Thursday, October 6, 2016

Meet Our Pigs

     We have always enjoyed having animals on our farm, both for the ambiance they add to the farm as well as the multiple purposes they serve.  But then there is just the sheer enjoyment of watching their behaviors.  If you were to take a moment to observe our pigs, you would quickly learn that their days are not so rough, they are very happy and content creatures and quite entertaining as well.  So just what exactly do our pigs do all day?  More than you would think!  They are very busy creatures, or at least they appear so!!!

Pigs in a wallow
     Their day starts out once the sun is up.  They don’t rise and shine quite like the chickens that share their pastures, there’s a little more grunting involved.  Once they’re up and moving, they wait for breakfast, which is their modest morning ration of organic barley, corn, oats, flax meal and a mineral mix.  They get just enough to take the edge off and give them some energy to go exploring.  Seldom do you see them at “home” during the day.  There is far too much excitement up on the hillsides.  They busy themselves rooting around their 20 acre wooded hillside and pasture, exploring every nook and cranny to see what treat they can find.  Eating a bite here, a dug up root there.  They look like they enjoy it and they are just doing what pigs are naturally inclined to do—root around and use their snout to dig up underground treasures!   These days they make a special effort to check the hundreds of wild apple trees and berry bushes every day to find fallen fruit.  They also like to check their favorite nut trees for acorns or hickory nuts, but once they’ve had their fill of roaming around, it’s time to work in a nap.  Depending on the weather, they nap in their straw-lined huts or in the shade of trees when the sun is shining.  They like to make dirt “wallows” to lay in and cool off when it is really hot.  If you look at their pasture, you might think it looks a bit like a “pig sty.”  Don’t hold this against them, it all goes along with their natural behaviors!  Muddy patches and some uneven, dug up ground is just the way they like it!

Running to the their culled vegetables!
     While we seldom hear our cows “moo,” you can often hear a myriad of sounds coming from the pigs.  Squeals, grunts, snoring, snorting…these are all very common sounds for pigs to make.  The time of day when you’ll hear them squeal the loudest is when they hear the skidsteer making its way to their pasture with culled vegetables from the packing shed.  They aren’t shy either, they’ll throw themselves right into the pile…literally!   They are very good vegetable eaters, eating most any green or root crop, but it is clear that they do have favorites, like melons, tomatoes and carrots.  (Check out the pictures!)  They don’t seem to mind if the vegetables aren’t perfect, as long as they are organic.  They are just a plain “riot” to watch, especially when they have pink lips after eating beets!  

     Just as with other animals and food crops, the way in which an animal is raised is directly related to how the meat tastes when it gets to your plate.  Our pigs are very active and eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and roots in addition to their organic grain.  As a result, the meat they produce is often darker in color with a rosy hue and is very flavorful.

     When purchasing meat from our farm, you can rest assured that our animals are well taken care of. We encourage you to visit our farm and see for yourself.  If you have questions about our animal practices, make sure you ask your farmers.  We are here to help further aid you in making an informed choice, one that you feel is best for you and your family. If our meat is a part of that choice, we are happy to be your farm!

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