Pasture-Raised Heritage Pigs
We do not breed pigs, but buy them from a local breeder as piglets in the spring and raise them through the summer and fall. The pigs live on pasture, are fed organic feed and whey (from Amazing Real Live Food Company’s cheese residue) and are finished on acorns and apples in the fall. The breeder we work with breeds a number of heritage pig breeds and depending on how stable the fences are in any given year, the piglets we get are either purebred Tamworths, or a combination of Tamworth and another Heritage breed.
Long, lean, and athletic, the Tamworth is probably the most direct descendant of the native pig stock of northern Europe. The characteristics of the Tamworth reflect the breed’s centuries of selection for an outdoor life. Pigs of this breed were expected to find their own food, especially mast (or acorns) of oak and beech forests. Long heads and impressive snouts enable these pigs to be efficient foragers. Long, strong legs and sound feet give Tamworth pigs the ability to walk for considerable distances. Ginger red coats make the pigs adaptable to a variety of climates and protect them from sunburn. Tamworths have an active intelligence, and they are agreeable in disposition.
The Tamworth is traditionally considered a “bacon” breed, meaning that the pigs thrive on low energy foods but grow slowly. They produce meat and bacon that is lean and fine grained.
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