can have delicious farm raised pork in your freezer in about 6 months.