After much debate and searching we've purchased 4 feeder pigs that are a Duroc / Hampshire cross to raise out for butchering this fall. We spent a great deal of time searching for either some Red Wattles or Black Mulefoot, but just didn't turn up anything that would raise out in time for us. We're still looking though!
We were very pleased to find the pasture raised hogs however and they're settling in nicely to our organic pasture. They're nestled between our raspberry patch and the corn & squash garden patch. The corn & squash patch is where we had grazed our pigs last year. It's amazing how well last year's pigs prepared the area for this year's garden. Richer soil and less weeds. After 30 years in set-aside, they really broke up the ground well. Our laying hens seemed a bit curious about their new neighbors. The Sultan and Polish hens are a bit more timid than the Americana or Australorp hens.
We were very happy to see the piglets weighing in at 50 and 60 pounds each. They're quite a bit larger than what we started out at with last year's pigs... and they reached up to 350 pounds by the end of the season. These seem much healthier and happier than the little ones from last year as well. Maybe it's because our boys, Caleb and Brandon knew what to expect this year. It's great having them experience raising farm livestock as part of their home school experience.
The 2nd night on our farm (last night) we had a major storm that came through with hail and high winds. We were really concerned for the little guys in their new home, but by morning they were out and about, enjoying their new digs!