Our Organic Woodland Pigs
Berkshire PigsOur rare breed Berkshire pigs enjoy a wonderful free-range woodland lifestyle, foraging among the trees and pushing up the roots with their snouts. We have fifteen sows who farrow all year around with at least eight piglets each. Each sow will have two litters a year, much less than on conventional systems.
This is better for our sows- they live longer, produce stronger piglets and have exceptional overall health.
As well as producing tasty pork and bacon, the pigs form an essential part of our farming system. They are rotated around the farm woodlands and stubble fields, where they eat the roots of weeds, pick-up spilt grain, graze the grass and add fertility as they go which provides natural fertiliser for the next crop.
The DroveWe organise the 'drove' (herd) carefully around their behavioural needs. Sows of the same gestation stage are grouped together and kept in the same paddocks, so same age litters of piglets can play together. Piglets are weaned and split into male and female groups at eight-nine weeks, which is the age at which mum starts preventing the piglets from suckling.
We take the sows to a field of their own, which reduces stress, gives them a rest and dries up milk production, and allows them to restart their reproductive cycle. Another advantage in allowing the piglets to mingle is that they become accustomed to each other and sort out their own 'pecking order' whilst they are small.
This means that by the time they are old enough to do some physical damage their social order is already established. This fits with the higher welfare principles of organic farming.