Unfortunately, scientists have yet to develop an all-bacon pig. Until then, we enjoy raising heritage breeds of pigs that have great personalities. Because they haven’t had the fat bred out of them, they also taste great. We’ve had seasoned pig farmers taste our pork and tell us that it is the best pork they have ever tasted. We have Hereford sows and boar that are some of the sweetest animals on our farm. If you rub a sow on her side, she’ll lay down and beg you to rub her belly. These big pigs are a bit scary at first, but they’re very easy to warm up to. We also raised a number of batches of pigs where we buy weaned piglets (feeder pigs) from area farmers. These are also very friendly animals! Patrick is the chief swine herder and he and John do a great job of showing pigs at the Washtenaw County 4-H fair.
We raise our pigs year around outside on grass where they love plowing up the pasture. Like chickens, pigs are omnivores that need a diet with a higher protein content than the sheep and cows. Their diet consists of kitchen scraps and grain. We buy our feed from the Dexter Mill. Needless to say, these pigs receive no growth promoting antibiotics or artificial hormones in their diet.
After six months, our pigs weigh 300 to 350 pounds and produce a carcass that weighs 200 to 220 pounds. The typical live market weight is 270 pounds, but we find that by adding the extra weight there is more fat and flavor in the meat. For pork sales, we sell individual cuts of meat and we take reservations with a deposit for quarter, half, or whole animals that will be processed at a local processor. You’ll be able to tell them exactly how you want your portion processed.