Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
[ Member listing ]

Chicks on the Way

I ordered our first batch of chicks Friday morning. We have pretty much quit using Cornish Cross birds and went with birds from the Label Rouge program.

We have always had good luck with the Cornish, but I've never been happy with the amount of foraging they do.

By genetic nature they are lazy birds. They don't scratch like a heritage breed bird does either. 

I have not ran them in poultry netting only movable pens because they don't seem like they would go very far in a open pen type arrangement.

All of the stock we select at our farm is based heavily on their nature to forage on grass.

That was why I went with Tamworth pigs. Then worked with them through selection to eliminate as much grain as possible and still get a nice finish.

Around here it's eat lots of grass or you're off to another farm or the processor.

Hopefully when these birds are ready to come out of the brooder we can get them on pasture, but who knows with two feet of snow on the ground now!

Guess we'll have to wait and see!


Until next time...




Saturated Fat and Heart Disease - No Link a New Study Says

A new analysis which used the results of 21 previous studies,found no evidence between people's risk of heart disease and their intake of saturated fat. 

This is the fat found found mainly in animal fats and dairy. The press and medical experts have condemned it for years but this new information may shed some light on the subject.

 Many times the "western diet" is described as one high in red meat and saturated fat. But it's also high in processed foods and other highly refined carbohydrates.


Read the whole story here



Until next time...


Getting Ready for New Pigs

If I figured right we'll have piglets by the middle of March. Randy and I have been working to get the new barn ready inside for the sows to be brought in.

I'm really hoping for nice size litters. Seems like every year I end up needing more pigs than I have. I hate turning customers away! 

 My average litter size is ten pigs per sow with one having at least twelve every time. It could drop off anytime though, since as pigs get older they tend to have smaller litters. 

She is an excellent mother though and even if she does "slow down" a bit I'll keep her. I tend to keep sows until they pretty much don't get pregnant anymore. A lot of your good genetics are in those old sows.

 My oldest sow is "Droopy." She was nickmamed this as a small feeder pig because her ears drooped forward which really is not a good trait for Tamworth pigs. She is the sow you see on the top of my web page, www.springhillfarms.us.

She may spend all her days here at the farm and be laid to rest down in the bottom under a tree somewhere.

We've never done anything like that, but Ol' Droopy is a special pig.

I'll be sure and post some pictures of these new litters.


Until next time....



Ground Beef 100% Grass Fed (Customer Message)

ground beef
I'm posting this to alert you to a deal we have available right now due to a mistake at our processor. We had a special order for 90/10 ground beef. Long story short, the order got ran as 80/20 ground beef.
So....we have 80/20 ground beef coming to our freezer that we don't have room for! Andy would store it for us at the plant but we want to move it out as soon as possible. This is 80 % lean ground beef that 99% of our customers desire. It makes great burgers, or can be added to any dish that you're making. This ground beef would be  fabulous to stock up for summer grilling. It's all vacuum sealed in 1 lb packages. As with all our beef is it 100% grass-fed which means it's loaded with all the health benefits!
Here's the deal:
We normally retail this beef for $5.99 lb but since we want to move it, we're going to let it go for $4.29 lb. Our loss is your gain! We are asking you take at least 25 lbs. It wouldn't make sense for us to deliver small amounts unless we could get a lot of it sold in a central area or you live in the Newark area and we could arrange for you to pick it up or meet us somewhere in our daily travels.
At this price I don't expect it will last long so let me know quickly if you want to place an order.

Words of Wisdom From Yesteryear

I'm a collector of old agriculture books. I find so many of the old methods to be just what is needed for the sustainable farmer of today.

 The following passage has always made me smile.


 Our pigs, when old enough, are allowed to run out everyday, into the barn yard, in winter, and the pasture in summer; and we find this arrangement convenient for letting them in and out of the pens, as each pen opens directly into the barnyard.

If well bred and properly treated, the pigs will go to their pens as readily as cows or horses will go to their own stalls.

 This may be doubted by those who ill treat their pigs - or in other words, by those who treat their pigs in the common way. But it is nevertheless, a fact, that there is no more docile or tractable animal on the farm than a well-bred pig. There is a good deal of human nature about him. He can be lead where he cannot be driven. A cross grained man will soon spoil a lot of well-bred pigs. They know the tone of his voice, and it is amusing to see what tricks they will play on him.

We have seen such a man trying to get the pigs into their respective pens, and it would seem as though he had brought with him a legion of imps and seven of them had entered into each pig. No sow would would go with her own pigs, and no pigs would go with their own mother; the store pigs would go into the fattening pen, and the fattening pigs would go where the stores were wanted. Should he get mad, and use a stick, some active porker would lead him in many a chase around the barn-yard; and when one was tired, another pig, with brotherly affection, would take up the quarrel, and the old sows would stand by enjoying the fun.

Let no such man have charge of any domestic animal. He is a born hewer of wood, and the drawer of water, and should be sent to dig canals, or do night-work for the poudrette manufacturers.

 At their regular feeding time, we can take twenty or thirty of our own pigs, and separate them into their respective pens in a few minutes. They inherit a quiet disposition, and would dismiss on the spot, any hired man who should kick one of them, or strike them with a stick, and we cannot bear to hear an angry word spoken near the pens. - Harris on the pig, 1883.


 So true! With our pigs being on grass, we move pigs constantly from one pasture to the next. Never have a problem. I've had some people tell me they think I could lead them to town and back!

 Notice the author says "at their regular feeding time". A huge key to pigs is they are very scheduled. Mine will be waiting at the gate about five to ten minutes before they are to be fed, moved, etc.

As one man said "pigs will do anything that is their idea!"



Until next time...


What's for dinner? - Something Quick

I was just talking to my wife about supper.She said I've got to get something planned for dinner. 


I replied as I always do..."something quick." I logged on to Andrews site and the post for today...


Something quick and pretty good for ya.


See his blog here.



BTW farmers here's something might be of interest to you.

 Selling your farm goods


Deep Snow & Pigs Are Out

The boys and I went to feed to the sows tonight in the 15" of snow that fell yesterday and last night.

We were in the barn and low and behold the sows heard us. The snow had my 36 inch gate about 15 inches high by the time they stood on the snow.

They jumped over the gate and came to meet us! 


They boys raced to the lot and they followed behind and jumped right back in!


Pigs... gotta love'm.


Until next time....


Do Pigs Really Eat Grass?

I hear this question a lot. Your pigs are on pasture? Do they eat grass? Suprisingly enough farmers ask this more than anyone. If I explain a little to them many times they dismiss it and go on.

I can see them thinking to themselves and some have even said 'you can't get a hog to eat enough grass to make any difference.'

I just smile. I know mine do! My feed consumption and weight gain records don't lie.

It's a practice that was common years ago.

 Here's one account from 1910:

Pasture plays an important role in the common practice of swine feeding. Besides getting fresh and palatable feed the pig in such cases harvest the crop which saves considerable expense.

He also gets a greater variety of feed as well as different mineral substances that may be gathered from the soil in different places.

While the feed gathered from the pasture in the form of grass, plants of various kinds, etc., is of the nature of roughage, still the pig can use a considerable quantity of this even though he is primarily adapted to concentrated feeds.

In fact, he will do better with some roughages in his ration than he will to be confined entirely to concentrates, especially if the former are gathered from from the pasture. The pasture exercises a considerable influence besides the feed it supplies. - William Dietrich - 1910

Hogs on grass fell into obscurity for quite some time, thank goodness it's making a come back!


Until next time...



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