Monday, September 24, 2007

More Thoughts on Pigs

This morning before I started work, I decided to do a little more research on hogs. I already knew that the tamworth is a good option for a pasture based operation, but I wondered what else was out there. I read about a couple of interesting breeds. The first one is the Ossabaw Island Pig (pictured). I came across this one because I decided to check out what pigs they raise at the Living History Farms, which is a living museum here in Iowa dedicated to farming and Iowa's history. The Ossabaws are related to some of the earliest pigs brought to America by the Spanish and probably came about as pigs escaped farms and became feral. The really interesting thing is that these pigs remained mostly isolated so they have many of the early traits that lend them to pasture living. You can read more about them by clicking on the link above.

The other breed I read about this morning is the Large Black. Like the name implies, these pigs are black. But while they are large, they really aren't big pigs like some of the modern breeds. They are known for their hardiness and good foraging abilities along with their tasty hams. (That is a good trait!) I came across this breed while searching for information on pastured pigs.

If you would like to watch a four minute video about Caw Caw Creek Farm, a well known pastured pig farm, just click on this LINK which will take you to an article and video from America's Heartland. It is an interesting video because this is a guy that does pretty well raising pastured pork and selling to individuals and restaurants. I'm not sure if I would use his feed mix though unless I thought it would make me the big bucks!


sugarcreekfarm said...

We had a Large Black boar for several years and loved him. A very lovable, docile guy. We crossed him with a crossbred sow (probably York/duroc). Their pigs had about 4 inches of backfat and were very very good eating, other than the chops were a little on the small side.

When it was time for a new boar and gilts we didn't go with a LB because of the expense of buying and transporting one from Indiana. Now we've got a Berkshire boar and Chester White sows. We'll be butchering the first pigs from them next month. I'm anxious to see how they turn out.

Ethan Book said...

Thanks for the information. Make sure you blog about your butchered pigs next month I'm interested to hear how they turn out!

I too am wondering about the availabity of these minor breed purebreed hogs. But, I really would like pasture hardy pigs for our farm so I will continue to do my research.

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