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Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 20:59
by unclebuck
Shoot the wild ones. They are becoming a scourage even here in Alberta. There is excellent lean meat on them, if you shoot a gilt or a young boar. The bacon and hams that you can make are incredible. The only problem is that the mature boars smell like either Chuckwagon or Steelchef when you zip them open!!!! Hard to clean that smell out of your shop. :grin:

Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 21:56
by Chuckwagon
Buck, I'll have you know that I bathe each and every Saturday night whether I need it or not! :shock: Long about Wednesdays and Fridays, I hop on my Harley and "blow the stink off" at about 96 MPH. Shucks pard, I even use a bar of soap in the springtime!

Best Wishes,

Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 22:14
by JerBear
Possibly. If I remember correctly the ossabaw breed of pigs are from Ossabaw Island off the coast of Georgia or the Carolinas. The Spanish had abandoned their remaining stocks after a voyage and the stock kept itself active until being being "discovered". They're from the pata negra line of spanish pigs known for their hams.

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 18:32
by farmboy236
Sorry to resurrect an old post but I just joined and this subject is my bread and butter, so to speak.

In the US we lost our pork heritage with the advent of the ad campaign "The Other White Meat". From that point on our hogs got leaner and leaner until they carried almost no back fat at all, much less marble. This was in the beginning days of all fat is bad. The breed composition started to change in the national herd and vertical integration started with a vengeance. The bad old days of get big or get out for us Farmers! Anyway, without writing a book here, this is when things started to go bad for the genetics of swine in the Us (from a culinary perspective).

The enemy of good pork is too lean genetics (national backfat composition of less than 1", the standard, remember "The Other White Meat") and poor feed (the majority of protein in the feed coming from soybeans, one of the 3 legs of industrial agriculture[corn, wheat, soy]). Soy created fat gives an objectionable mouth feel and (my opinion) contributes to pse meat. Let me cut to the chase before I get really long winded.

Our national herd ended up as mainly white pigs from Yorkshire (mainly) genetics. White because they process cleaner for the market. I am skipping over a LOT of stuff here guys. Out of the "production" style pigs only three breeds were left with good carcass qualities: Berkshires, Durocs and Chester Whites. We almost lost the Berks and Chesters are still pretty rare. Durocs have good production values and good carcass qualities.

On all sensory panel tests Berks do best in 6 of the eight qualites tested with Durocs being good and Chesters being very good. These are production pigs and not counting the minor breeds of Heritage hogs (Gloucester Old Spots, Ossabow, Magalitsa,etc.) Even in the Berk breed there are some lines that are better for our purposes than other lines that are chosen for economic production values.

OK, what was the op again?! :mrgreen: :oops: What we are doing is choosing Berks lines with +1" of Backfat and top 1% of the breed in meat quality traits. When we can find them we like to infuse British genetics as they are still true to type Berks. So for a great mix of whole muscle and great marble and fat we use Berks, free range them in hardwood forests, supplement with feeds low in soy (roasted if we can find it). There is a big difference in heritage breeds and in the way they are fed. Thanks for bearing with me guys!

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 18:39
by unclebuck
Any pork fed on Canadian barley will put fat on. The fat is also very white. Marbling is a natural on any hog fed this ration. My father raised hogs for many years, and our slaughter hogs(always fattened on barley)were to die for. The neighbours and the local butcher shops bought & paid premium prices for the hogs because of the quality, and knowing the breeder. They were crossed Yorkshire & Landrace.

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 19:38
by Chuckwagon
First of all... Welcome to the forum!
Second, your post was very interesting. I, for one, would like to hear more. Thanks for you input.

Best Wishes,

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 19:41
by JerBear
I agree with Chuckwagon. Welcome! And there's no need to skip over stuff here, I for one would love to learn more about porcine breeds and breeding.

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 20:51
by Dave Zac
Me too. me too. I am VERY interested in finding a farmer that can give me what I think I'm looking for in a porker.

The only way for me to know better what I think I want, is for farmboy236 to explain it to us. Don't be shy, be long winded.

And thanks for resurrecting the post.


Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 21:14
by ssorllih
My sister in South Carolina has a small holding and an interest in raising heritage hog breeds. As a help to her I have done some internet searching and found several eastern heritage hog breeders that are very carefull to keep the blood lines pure. Just google heritage hog breeds and listen to Farmboy.
I have been told that before the chestnut blight killed the native chestnuts pigs were always fattened on chestnut and acorns.

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 03:09
by ssorllih
It has been said that the best way to preserve a blood line in swine is the make a market demand for it. Here is one of the web sites that I have read and sent to my sister.
http://bigpictureagriculture.blogspot.c ... reeds.html

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 13:06
by farmboy236

Thanks for that site, there are some pigs there that I've never heard of before. You are dead on about creating a market to maintain a breed. If it isn't economically feasible then it's a hobby and it's too expensive to raise theses things as a hobby. Out of all the minor heritage breeds I think the Mulefoot has the greatest potential. Imagine a Spanish style ham with that syndactl hoof still attached. Talk about a marketing strategy that no one could copy! The pigs are nice too; we almost started with them but choose Berks instead.

Uncle Buck,

I would kill to be able $$$ to fatten on Barley! Wheat is $11 a 50#bag much less Barley. With a feed conversion ratio of 4-5 to 1 it cost about 800 pounds of feed to bring one to market weight. Feed costs right now are up to +$400 a ton and that's for standard pig ration, more for custom milling. It's that access to cheap feeds that give each geographical area it's own unique foodstuffs whether it be whey from Parma, cork oaks from Spain or Barley from Canada.

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 16:55
by ssorllih
I have often wondered about the feasibility of planting acre size plots of different crops and turning the pigs in on them as the crop mature. That way you have only the planting costs the pigs do the harvesting and ground preparation for the next planting. There is a web site that details the pasture requirements for each hog and it is surprizingly small. I will see if I can find that and post it.

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 17:27
by ssorllih ... on-pasture ... w-crusade/

These are some of the links that I have found and read.
My search was based on "Swine Pasture" .

I was talking to one of my home repair customers yesterday about making sausage on request for special events. She suggested that the terms,"Home Made" and "All Natural" and "Custom Made", Have an appeal to the under forty population with growing family and money to spend.
I write about 150 invoices each year for home repairs and all of those people have large food budgets. They don't hesitate to order fast food delivered and I know that the cost in that catagory exceeds 10 dollars per pound.

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 21:08
by lowpull
I hunt feral hogs in SW Arkansas. They are feeding mostly on acorns and some corn from deer feeders. Mostly acorns, But it makes for a very tasty firm meat pork.

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 21:43
by Chuckwagon
it makes for a very tasty firm meat pork.
I'll bet it does! Is there a limit on the number you can take. What caliber do you use, and is there a "season" for them?