Crooked Gap Farm. At this point we have reached our maximum when it comes to keeping pigs over the winter and farrowing in the winter. This limitation has an impact on the number of pigs that we can have available for the beginning of the farmers market season, and whether or not we can sell whole/half pigs in the spring. The good news is that the amount of pork that we are selling and can sell (we have a healthy waiting list now) is always increasing and I am confident that we can raise more hogs and sell them through direct marketing. I am less confident though that we can raise more pigs with our current set-up.
This brings us to a big decision ... do we take that big leap up the mountain or just continue at our current pace and look for small efficiencies. I have come up with two possible solutions that I feel comfortable with at this time for our farm.
- Utilize the woods year-round. This would entail running water lines down to the woodlot paddocks and figuring out a way to make sure that we can get feed to the pigs when it is muddy or when there is deep snow. This idea would mostly likely cost less money than option number two
- Build a deep bedding hoop house. This option would provide the most protection from the elements for both the sows and the growing pigs. There is also a possibility that the building could be used in the off-season (spring/summer) for things like brooding turkeys or something along those lines. Of course, this would be much more expensive than some water lines and waterers ... especially when you think about concrete, electrical, wood, and water.
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