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pig breeds

Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2225
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  37
I looked for a thread on pig breeds, but didn't see one yet.

Slow Food Seattle just e-mailed about a class on how to make your own pancetta and lardo - especially from the Mangalitsa pig and I thought of permies folks and wondered if anyone might be considering this breed.

I've had pancetta before, and while it's yummy, I prefer regular bacon or prosciutto (speaking of, you've got to see Irene Kightly's post about how to make duck breast prosciutto--wow).

From the e-mail:
What is a Mangalitsa Pig?

In 2006, Heath Putnam, the founder of Heath Putnam Farms, encountered Mangalitsa while working in Europe. Impressed by its exceptional quality, and aware that America had nothing comparable, he imported a herd and began production here in Washington State. Unlike all popular breeds of hogs, which are meat-type, the Mangalitsa is an extreme lard-type breed. The Mangalitsa (pronounced MON-go-leet-sa) was created in 1833 by the Hungarian Royal Archduke Jozsef. Lard-type breeds produce high-quality fat and very marbled, juicy and flavorful meat. Mangalitsa fat is more unsaturated than normal pig fat, so it tastes much lighter, cleaner and melts at a lower temperature. The fat is also healthier and keeps longer, due to higher levels of oleic acid. For more information on Mangalitsa pork and where to find it, visit Heath Putnam Farms.


This also brings up the good lard is a health food! thread. 

Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
Jordan Lowery
volunteer

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1527
Location: zone 7
    
  11
thanks for the thread as well i have been researching different pig breeds lately for when i get some in the near future. I was looking for ones that are not the normal feed lot pigs and this thread should help greatly.

wheres the recipe for making the pancetta?


The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2225
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  37
hubert cumberdale wrote:
wheres the recipe for making the pancetta?


Well, it's a method of making duck breast prosciutto, actually, not pancetta. The blue words in my original post starting with "Irene Kightly..." is a link to a thread on salt curing meats. Scroll to the picture of the salt-and-peppered duck breast.

Or maybe you were hoping for a pancetta recipe. 

And I hope folks do talk about pig breeds! 
Jordan Lowery
volunteer

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1527
Location: zone 7
    
  11
yea i have read that thread and her post on the duck prosciutto.

and yea i was hoping for a pancetta recipe 

anywho what are some other pig breeds you like?
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5837
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  87
I am fond of the Tamworth.  They are good foragers, well behaved (as pigs go), and are good mothers.  They do not grow as large as some other breeds, but produce some very fine lean meat.  They are frequently called "bacon factories".

A hundred years ago, when lard was the most common cooking oil, the American Mulefoot breed was the most commonly raised, as they produce large quantities of lard.  They are still available, but not too common.
Gord Welch


Joined: Sep 25, 2010
Posts: 64
Location: Oregon
I have Tamworth, and they are lovely animals, excellent mothers, and yes, good foragers.

Their meat is a bit too lean for my own liking, though it is tasty, to be sure. Great headcheese.

You can check out videos of my latest litter at www.farmergord.com/pigs
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
My two choices would be Guinea Hogs for fat and Kunekune for lean meat but then I am only feeding me so those tiny pigs are all I need.  Guinea Hogs are rooters and Kunekune are grazers.  I prefer grazers and also small livestock with the exception of my rabbits.  They are huge. 

I only have Muscovy Ducks and they are very lean but cold smoked and air dried breast is about as good as it gets in the "ham" department.  If I had pigs I would have some real pork products but I only have rabbits and for now my ducks live at a friend's place.  I love Muscovy eggs for a meal too.  They are pretty good layers as far as ducks go and they are great mother's too.  1/2 breast charbroiled is better than a nice piece of prime sirloin. 


"When there is no life in the soil it is just dirt."
"MagicDave"
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5837
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  87
I am also considering Large Blacks.  As the name suggests, they will produce a large hog.
If you pasture them, they will provide a lean hog.  On grain feed, a lot of lard.

(For those that don't understand the difference between "pigs" and "hogs", it's simple:
Pigs get fatter.  Hogs get slaughtered!)

Alison Thomas
volunteer

Joined: Jul 22, 2009
Posts: 933
Location: France
    
    5
Might be recalling incorrectly but doesn't Sepp Holzer have Mangalitsas?

We have a Large Black x British Lop and she is a gorgeous docile pig and proving to be a wonderful mother to her 8 babies.  Her sister got processed and made fabulous bacon.

