Tuesday, January 10, 2012

future farm critters - part 2: piggies

Two breeds of porkers that we like the sound of are Ossabaw Island and Red Wattle/Waddle hogs. First we'll talk about the Ossies (yes, I coined that phrase just now).

Spotted, hairy piggies make me squeal.
[ image courtesy Nature's Harmony Farm ]

Apparently, a bunch of Spaniards left these guys to fend for themselves on an isolated piece of dirt in Georgia called Ossabaw Island. Because they were feral, the breed stayed pretty small (about 200 pounds market weight), forages well, and will drink just about anything. They'll root up all sorts of shit, so best to put them someplace where you want to take advantage of that, like out in the woods or in a new garden area or whatever. My garden is pictured below with me in the background hoe-ing away.

[ image courtesy Country Living ]

I could only hope for a fraction of the beautifulness of this garden.

Anyway, Ossies are supposed to be pretty independent. (We like independent. I'm lazy.) They're supposed to be excellent mamas and have an extremely high healthy birth rate. (Because I don't want to have to help a pig give birth, I ASSURE YOU.)

And tasty, too. Because although I have no experience with slaughtering swine, this will be the end result, and I love me some bacon and chops. And ribs. And sausage.

In direct contrast, Red Wattle hogs are BIG. Like 1,200 pound market weight big. And they get big fast because they're lazy. Their exact origin is unknown, but they might originally be from Australia. Ossies (my newfound word) + Aussies = clearly a sign that we should raise both. They're good mamas, too, and have crazy appendages that I find weirdly charming hanging off their cheeks, hence, the wattle descrip.

Wattle: the appendix equivalent of pig facial features.
[ image courtesy porkfoodservice.org ]

I don't care if they're edible, though, I'm not eating the wattles.

The Ark of Taste describes the Red Wattle hog as "...known for their hardiness, foraging activity, and rapid growth rate. The sows are excellent mothers, who labor litters of 9-10 piglets, and provide good quantities of milk for their large litters.  They adapt well to a wide range of climates, making them a good choice for consideration in outdoor or pasture-based swine production. Red Wattle pork is exceptionally lean and juicy with a rich beef-like taste and texture."

That last line is what has me sold. Next in the future farm critters series (but not necessarily the next post because, holy smokes I have some holler pictures to show off): St. Croix sheep!

over and out, hoeboats

~ Mitsy

No comments:

Post a Comment