27 Jan Our Heritage Hogs
Why did we choose Heritage breeds of Hogs?
Most hogs today are bred for confinement and minimal human interaction. They grow fast and furious but lack many of the natural instincts of heritage hogs, such as farrowing (birthing) without assistance, or maternal instincts. Our heritage breeds are sturdy, adaptable to climate and outdoors, mild tempered so we can rotate them easily, have a strong genetic impulse to forage, and make great mothers.
Our heritage breeds include – American Guinea Hogs, Kune Kune, and Mangalitsa. We are also working with a few local Colorado farms to develop the “Colorado Pastured Pig”, a blend of the three breeds. In doing so, we hope to capitalize on each of the breed’s positive characteristics, tailoring the hogs to the needs of high altitude living.
Why on-the-farm processing?
We have chosen to partner with a mobile processor to dispatch our hogs at our farm. The custom meat processor arrives, slaughters the stock, then skins and guts the carcass here, before transporting them in a refrigerated trailer back to their shop to butcher. We believe that this method results in the least amount of stress to the animal leading up to their death.
Why do we prefer this method? Because research has shown that the stress induced from transporting hogs to the butcher is a main factor in the decrease of meat quality –
“In addition, changes in physiological parameters affect meat quality. Increase in blood lactate concentration is associated with pre-slaughter stress, which has been shown to have a detrimental effect on pork quality.” – National Institute of Health PubMed
Animal & Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech, “Effects of Pre-Slaughter Stress on Pork Quality”, National Institute of Health NLM NCBI “Correlations among Stress Parameters, Meat and Carcass Quality Parameters in Pigs”