Our pigs are raised outdoors on pasture and in the fall they are a clean up crew in our vegetable fields at the end of the season.
Pigs have worked very well for the farm since they are easy to fence, and eat almost anything. They are very intelligent creatures and love rooting in the ground, playing in the puddles, and otherwise just being lazy.
It is so hard to imagine that most pigs are raised in barns on slatted floors and never get to experience the outdoors in their lives.
Raising organic pigs is not easy because it means we must start with mama pigs and raise them all the way on our farm to make sure they are not raised with any genetically modified grains, hormones, antibiotics, or other unnatural things.
My first experience helping my uncle care for pigs at birth was scary for me as a kid so I resisted getting into this, but if we want organic pork we have no choice. We have a good set up now and are gaining experience with every new litter that is born.
A mother pig is large and can have 12 or more piglets in a litter. The little piggies have a challenging life when they are small but they quickly gain strength and before long they are all around the barn as they love to explore.
At about 5 weeks of age they are weaned from their mother and go to a moveable shelter in the field.