Grass-fed Beef

The Proper Thing

In case you have a hard time making out the script on the bottle in the lead photograph it says, “DISPOSE OF PROPERLY.” Until a few days ago I had a group of pigs on the edge of my little woods. The lot I laid out for them included some pasture and some area under trees for shade. At the …

Edmund BrownThe Proper Thing
piglets, pastured pork

Forage for Pigs

I’m on year three with my pigs. I started out copying Sugar Mtn Farm’s pig feeding program pretty closely – pasture/hay + whey as the source for the vast majority of the calories my pigs ingested (we even went so far as to buy our boar from Sugar Mtn!). I couldn’t make that hog ration work though. The pigs grew …

Edmund BrownForage for Pigs
grass-fed beef, pastured pork

Strong as a Hog

Most people are familiar with the simile “he’s strong as an ox,” meaning someone with great physical strength or a vigorous constitution. Ruminating on this topic it seems to me many animals have both positive and negative sayings attributed to them, “gentle as a lamb” vs “like a lamb to slaughter,” or “healthy as a horse” vs “stubborn as a …

Edmund BrownStrong as a Hog
grass-fed beef

Cold Comfort

It’s my impression that pigs feel the cold in a way sheep and cows don’t. The way they jockey for position in the sleeping pile and their diminished interest in sorting through every blade of haylage in the outdoor feeder are a stark contrast to the ruminants, which will happily spend a placid afternoon gathered round their bales, regardless of the …

Garth BrownCold Comfort
pastured pork, grass-fed lamb

Winter is here

After a glorious, mostly warm fall, winter decided to roll into place last night. My sows are all done farrowing so I moved the farrowing huts over to the feeder group for shelter. The sows are much more resistant to the cold than the pigs in the 100-200 lb range. Some of my sows are basically legged seals.  Here’s was …

Edmund BrownWinter is here
piglets, pastured pork

Baby Pigs

In a recent post I asserted that baby pigs were not the cutest farm animal, IMHO. On a cuteness scale of 1-10 where 10 is a chubby one year-old human giggling away at him/herself and a 1 represents 16 foot boa constrictor I put suckling pigs at 7. I do think they’re cute and endearing, I just don’t find them …

Edmund BrownBaby Pigs
grass-fed beef, pastured pork

Farrowing hoops

  I built some 12 x 16 foot hoop houses with internal divisions so my pigs could give birth in a shelter if the wanted to. The hoops are skidable with a tractor, which is useful since rotating where pigs are introduced to life is a good idea. Pigs are born after only about 4 months gestation and the immune …

Edmund BrownFarrowing hoops
grass-fed beef, pastured pork

Annuals

Grass-fed beef has a patina of  good enviro-ethic stewardship to it. Without grains there is little or no need to turn soil and with it cause problems like of erosion and fertilizer run-off from tilling. It’s a good story, but as with any product as varied and variable as grass-fed beef reality is a mixed bag. There are about as …

Edmund BrownAnnuals

Grazing Pigs

I don’t have any photos of my pigs grazing. They mostly rooted when I rotated them around the pasture last year and there is still snow on frozen soil here today. For a whole host of reasons I don’t like bare dirt, and the pigs I have now are quite skilled at creating it. I have plans for the coming …

Edmund BrownGrazing Pigs

Guts

As promised last Tuesday, I’m going to continue with the pig theme for a few long posts. I hope you’ll stick it out as I could use your help at the end of my next piece, and you will better understand the issue after reading this one and the upcoming installment. I wanted to get a picture of the whole …

Edmund BrownGuts