Posted on

Fall pigs: why now is the time to get your hog!

Pasture raised heritage breed Mangalitsa pigs: sow and piglets

Way back when, long ago, in the mists of time, the folks who homesteaded the land had hogs.  Fat hogs.  Hardy hogs.  Hogs that didn’t need a lot of pampering and could live off the land.  Even in the fall, going into winter, there were no worries about taking care of the pigs.  Once it froze and the grasses finished curing and the flies disappeared, it was time to process the fat pigs and wean the little pigs for next year.

Welcome to the world of the Mangalitsa.  These guys are heritage pigs that thrive on heritage living.  They don’t fear the cold of winter.  They can thrive on a variety of feeds.  The sows take care of their young well.  In fact, the whole herd watches out for the young.  The other day two sows, one with piglets, gave me a  hard time when I went into look at them.  Then I realized the puppy had followed me in.  They didn’t appreciate her presence!  The Mangalitsa is the ultimate homestead hog for our farm.

You can get your own piece of heritage today! Fall is a fine time to start your Mangalitsa for next year.

  • For one thing, there’s not as much competition, so prices are lower.
  • Also, they grow fine on the extra veggies and other feeds you can scrounge. We feed hay, meat scraps, household scraps (the old “slop bucket”), apples, and root crops.
  • Due to their heritage genetics, they don’t need you to break the ice in the waterer.  If there’s snow, they are set.  (That flies in the face of common thought, but we’ve proven it.  Nature rarely provides running water in the winter and these guys are still adapted to survive.)
  • They do need shelter and bedding, but a hut and a bale of straw will suffice.  They don’t need a heaeted barn.
  • In the spring they’ll grow exponentially and be ready to butcher before you know it!  The yield of rich red meat and creamy lard will be worth the wait.

Check out these posts to see how the Mangalitsas have performed at Baker’s Green Acres:

Pigs and Cute

Fill Your Freezer

Pig Breed Comparison

Now’s the time to get your Baker’s Green Acres heritage hog for next year!  Check with us for fall specials on weaner pigs, half grown feeder pigs, and breeding stock.

Posted on

Taste the Love, OR Why BGA chicken tastes better than Tyson

A custom raised broiler chicken chick sleeping in Rachel's hands.

Did you know your body breaks down in the presence of anger, frustration, excessive stress, and hate?  Did you know you were made to function healthfully in love, joy, and peace?

I’ve been reading about health lately as I’ve pursued some health issues for myself and as the health care provider for my family (it’s just part of the “Mom” job).  These ideas have been coming up repeatedly from many angles, so it’s one I realized I need to contemplate.

The heroes: Joe, Sam, and Keith butchering a hog.In contemplating how to help myself and my family have a more love, joy, and peace mindset towards ourselves and life my mind wandered (it happens a lot) to what we do.  We’ve heard many times that what you experience and believe profoundly affects your physiology.  Why shouldn’t the same be true for our animals?

This is part of why we raise our animals the way we do.  Our chickens live like chickens in the way that best suits their nature.  Our pigs enjoy being pigs by living on dirt they can dig in and having space so they aren’t stressed (that’s why the industrial pigs lack tails–bored and stressed pigs bite each other’s tails off, so the farmer circumvents that by docking the tail.).  Neither lives in heated or air conditioned comfort, but they seem to like having fresh air, sunshine, and the ability to be who they are meant to be for the duration of their lives.

Pastured poultry is a Baker's Green Acres hallmark. The tractors are mobile pens in which the chickens are raised on pasture.
The tractors housing the pastured broiler chickens stretch over the hill. This is how we grow the state’s best chicken.

Why does that matter? That profoundly affects their physiology, which translates into the chicken breast or pork chop on your plate.  Without the low level stress hormones (which cause the immune system to struggle and creates the necessity of sub therapeutic antibiotics in the feed), the real flavor of the animal comes through.  The vitamins and minerals (noteably vitamins A and D) the animals gain from the sunshine and green food also contribute flavor, as well as making those nutrients available to your body.

Mangalitsa hogs enjoying green grass and tilling a field.
Mangalitsa hogs enjoying green grass and tilling a field.

When a body (yours or a chicken’s) lives in stress, fear, anger, frustration it becomes vulnerable to disease and is less able to absorb nutrients.  Those stress hormones are stored in the meat (where else would they be?), and nutrients are not.  Hmmm….  Back to “you are not meant to live in fear, anger, stress, and frustration.”  Why would you want to injest that through your food, then???  I can’t think why.  It’s cheaper?  It’s just conveniently at the store?  Sounds like voodoo?

A Mangalitsa sow with her piglets.
A Mangalitsa sow caring for her young in the fresh air and sunshine.

You were made to live and thrive in the presence of love, joy, and peace.  We made sure your food did (if you have Baker’s Green Acres chicken, pork, etc.).  Taste the love!

Posted on

A Walkabout- Yesterday was a sunny day. In wintry northern Michigan, this is a thing to be noted and enjoyed.

Yesterday was a sunny day.  In wintry northern Michigan, this is a thing to be noted and enjoyed.  Here’s what I found on my walkabout.

The calves’ names are Calvin and Hobbes after the summer’s favorite cartoon characters.  This one sticking his tongue out at me with a mouthful of food is clearly Calvin.  The calves live outside in a Continue reading A Walkabout- Yesterday was a sunny day. In wintry northern Michigan, this is a thing to be noted and enjoyed.

Posted on

FarmStead News Feed

Farmstead Feed: Jill shares the latest from the Farmstead Desk

Fun in the shop: meet the chicken processing team

We have a day off in the shop today.  The chicken processing shop is usually humming on Fridays, which is when we do custom chicken processing.  The weekly routine is that people who have scheduled their birds (chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, guinea hens) or rabbits...

Business changes, Passion doesn’t

The more things change, the more things stay the same. So the saying goes.  Did 2017 bring change for you?  Maybe 2018 is the year those changes are really felt. This year is our year of change.  Our business model is changing.  But our passion is still the same.  You...

Fall pigs: why now is the time to get your hog!

Way back when, long ago, in the mists of time, the folks who homesteaded the land had hogs.  Fat hogs.  Hardy hogs.  Hogs that didn’t need a lot of pampering and could live off the land.  Even in the fall, going into winter, there were no worries about taking...

Integrity Matters: know or learn to be your farmer

“Trust is the combination of intelligence and integrity.” “Husbandry, which is not replaceable by science, nevertheless uses science, and corrects it too. It is the more comprehensive discipline. To reduce husbandry to science, in practice, is to...

Pasture (Grass) plus Chickens: goodness to share

  Last night was a idyllic summer evening: warm, just a little humid from the day and the threatening clouds, rosy colored sky.  The chickens on the pasture (real, actual grass) were resting, waiting for their dinner.  These chickens are content.  They have room...

Posted on

Piglet challenges

A mangalitsa sow farrows fine outside in the winter.

It sounds like fun to have baby pigs running around, and it is!  We’ve found Mangalitsas to be the easiest pigs to farrow (have their babies) and raise, but it isn’t all roses.  Mark shows you one of our newest sows and her litter:

Thank You for shopping at Baker's Green Acres. You must have $50.00 in your shopping cart in order to see shipping options. Local Pick Up is always Free. Thank You! Dismiss

0

Your Cart