We began incorporating pigs into our operation in 2014. We started with the 3 pictured above. They were a mix of 2 heritages breeds, the Large Black and the Berkshire. We added some forage crops to our cover crop mixes and rotated the pigs through the farm using a horse trailer and mobile electric netting. We had fantastic results! The pigs got big on very little feed, they were happy as pigs could be, and they fit very well into our diverse little farm.
For 2015 we purchased a second horse trailer and are now rotating 2 groups around the farm. The first group is made up of 3 American Guinea Hog/Berkshire crosses. The American Guinea hog was once one of the most common types of pigs in this country. Very good foragers and delicious meat, but like all good things in food they fell out of popularity because they do not get quite as large as modern pigs and their growth rate isn't quite as fast. We only raise one batch of pigs/year during the green forage season so we don't care how long it takes them to grow, especially if they're sourcing 3/4 of their diet from our forage cover crops. The second group is made up of 4 Berkshires. Berkshires are another heritage breed and are considered the gold standard with chefs when it comes to pigs so we wanted to give them a shot. Our guess is that the groups crossed with other more obscure breeds will be even better but we wanted to find out for sure.