Pork Goodies in the Freezer

Berkshire Boar Spitz and his 25 Ladies

Check out the In the Freezer page to see what is currently available in the freezer. You can pickup at the farm gate or order for delivery along our weekly route. We also now ship. Check out the Roasters for delicious oven roasters and suckling pigs to celebrate the holidays.

The photo above shows Spitz, our Berkshire boar, with his 25 ladies in their bedding area by their whey trough in the north field. The path to the right of the huts leads out into the north home field and then the north far field where they graze. This time of year the forages are getting sparse so we’ve begun putting out hay for them to eat as well as sleep on. The hay attracts them in from the fields in the fall. Normally during the warm months from about May through November they sleep out in the brush and under the trees along the edges of the fields.

Outdoors: 37°F/26°F Spots of Sun
Tiny Cottage: 67°F/65°F

Daily Spark: Sick Lawyer joke book titled: “Ill Eagles”.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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8 Responses to Pork Goodies in the Freezer

  1. Sal says:

    The freezer page link comes back to this post?

  2. Walter, it appears the shed is fenced off. Do you use this pen as a day lot and then let them in the shelter at night?

    • It isn’t a pen but rather an open area that leads out to the fields. The pigs are free to move between the whey trough and sleeping area and out to the fields along a lane on the right side that is hard to see in the photo. The sheds are fenced off because there are too many pigs to use them right now. We’re about to shift most of these sows to the south and then there will be the right number so the sheds can be opened. Up until today there were about 100 piglets in the north field, the offspring of these sows but not of Spitz.

      If the shelters had been open there would have been crushing. Closing off the shelters so everyone has to stay out on the hay area prevents that. Mostly they sleep out in the open area but occasionally there can be piling which we want to avoid. When the number is smaller this isn’t a problem. During the warm months they naturally sleep in smaller groups of three to seven adults out in the pastures but during the winter they want to sleep in larger groups which is why we adjust the setup with the seasons.

  3. Sally Sievers says:

    A few years back you were constructing hillside lean-tos and other winter shelters for the pigs. Has this continued, sufficient unto the present population? And around freezing is not sufficiently cold for them to require shelter yet? Or are you selectively breeding, among the many other things you track, for arctic-ready pigs?

    That also brings me back to one of my other intermittent wonderings–how do you know whose babies are whose, once they’re weaned and in big (gaggles? clusters? herds?)–so how do you actually know and choose the bloodlines? You can’t know all their faces, at this point… (I can barely manage 30 students a semester…)

    • We do have some earth sheltered pig houses. Those are one of the many designs we’ve experimented with. We like open shelters which provide plenty of ventilation. Otherwise the area overheats and gets too humid which is wet cold and not good. Dry cold is far preferred. What we have found over the years is that the pigs really like houses with skylights. They often sleep outdoors instead in order to be under the open sky. So we’ve done many variations of open greenhouses. These are not closed in hot houses like greenhouses for plants but rather open on the sides and closed on the windward end. This provides the pigs with the lighted ceiling they like, a wind break, plenty of ventilation to avoid over humidity and over heating. To this we add a deep bed of wood chips and hay. And yes, we’re aiming for glacier pigs in preparation for the coming ice age. It is never too early to start evolving. Think wooly mammoths.

      I remember all the bloodlines, who’s born of whom, etc. I have a very good memory for certain things. I can remember thousands of pigs. I remember by their faces, colors, body shapes, etc. I’m very good at recognizing pigs, dogs, etc. People not so good because they keep changing their cloths. Very confusing. Pigs, chickens, geese, dogs, etc rarely change coats. Someday I may start doing a tagging system since I’m the only one in the family that can remember all the different animals and we need a system that is is more trackable for the other members of our family.

      • Sally Sievers says:

        Thank you! I’m pretty hopeless at people–practically face-blind–but I think I’d be equally bad at pigs. Your capability is impressive.

        So I’m looking at these very winter-furry pigs–is there any market any more for pig bristles, which were always used for the best shaving brushes and hairbrushes in my childhood?

        I’m assuming pig hair is not one of those that anyone spins and weaves, but I don’t know if bristles = hair for a pig, or if it’s a two-type deal like so many animals who fuzz up in the winter under their guard hairs.

        • We’re brainstorming on ways to use the bristles. It is a hair, not fur or wool so spinning it is not an option. They do make brushes from pig bristles. Currently we don’t get them back from the butcher but once we’re doing slaughter on-farm with our handy-dandy super scalder we will have tons of bristles to play with. I want to use every bit of the pig. We do, since what doesn’t get sold goes to our table, the dogs, the chickens or the compost pile in that order. But the more we can push to the front the better.

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