Pigs = Pork

Our first venture into keeping pigs at home in Wraxall was a great experience from beginning to end. We took on eight weaners in March 2015 – four Landrace, two Large Whites and two Saddlebacks. After five months in our paddock, four went to the farmer next door and we kept four for Mud Dock Café. Their sausages, loin, belly, shoulder and chops soon made it on to the specials board and were a big hit.

Although it was sad to see our pigs go, we knew all along that we were rearing them for pork and that they weren’t pets. Having said that, we loved spending time with them. Princess loved having her tummy tickled and would roll over as soon as she saw me, Rose (in the photo) never stopped grunting, squealing and barking – she was the noisy one. Beauty and Stripe, the Saddleback Sisters, kept to themselves a bit more but joined in galloping and barking around the paddock with the others.

We fed them two big buckets of fresh-from-the-cow milk for breakfast every day plus they had two feeds of pig pellets, lots of windfall apples and love.

The local family-run butchers in Nailsea, Bakers, appreciate that people like us have loved and cared for the animals and in their abattoir they treat the animals with the respect they deserve.

We’ve found the pork from the different breeds is very different. Although the pigs have grazed the same paddock and eaten the same food, the Landrace pigs are more fatty and the Large Whites very lean. So we decided to mix the two to make our very tasty sausages in four flavours: traditional, chilli and coriander, apple and finally garlic and herbs. It’s well-known that rare-breed pigs tend taste better and have more fat but we’ll mention this when its on the menu.

So we now plan to keep more pigs and supply even more of our very own home-reared pork from our own very happy Mud Pigs.