Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tamworth Hogs

Even though Dexter Cattle are on the front of my mind I have also been thinking about hogs quite a bit lately because they have a much quicker turnaround than cattle. Oh ... and I really like pork! While we won't be adding hogs to the farm until we actually make it to a farm I would like to do some research so I had an idea of what I would like. Because of my love of history I like the idea of using heritage breeds, but the reality of it is that heritage breeds are actually usually more hardy than our modern breeds. And, hardiness is a great trait when you want your animals to forage and live on the pasture. I will do that with my cattle and I would do that with my hogs.

So, today I was doing a little research on Tamworths. Tamworths are medium sized hogs that originated in Ireland (same as Dexters oddly enough). They provide lean meat which is a plus for health conscience people like me (gotta love high cholesterol) and are know for their good nature and excellent mothering abilities. Another thing that I found in my research is that the don't root up the ground as much as other breeds which makes them great pasture animals. I also came across some great information about their ease of farrowing on the pasture.

My family has raised their fair share of hogs, but it was always in a conventional set up and it was never very fun. I am really interested to learn about raising hogs on pasture ... who knows it might actually make it enjoyable!

Here are few links on Tamworths that in checked out today.

#1: Kingbird Farm is located in New York state and the have a bunch of different organic operations going on. The neat picture of the Tamworths going out to pasture is from their farm.

#2: Foot Steps Farm is located in Connecticut and they raise and sell grass fed pork, chickens, and turkey. They have some great information on some "Heritage Breeds".

#3: This Site is an overview of the Tamworth breed from Oklahoma State University. Just some good basic information.


Anonymous said...

I don't know how they are to raise but I've been eating Tamworth pork from a local pasture operation and it's absolutely delicious.


Iaasis said...

I raised a set of three females about 3 years ago. They really are great hogs. Not only for the fact that you don't have to feed out as much grain/corn to them but they are very hardy. They can bed themselves down in a shallow spot during cold weather, though we do provide housing for them ourselves. If we had gotten ours younger I think they would not have been as shy but they did come around. We were about to breed our biggest one when all three were stolen. I am set up now to purchase a couple more in the next week or so. I'll try to keep you updated. Good luck on your project!

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