We have recently welcomed a new litter of piglets. Betty is our Saddleback breeding sow and along with Boris the boar, they have created ten beautiful and healthy little piglets.
We did think that both our sow and boar were purebred Saddlebacks but we have a delightful liquorice all sort mix of colours, that would suggest otherwise!
Nevertheless, we are thrilled with our piglets and how well they are doing. Betty was initially very protective of them and we had to be very careful around her. She bit Charlie and gave two of our terriers a rough up too!
She is much more settled now, so we are able to go in the pen with them and have even managed a quick stroke, when mum wasn't looking!
These piglets are super cute at this age but its important to remember that we are breeding high quality, well cared for animals, that will ultimately end up feeding families.
The piglets will be weaned at around six weeks of age and will go to their new homes, where they will be reared for another six or seven months before being processed.
It is really important to us that we look after the animals under our care, to the very best of our ability. That means taking care of any health needs, such as vaccinating to prevent disease and treating the pigs for parasites when needed. We feed them well, so they remain in good condition and we provide shade and shelter and in summer they also get a mud wallow to cool down in.
We try to grow our pigs with as low a carbon footprint as possible, which means that most of their food would otherwise be waste that would go to landfill or down a drain. We feed reject apples from local orchards in Hawkes Bay, picking up a couple of binfulls every month. They also get wash-down milk, from our neighbouring organic dairy farm and kitchen scraps from our household and few friends who live locally.
Having well cared for pigs, who live in paddocks and roam around eating grass and leading a low stress existence, also creates really yummy bacon!