I have a confession to make, I’m addicted to the cute irresistible sight of pig snouts! I love pigs. The one animal we always new we would have on the farm, in fact we had an adorable potbelly as a pet when we lived in town.
We researched pigs before the sale was final, before we ever picked up the keys from the lawyer, we new the perfect breed.
Berkshires, a heritage breed from England reaching north America as early as 1823. A large black pig with white feet, nose and tail tip. Black pigs are better for pasture their dark skin protects them from sunburn. Berkshires have an up turned snout which means they do slightly less deep rooting in the fields. They produce a richly flavoured dark red marbled meat. But the selling factor for me I think is their docile personalities at 600 lbs you don’t want a pig that doesn’t want to be your friend pushing you around.
I spent a large amount of time looking for these special pigs, although the Berkshire is making a comeback pure pigs in general are fading away, for quick cheap easy mixed breeds that are ready for market faster, and no one’s knows anymore your grocery store pork doesn’t say Berkshire or duroc. The delectable pork you picked up today may not be available at your local grocer tomorrow and you would never be able to pinpoint the difference if it was. I contacted a lot of people, claiming to have Berkshires only to be disappointed by thier spotted red piglets. I contacted registered breeders but they didn’t have litters last year. We looked and looked until it was getting to late in the season to buy piglets and we settled on the much enjoyed Seven and Ate that taught us such great lessons and have feed my family well all winter.
One lesson we learned from Seven and Ate was you have to get pigs early. Or you feed them when they eat the most long after the feed is supplemented by “free ” pasture feed. So I have been on the prowl for my dream pigs again.
Meet 22117-69 now known as Thelma. And her darling sister Louise the formally 22117-70.
We found them!
3 hours away in a little town called Parham with a wonderful couple at Tryon Farms. The whole experience was wonderful. The couple was great informative and shared not only the long search for their berks but the love for them as well, we pet all the “big pigs” and walked right in with mommy and her piglets, she wasn’t the least bit upset to share her babies with us and came over for some loving of her own.
The next dilemma…… We are going to keep Thelma and Louise as breeding stock so I’m not quite sure what’s going in the freezer…..