In many ways our farm began before the farm even began. I was reading books, talking to farmers, dreaming dreams, and making plans. All of that lead to me thinking I had it all together before I even stepped foot onto what would eventually become Crooked Gap Farm. If you’ve heard me talk about the beginnings of the farm before you will know that in my mind the centerpiece was going to be Dexter Cattle raised for beef. It should be noted though that when I was thinking that I had never even tasted Dexter beef! What I have not talked a lot about before though is that when I was in that planning stage I thought the other main enterprise on the farm would be our Tamworth hogs.
Now, if you are familiar with the farm you will be thinking to yourself, “Tamworth hogs? What about the Herefords?” The reality is that in my reading and planning stages I had completely settled on Tamworths being the perfect breed for us. When I couldn’t find enough Tamworths I moved on to the Gloucestershire Old Spots, but I never found any of them either. So, I just got pigs and I learned how to raise those pigs. It was sometime after that first couple of batches of pigs that I ended up with the Herefords and now that is what we love and what we are known for.
That is why I say today, “Quit buying Hereford hogs!” It’s not that I don’t think they are a great breed with lots of positive points, but rather I don’t think it is the only direction to go. In the end I think there are three pieces of advice I wish I would have followed when I was selecting livestock for my beginning farm:
- Do What Works on Your Farm!
- Start With What is Readily Available in Your Area!
- Raise Your Livestock with Care and Husbandry and in an Exceptional Way!
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