Pigs Being PigsPigs like to eat, lie around in the sun with other pigs, eat, sneak out of their paddock, eat, sleep, eat, and eat. All the eating and laziness make it easy to overlook just how interesting they are. For one thing, they are incredibly strong. A pig can drop its nose to the ground and flip up a chunk of turf the size of a baking sheet as easily as you could flip a coin. They're not much for running long distances, but they move quite quickly in short sprints. Unlike cows and sheep, pigs aren't entirely herd animals. They like living in a group, but sometimes one will sneak off to go lie in the shade of a tree all by itself. This semi-independence also makes herding pigs tricky. They will mostly stay in a group, but every once in a while - usually at the most inconvenient moment - one will decide to strike out on its own.
While pigs are noticeably pushy with each other, jostling and shoving particularly in pursuit of food, they are also quick to forgive and forget. Two of them can be aggressively jockeying for position at the feeder one moment and then sleeping peacefully half atop each other five minutes later. They have a lot of personality, and they're much more open about it than cows and sheep.
Better Pastured PorkThere’s a world of difference between the pigs on my farm and those in conventional hog factories, where they are crammed into huge barns on slatted floors for their entire lives. In the cold weather my pigs are in a big hoop with plenty of room and a deep pack of wood chips and hay to root and nest in. And in the warm months they are out on the land, grazing and rooting to round out their high quality non-GMO grain I feed, which I get from my friend Andy at nearby Inverness farm.
Raising pigs well takes work, since they’re prone to viewing fences as more suggestion than rule, but it’s worth the effort. The pork from pigs that have been raised in a low stress, natural environment, with plenty of good food and stimulation, is strikingly rich and flavorful. It is worlds better than anything available in a supermarket.