Our small herd of Berkshire pigs is raised as nature intended. The animals are allowed to move freely in their environment and are kept outside year round, with access to indoor shelters for shade in the summer, and warmth in the winter.
The animals are never raised with the use of antibiotics, however, a sick animal will be treated as necessary. Hormones are never used to promote growth, and the pigs’ diet consists of forages, locally grown grain (produced without the use of chemicals), and a premix of canola/soya, and a vitamin/mineral supplement. Our pigs are never fed any animal by-products. Preserved forages (hay/straw) are provided during the winter months. We never carry out any procedures such as tail docking and teeth clipping. This is simply not necessary in a natural, stress free environment.
All of our pigs are well handled, friendly and enjoy human contact. They are allowed to exhibit normal pig behaviour, for example, rooting in the dirt. When they are used to being handled they do not become stressed easily. This is especially important right before slaughter as excessive stress can seriously affect meat quality.
Animal welfare and natural behaviour are very important to us. We focus on the ‘five freedoms’ welfare standards raising our pigs:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease
- Freedom to express normal behaviours
- Freedom from fear and distress