Happy Pastured Pigs are the Healthiest Pigs
Feeding farm-raised pigs, especially at a small scale, is expensive. We only feed high-quality hog feed, and because our drove is small we can’t take advantage of economies of scale. Pigs eat like, well, pigs. At this stage they are eating about 5 pounds of feed and gaining around 2 pounds per day.
Your standard grocery store pork chops probably come from a commercial swine feedlot, where pigs are raised on concrete floors and often confined into small feeding pens. These industrial-scale meat factories are extremely efficient, but although they may be able to under-price small farmers, they can’t match the quality of grass-fed pork.
Humanely-raised locally-sourced meat isn’t cheap. Is it worth the premium? We think so. In addition to the rich flavor of grass-fed meat, small farm operations like ours help to enrich the soil and benefit the environment rather than damaging it.
Each morning we move our pigs to fresh pasture. It turns out that the only thing pigs like more than pig feed is grass. Pigs have a powerful rooting instinct and will use their noses like shovels to turn up soil, exposing the roots of grass and weeds. These they eat like candy. It’s always a pleasure to watch them enthusiastically attack a fresh patch of grass, rooting it up and exposing the subsoil. The grass will grow back, and after they pass the soil will be improved because of aeration and the pigs manure that is left behind.