Our neighbor, Brixey farmer Steve Young, raises pigs.
He sells them to people who value high quality meat at reasonable prices.
Steve doesn't crowd his pigs or use antibiotics or hormones. He breeds
using his own boars. He raises traditional breeds which have a little
more fat and a lot more flavor.
Here's Steve Young (right) and Joe Smith in the Red Dot
Farm office. There's a lot of office time that goes into farming.
I ordered a pig from Steve. A month later we picked up the
butchered pork. We've been eating fine chops, bacon, sausage, hams, ground
pork, and ribs ever since. This year we'll do it again!
Here's how he raised our pig, from feeding
to breeding to taking it to the packer.
Feed bins hold corn and feed additives. Steve and Joe
mix feed and additives differently for different stages of development.
Stalls in the gestation barn: It takes 3 months, 3
weeks, 3 days for the piglets to be born. The sows live here until
they go to the farrowing barn to give birth. Each has her own feeder
hanging above her stall.
Steve keeps these gilts (young sows) separate; he will
use them as sows for breeding.
Boar "milking" station. Steve keeps a few
boars for servicing his sows.
Farrowing Barn: Sows give birth here, and then they
nurse their piglets here for 21 days.
Piglets get 1cc iron shot right after birth.
After they leave their mothers, the piglets go to the
nursery barn, where they get special rations to grow on.
Finally, they go to the finishing barn, where they
grow to sale weight of up to 250 lbs.
Feeder is in center; manure gets flushed out from gutter
The manure is piped to a manure lagoon (ringed by trees
at rear of picture). Steve pumps the lagoon solids onto some hay fields
he keeps for the purpose. He sells the hay.
Guiding hogs to the weighing room.
Hog trapped in the scale.
Finding its weight.
Tagging the hog's ear for tracking through the packing
3 hogs, their weights, and cost. We bought hog #3.
How much was this per pound?
Hogs to the Packer
Hogs loaded onto trailer for their first and last ride.
Forrest Meat Processing in Norwood.
"Persuading" hogs to leave trailer
Bye Bye, pigs. In a month we will pick you up as our
pork, butchered to order.
Our charges for the butchering and curing. How much
did we pay for the butchering per pound? Whatwas our total cost? Per
pound? How does this compare to the supermarket?