Frequently asked Questions: Pork
What type of pigs do you raise?
We raise Idaho Pasture Pigs. Their genetics originate from Berkshire, Duroc and Kune Kune heritage breeds. A relatively new breed, these pigs were selected for their shorter snouts (which means there is less rooting and more grass eating), excellent meat quality and easy going temperament that makes them a good choice for a farm of our size.
How are your pigs raised?
Our pigs spend their lives on pasture and in oak woodland along with their mobile pasture shelters. Unlike many operations, we do not confine our pigs to barns during the rainy season. Our pigs are quite hardy and enjoy being able to wander their pasture paddocks freely or seek shelter at will. Our sows even farrow out on pasture with access to mobile farrowing structures. That way our piglets have access to pasture from day one. We follow husbandry methods that align with the requirements of Animal Welfare Approved. We achieved AWA certification in the Spring of 2016.
Do you breed pigs on your farm? Can I buy weaner pigs?
We do! Our farm is home to a boar and eight sows. Our sows farrow twice a year. On occasion we will have weaned barrows for sale, please contact us if you are interested in buying a piglet or two.
What medications and medical procedures do your pigs receive?
While common in industrial pork production, we never give drugs such as ractopamine/paylean (a growth promoter) or sub-therapeutic antibiotics (for disease prevention) . If we have an ill pig that would benefit from antibiotics at a therapeutic dose, we will do so with veterinary oversight. In that case we would always at least double the amount of recommended withdrawal time prior to slaughter, so the meat will be identical to an animal that did not receive the therapy. We provide routine piglet vaccinations to further reduce the incidence of common porcine illnesses.
A common medical procedure that boar (male) piglets must go through is surgical castration. We either castrate on farm before the piglets are 7 days old or else the procedure is performed by OSU veterinarians. We never clip teeth or dock tails. We keep our pigs healthy by providing them with the highest quality feeds and an environment within which they will naturally thrive.
What do you feed your pigs?
In addition to what the pigs forage for on pasture and woodland, they are fed a locally milled feed that contains NO soy, corn or GMOs. The primary ingredients are peas, wheat and pumpkin seeds that are sourced from farms in the Pacific Northwest. When available we provide the pigs with fresh produce gleaned from the farms of our colleagues.
How are your pigs slaughtered?
For regular retail sales, we slaughter our pigs at a USDA facility that is certified by Animal Welfare Approved. We work with the butchers there to provide the most culinarily appropriate cuts possible. For customers who choose to purchase a whole hog, you have the option of having your animal slaughtered on farm and the pork cut to your exact specifications. Either way, we are confident you will find our pork delicious beyond compare and be comforted in knowing that the animal providing nourishment was granted the highest quality of life from beginning to end.
Can I purchase a whole or half hog? What about Luau pigs?
We primarily raise hogs for selling by the cut at farmers markets and do not anticipate any whole/half sales until 2020. When we decide we have the quantity to sell pigs by the whole or half those do not include young luau pigs. Please contact us for availability and further information.