We also have two males, Gloucester Old Spots.  Very friendly and docile, great tractors but haven't processed one yet so can't vouch personally for the meat yet.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5837
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  87
I think that any heritage breed will do well on pasture, but modern 'factory breeds' are not well adapted to foraging.  That trait has been bred out of them.  Like the Cornish-X chickens, the factory breeds will stand in one place and eat whatever is put in front of them.  You will also end up with pork that tastes just like supermarket pork.

If you want them to truly forage, do not have them ringed.
Pam Hatfield


Joined: Jul 07, 2010
Posts: 508
Red Wattles.  WONDERFUL   meat, absolutely succulent. I believe they are listed in the Ark of Taste.   Slaughterhouses don't like them because they don't have the white skin, and the meat is fattier than more modern breeds.

Tough as nails, managed quite happilly in a Saskatchewan winter with  shelters made of hay bales. Easy going temperament. Our boar absolutely loved to have his back scratched with a barn broom and never bothered the horses or chickens or anything that shared the pasture.One gilt found some piglets that had got under the fence and promptly lay down and tried to nurse them.

Good mothers, but none of our RWsows got ancy with us (as opposed to the commercial sow we had). Their litters were not excessively large, I think we averaged 10 over the sows we had. The commercial sow, bred to the RW boar, once had 23; 21 of which she raised. We sold her anyway because of her temperament. No idea about that meat; those all got sold.

They are also on the endangered list, so take care if you buy some to work with a reputable breeder.  I WISH  I could have pigs again I would have them in a shot, I don't even eat pork anymore as what is available is so dry and tasteless.

http://www.redwattleproject.com/
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
John Polk wrote:
I am also considering Large Blacks.  As the name suggests, they will produce a large hog.
If you pasture them, they will provide a lean hog.  On grain feed, a lot of lard.

(For those that don't understand the difference between "pigs" and "hogs", it's simple:
Pigs get fatter.  Hogs get slaughtered!)


Pigs get fatter hogs get slaughtered?  semantics.  I have slaughtered my pigs and eaten them too.
Suzy Bean
steward

Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
    
    2
Paul and Kelda review chapter 2 of Sepp Holzer's Permaculture in this podcast.

They talk about pig breeds.


www.thehappypermaculturalist.wordpress.com
Alison Thomas
volunteer

Joined: Jul 22, 2009
Posts: 933
Location: France
    
    5
OK we've just processed one of our Gloucester Old Spots - a male, uncastrated, 21 months old, told by locals that he would be 'incomestible' (inedible) - and oh boy, is that GOOD bacon! Crap about boar taint. Very lean, in fact not much fat on him atall much to my disappointment as I'm a lard enthusiast. Yet he looked enormous but it was all muscle - they are pasture raised. Killed out at over 100kg (220lbs). The hams (and this was just top leg hams!) were in excess of 15kgs (33lbs) !! I'm just about to make our first ever salami.

In temperament terms, they are just big pillow cases but then we do go in with them every day so they 'know' us. The only time I felt a bit worried was when he was very hormonal (frothing at the mouth) and got quite territorial - that's not to say that he went for us, just that he was a bit quicker off the mark to come and check you out so I stayed on my side of the fence just in case. I find that the male pigs are a bit lazier than the females who seem to 'work' all day whilst the males have long siestas (hey, what a mirror of human life!!! )
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5837
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  87
If you are looking to compare different breeds, Oklahoma State University has a nice collection of data here:

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/swine/

J D Horn


Joined: Jan 23, 2012
Posts: 130
    
    1
When I was reading Sepp's book, I googled the various breeds he mentions. Here's a NYT article about chef's going bonkers for Mangalitsas.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/dining/01pigs.html?pagewanted=all

Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 703
Location: Burlington, NC - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  22
Mangalitsa recently have been a rave and some overly exaggerated articles have unofficially declared them as slightly better than Ossabaw but this is foodie news hyperbole. The Mangalitsa is a more fatty hog compared to the Ossabaw however the later has generally a better beneficial fat ratio. I say "generally" because diet is also a variable that affects the cut, fat quality is debatable. The difference between the two in judging quality is objective. Now what I am REALLY curious about is curing of the ham. The chemical composition of the fat is very important but unfortunately I am no ham master so I cannot really contribute anything in depth on the matter.


