Oh this is going to be fun! We were able to reserve a breeding set (boar and 2 sows) of Mule Foot hogs that will arrive in late March or early April. Mule foot hogs are unique because they have a solid hoof like a horse or mule. They are a rare or "Heritage" breed of pig and because they are a smaller breed we thought that they would be fun to have on the home place. We still have pastured Duroc and Berkshire Hogs on our sister farms and that isn't going to change.
Our Small herd of Belted Galloway Cattle are through calving and we will have 6 steers available for purchase next year.(they're yearlings now and doing great!) These are fun cattle that excel on grass. Easily grading Choice plus and occasionally Prime. They are a smaller, very docile breed and fun to have around. I enjoy Having a few examples of "Heritage" livestock so people can see where modern strains came from and feel it is beneficial to keep the old breeds around from a historical standpoint. THE AMERICAN LIVESTOCK BREEDS CONSERVANCY is a great source for learning about these breeds of livestock and the requirements for using the term "Heritage" in ones marketing. I also believe that the only way to honestly preserve these breeds for future generations is to raise them for meat production, and not blow the price through the roof just because it is a rare breed. Save those high dollar sales for the showmen and breeders. You slaughter what isn't good enough to go into your breeding program and that sure shouldn't cost people more money. What costs more is the production model, you're paying for the time we spend to get that animal ready to eat, and the know how to make sure it is a superior product.
The majority of our cattle are Registered Aberdeen Angus and Simangus. We sell the majority of our steers into the Certified Angus Beef and Gateway programs. Our herds are selected for efficiency on grass and a good rate of gain is crucial to any grass based operation. The steers we elect to hold back as part of the Grass Fed and Finished side of the operation need to be able to keep gaining on pasture, they stay there for almost a year longer than those that go into standard production.
I also have to giggle about the fascination with wild boar. Okay! I got tags and am going to Texas the end of the month to get as many as they'll let me! They're a real problem there and I will happily supply my members with meat and have a blast getting it! (pun intended) Keep it real! until next time, Meg