For over a decade Keith and I raised our own hogs from farrow (birth) to finish (self explanatory). We focused on the Red Wattle hog which was, at that time, a critically endangered breed. We worked hard within our own breeding lines, to raise quality meat and breeding stock. When we sold the Chatsworth Farm we sold all our Red Wattle stock as well and now the breed is only considered "threatened" which means their numbers are continuing to grow.
Now, we only raise a few hogs for ourselves and a couple other select folk, aka relatives, over the summer months. This handsome group of three came from stock we sold to another small farmer in Illinois two years ago. It's good to see some familiar faces! Both in the hog and in the farmer. We brought these three home two weeks ago. They were eight weeks old then. A healthy group, raised with great care, we know they'll grow fast.
For the first couple weeks on The Poor Farm they have a small, cozy hutch and a little fenced in yard. Along the back of their paddock is a hot wire which trains them to electric fence so that by the time we turn them out into their big pasture, around mid-April-they will hopefully have learned to respect our electric fences.
It's a theory anyway.
Every year at least one bozo goes THROUGH the electric fence instead of backing up when he gets shocked, and there is a bit of hog Olympics that follows. We chase them, they run, we chase some more and they run some more and eventually someone gets tired and goes home. Sometimes it's them, sometimes it's us.
They will be raised on organic corn and raw milk from our cow. In addition they'll have lots of room to run, rut and roam, to be real pigs not more pork on the hoof crammed into a concrete-floored confinement building. When it gets hot we'll flood certain areas of the pasture for them so they can take frequent baths. Pigs can't sweat (so stop saying you sweat like a pig cause they don't and you can't) thus it's important to keep them cool in the heat of the summer. The mud also keeps their skin moist and helps suffocate ticks or other bugs they may be hitching a ride on their hides.
We won't name these guys other than calling them pork chop or sausage butt. We learned years ago not to build long lasting relationships with those who will not be...long lasting.