Those who hammer their swords into plows will plow for those who don't!
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 893
    
  17
We have and I'm very happy with a cross of primarily Yorkshire with Large Black, Berkshire and Tamworth. I have a purebred Tamworth boar and some of his offspring but I'm not very impressed with them. We just got a purebred Berkshire boar for the marbling and will be crossing that through our herds. I took a few little bites of him the other day to make sure he didn't have boar taint. Always a concern when bringing in new genetics. See:

http://sugarmtnfarm.com/2012/03/have-your-pig-and-eat-it-too/

As to lard, we cook with it in our house. It's great stuff and adds flavor to the meat. Some research says that the pastured grass eating pigs have higher Omega-3 fatty acids plus more vitamin D. However I don't want fat pigs and that's what the Mangalitsa are. It is meat that sells. Customers want muscle, with some fat, but not a lot. Even bacon should not have too much fat on it and the bacon I've seen from Mangalitsa was way too fat.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
Brian McNabney


Joined: Jul 29, 2012
Posts: 7
I have heard good things about the marbling in the meat of Berkshires. I just recently purchased a Berk boar but, was disappointed that he had no intrest in eating grass. I know that the pig was raised on concrete and fed ground feed. So, I am hoping that his offspring will consider grazing.
I will use him on my 2 Tamworth sows.
I have been trying to look into the specific breeds to see what breed groups are the best grazers (not foragers but, grass eaters)and would like to cross kunekune with maybe a red wattle for a good grass eating pig.
This may be a hard thing to do ?
I have been in the show ring and know how the show pigs are judged but, this type of genetic selection goes beyond just the looks of the animal. If judges would consider the meat production with the lowest input possible. It would be a different story entirely.
Any other good grass eaters ?
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 893
    
  17
Brian McNabney wrote:Any other good grass eaters ?


As I mentioned above, we have Yorkshire mixed with some others which we've selectively bred for years. They eat grass, clover, alfalfa, brush and other forages - it is the majority of their diet. Part may be genetic, breeding for animals that are better grazers, longer digestive tracts, etc. Part is definitely cultural. They learn to eat things from their parents. Our pigs grow up seeing their parents eat pasture so they eat pasture.
Frank Turrentine


Joined: Nov 12, 2012
Posts: 70
    
    1
I'd really like to get some mulefoot pigs, but I worry about pasturing them for fear of them getting out and running amok around the river. The pen I used to have pigs in was destroyed in the fire of January 2010, and I've not yet rebuilt it. I've considered trying to construct one out of used pallets from the warehouse (a recurring theme for me lately), and I may try to do that and perhaps move them around that way by continually moving the pens in a modular fashion. But that involves a lot more time and effort than I think I'd be able to devote to any one project here at the Spreadeagle Ranch.

Another thought I've had is to simply trap some feral hogs. We were laid waste by some two months ago, and I started to build a trap under the big pecan tree in front of the house. But they moved on after a good rain, and I haven't seen evidence of them since. The feral pigs we have around here are not the kind of Russian boar that charge you and rip you up, but are just stock running loose that has gone feral over time.

But what I really want is Mulefoots. I haven't even been eating meat lately, and I'm not particularly interested in butchering hogs anytime soon. But pigs are a comfort to me and a joy to have around the place. And I figure heritage breeds like that might be a decent source of revenue to pay for the local town's 5A athletic programs we keep getting taxed to support.

the old pen

Brian McNabney


Joined: Jul 29, 2012
Posts: 7
I just had to reply to your idea of using pallets .... I have tried this idea and it works pretty good . To stabilise the lineup ,I ran a 2x4 through the pallets and screwed or bolted them together. at every other joint I put a tee post . We had this fence up for 2-3 years then some of the thin pieces started to loosen and fall off. That pasture held sheep and cows . Didn't try pigs But, for pigs I would probably put insulators up about 6 inches and run electric fence so they wouldn't undermine it. OR just train pigs to stay in hot wire. I myself am not that brave yet and prefer a safety net of a good perimeter fence.
I bought a gloucester old spot gilt from a friend last year . Crossed her with a tamworth boar . I need to pick 1 gilt from the new litter as a replacement . WHAT A HARD JOB ...I know their mother and their father and both are almost pets . I think I would rather judge a miss America pagent. The losers get to meat our friends for dinner.
Frank Turrentine


Joined: Nov 12, 2012
Posts: 70
    
    1
My fence and pen ideas with the pallets involve using old t-posts as well. I can drive two of them for each pallet for as long as I can keep collecting t-posts. As pallets wear out, I can just pull them up and replace them with newer ones and scrap the old ones for further use elsewhere that doesn't require that much integrity. It's not exactly permaculture, I guess, but it's a way for me to re-use freely acquired materials.
 
 
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