Central Maine Pasture Raised Heritage Breed Piglets
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Piglets will be available after New Years.
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Fall 2021 Bullet Points:
Available for pickup Late Dec, Early Jan(Farrowing date Approx. Jan 3-6 2022
Weaned at 6 weeks, All males castrated, Mix of Heritage Breeds, Will be electric fence trained.
Pasture Raised Heritage Breed Piglets in Central Maine. These happy, healthy, and strong piglets are available seasonally and perfect for your farm or homestead. Approximately Spring and Fall. Our goal is to avoid having litters in the dead of Winter or heat of Summer.
We raise pigs based on outdoor performance, behavior, and carcass quality. We don’t dogmatically cling to any particular breed since combining genetics across breeds results in increased vigor, adaptability, and variety.
Our current herd consists of 6 sows that we raised from piglets born right on the farm. Their roots emanated from the Amish in Unity, Maine. Originally I purchased piglets from the Secich family, who had purchased from an Amish dairy farmer.
They were principally a mix of Hampshire, Landrace, Gloucester Old Spot, Duroc, and Large Black. As Walter Jefferies from Sugar Mountain Farm in Vermont calls them, “Good old American Pigs”.
We eventually brought in a large mostly pure bred Tamworth boar named “Benny”. He had fulfilled his service with Olde Haven Farm here in Southern Maine after originally coming from Walter Jeffries pasture based farm in Vermont.
After Benny and the older sows were retired we took a short pause on breeding while building new facilities for housing, management, and farrowing. We saved 6 of the best tempered piglets from that line to begin anew. They all showed incredible growth, highly friendly, and well at home living outdoors with the seasons.
For the recent batch we decided to partner with Heather Holland at Outland Farm in Pittsfield to share a boar. Since boars are really only needed for a short window, having a collaborative stud service works great for both farms as well as the boar. “Meatback” is our most recent boar. He is a nearly pure bred Berkshire that originated as well with another Amish farmer, who purchased “Meatback” from out of Maine.
We move the sows into our large hoop house animal barn for farrowing. This gives us a controlled area where we can monitor the sows and piglets, allow for proper bonding, check for health issues, and feed them specifically as to their nutrient needs. After a few days the doors of the pens are opened. All of the sows and piglets are able to live in one large communal area while still having access to pens for resting, nursing, and playing.
We do not use farrowing crates or other restraint devices. One of the traits we select for is good mothering ability. Accidents can and do happen, but some sows are maternally better than others.
Male piglets are castrated early. Most of our customers are buying piglets as feeder pigs with the intended purpose of raising them for meat, not breeding. Castration is important in order to avoid boar taint when the pigs reach sexual maturity which could ruin the meat. It also helps hedge against accidental breeding between siblings if butcher dates get extended for various reasons. We try to castrate all males within 3 days of being born. Preferably between 16-36 hours. The young piglets are easy to handle and barely notice the process, likely due to a still developing nervous system. Castrations at this age have proven over and over again to be the most stress free procedure possible and best for piglets and farmers alike.
After a few weeks the piglets are allowed into a special “piglet play yard”. Here they can be fed separate rations from the sows, play freely, and then get exposed to electric fencing. After slowly getting familiar with electric wire the piglets are granted access to an outdoor pen. Here they can root around, run around, and continue their electric fencing education. Moving piglets through stages gets them used to moving between gates and areas, as well as ingrains early a deep appreciation for wire and fencing. Setting the standards early helps pay off in the future.
Piglets are weaned at 6 weeks and ready to go. Males are castrated. All piglets are electric fence exposed and possibly fully trained. Winter training can be a little slower due to reduced conductivity of electricity in the soil, and frozen ground.
All piglets are $125. When we have piglets available you will be able to purchase them above, as we will put the number we have available in inventory. Newsletter Subscribers and past customers get to purchase piglets first, so if you’d like first access consider signing up for our Newsletter here: Souder Station Farm Newsletter
Or if you happen to be finding us organically, and the option to purchase is available above, then feel free to order now before they sell out. The option to buy is only available after we update inventory with our current availability.
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