Well as our ‘freezer pig’ (bought in February to fill our freezer whilst we awaited piglets from our breeding stock) or ‘Christmas ham’, as she is known, is looking more and more likely to be carrying a litter. Matt and a friend bought a pig each from a local piggery.
|'Christmas Ham'/ 'Freezer Pig'- Berkshirex Saddleback|
As a weaner- Feb '12
Now his friend is not a fan of our ‘slow growing,’ free ranging pigs (or of the quality of Berkshire meat) and swears by these commercially reared, fast growing varieties. And is a big fan of the stock raised by this local piggery. Therefore as we will not be in a position to consume our own, we joined him in purchasing (and supporting) as local businesses.
|Christmas Ham, Smokey (our Berkshire bore) & Streaky (gilt)|
I have to admit, he has been running this place for a number of years. So his story of raising ‘pink pigs’- fast growing, high production meat is common throughout the 1980’s and 90’s. As a result a lot of ‘heritage breeds’ such as the Berkshire, that do not do well in these more intensive conditions became less common, to the point where they have been listed as 'rare' on the Rare Breeds registers www.rbta.org/pigs.htm https://www.rbst.org.uk
Now don’t get me wrong, this guy is commercial, but by no means cruel- there are pigs reared in far worse conditions out there. His are clean, healthy and have space and company... more than many, but I’m not here to lecture on that- least not today, just can’t help but get distracted on the subject.
So Friday evening the boys returned with a pig each and (unexpectedly) a deer each. The deer belong to the owner of the piggery. I wouldn’t say they are reared, or farmed, but they are there. They have had a deer from him in the past, but these were ‘freebies’ as they were providing a service. They had escaped and were causing damage (and hostility) for the neighbour. So these exceptionally well fed deer (courtesy of the neighbour paddock and house yard) made an much appreciated addition.