Hardwoods instead of hard time
Hopefully you have never seen the conditions in which the majority of pigs in this country are raised. In order to meet an ever-growing demand, mentalities and methodologies from factory production lines have dominated our food supply chain. Incarcerated criminals have it better than these factory-farmed pigs! While it is the animal that immediately suffers, we humans experience the full effect of the unintended negative consequences associated with treating an animal like a production unit instead of like the animal it was created to be.
At Legacy Farm, our hogs spend the day cruising by hardwoods and pine trees in the forest. Their noses, nature’s most amazing shovel, uproot anything of interest along the way. Our hogs love to apply their natural sunscreen and bug spray…also known as “mud”…by wallowing around in shallow puddles. They’ll eventually saunter over to the pond to wash it all away before taking a nap under the shade of the pines. Essentially, as Joel Salatin said, at Legacy Farm we thoroughly enjoy “the marvelous pigness of pigs”.
Work, work, work
Unlike our chickens, our current batch of pigs are not rotated around the farm. Why is that? Because they have a specific and important job to do. We’ve had a pond that for at least a decade has refused to hold more than a few feet of water. Perhaps “pond” was a generous term. Think large, deep puddle. When researching raising pigs, it came to our attention that their feet and their weight make a winning combination for sealing ponds. We gave it a try and have had stunning success! Our puddle is now a pond!
Not only are pigs excellent pond builders, they also do a fantastic job of removing unwanted underbrush. Vines, weeds, and thistles don’t stand a chance as the 4-legged “bush hogs” barrel through the woods. This picture shows a single stand of young pine trees divided by our electrical netting. Our hogs have been roaming around in the section to the left of the fence. The right side has been untouched for several years. Notice how you can see pine needles and sunlight hitting the clean forest floor where the pigs have been.
Home sweet home (or not)
We invested a lot of time and effort building a three-sided structure large enough to comfortably house our pigs. Ingenuity and thriftiness won out against common sense and cost in our construction plans. We just so happen to have a pile of unused triangular shaped silo tin, some rough cut lumber, and various bracketry pieces. Independently, these stagnating piles of apparently useless garbage were accomplishing nothing. But when combined, they create a formidable structure.
The astonishment of what mankind could create given enough construction adhesive, screws, and band aids quickly faded from our pigs eyes. It is only during the most severe of thunderstorms that you can find them in this Pig Palace. Otherwise, they are seemingly quite content to enjoy THEIR handiwork and sleep on a bed of pine needles deep within the trees.
Undeterred by their ungratefulness, we whipped together a water wagon to ensure our hogs always have a fresh supply of quality drinking water. An old pickup truck trailer, an IBC tote, some hog watering nipples, and a few scrap pieces of garden hose did the trick. It was only after we parked the trailer in with the pigs that we realized they appreciated it equally as a back-scratcher as they did a drinking fountain. Notice how the mud on the fender and rear corner of the trailer is at the exact same height as the pigs.
Like what you see?
Contact us using one of the methods below to check current availability and pricing for our forest-raised pork. Thank you for making all of this possible and supporting Legacy Farm!