Our Farm

ourfarmIn central Virginia, we’ve set out to raise the finest pigs possible. We keep our pigs in the woods where they belong. Pigs are inherently forest animals and we are merely returning them to their natural environment. I often wonder what a pig thinks when it sees a firefly.

One thing is for sure, living outside makes pigs happy.  Our pigs spend a lot of their time rooting in the ground and finding all sorts of nuts and and other delicious things to eat, but all that playing takes energy.  That means they grow slower and eat more feed than pigs kept in confinement.  They have constant access to fresh pig feed that contains no animal byproducts, no growth hormones, and no growth-promoting antibiotics.

virginiaNow outside is wonderful, but not if it means a small mud pen with way too many pigs and no grass in sight.  Our pigs live in large shaded outdoor woodlots with plenty of room to run, root, wallow, and explore. They live and sleep outdoors in the Spring, Summer, and Fall and sleep in deep bedded straw in roomy dry houses in the Winter. We have a separate pens for pregnant sows, nursing sows, and growing market hogs.  We rotate these areas and allow the ground a rest period in between groups so the vegetation can recover from the pig excavations.

Our pigs have names and come when they’re called. Because we rotate pens regularly and everything is outdoors we have to have an easy method of moving pigs where we want them to go. We spend a lot of our time training the pigs to come when they are called and the training requires lots of treats. The pigs are quite partial to treats. This actually makes our lives easier in the long run and removes much of the stress of handling these intelligent animals.

They are always housed in groups so they can have steady social interactions and express their normal gregarious natures.  Our piglets stay with their mothers until they are 5 weeks of age, instead of the 3 weeks of age used for commercial confinement hogs.  This means fewer litters per year for us, but we are convinced the extra time gives the pigs a better start in life, less stress and a smooth transition to the next stage of their lives. They are weaned as a group and stay with their litter mates until they reach slaughter weight or are selected as breeding stock.

We love raising pigs and we’re glad to have customers that appreciate the extra investment of time and energy that goes into each cut of our Berkshire pork. We think the difference is something you can taste.