How Do We Raise Dancing Pigs?

The backbone of a farm is the pasture.  When we first began our journey into pig farming, the pastures we were faced with had previously been overgrazed by cattle, cut for marginal hay, then left untended for several years.  As we learn about the importance of the pasture for pastured pork, we are spending more energy on creating a lush, nutritious, and self-sustaining smorgasbord for our pigs. Our goals are to raise our animals as close to the way nature intended as possible.  These ambitious goals include allowing the pigs to forage for the bulk of their diet in both our pastures and in the woods.  Our sows are allowed to nest and give birth naturally in the woods bordering our pastures.  We move our pigs often - this allows the pigs fresh forage as well as preventing the pastures from being overgrazed.  These practices combine to ensure our pigs are raised naturally and humanely, ultimately delivered to our friendly local butcher, and that care is evident from pasture to plate - quality pigs raised on quality pasture results in quality pork.  Whether it is a savory breakfast sausage or a tender and flavorful thick cut pork chop, you can be assured that we have striven to deliver to you the highest gourmet quality, ethically raised pork that you can find anywhere!

Creating Productive Perennial Pastures

Great forage for our pastured pigs must begin and end with our pastures. Most pastured pigs are raised on fields of fescue and clover while being fed a basic corn and soy feed mix. While this is astronomically better than your grocery store pork, at Dancing Pigs Farm, we believe we can do so much better. Our once average pastures are constantly being improved to appeal to our pigs. Simple grasses are being slowly but surely replaced by a wide variety of pig attractive plants. Our pigs enjoy grasses, clovers, turnips, radishes, small grains, and so much more.  Highly nutritious plants such as kale and rape, chickory and peas, oats and barley, are constantly being replanted as the pigs systematically harvest their own feed daily.  Small grains such as oats, triticale, barley, sorghum, and rye are scattered throughout the pastures allowing the pigs to enjoy both the growing grasses as well as the tender seed heads. Allowing the pigs to harvest their own feed, minimizes the need for additional grain to be fed, as well as giving the animals a veritable smorgasbord that changes according to the seasons.

Low Grain or No Grain Diet

As our pigs find more and more of their nutritional needs from our ever-improving pastures, our dependence upon additional grain is being minimized. Instead of the customary corn and soy diet nearly all pork producers rely on, we are able to provide much of our pigs' needs through our pastures.  Pigs in the wild thrive without commercial feed, largely because of the vast variety of foraged foods.  Pigs are omnivores, eating bugs and grubs along with the grasses and nuts. In order for these wild pigs to find enough to thrive, they may forage over great distances.  Dancing Pigs Farm is striving to replicate this varied diet by concentrating the available feed in much smaller areas.  As one part of the field is harvested by the pigs, the neighboring part is exploding in fresh growth. Our pigs are allowed to enjoy a small part of the farm to their hearts' content, and just when it seems there is little left for them to find, they are moved into a new area filled with so many of their favorite foods. From spring clovers to fall acorns, there is so much more to our pigs life than the bland corn and soy mash!  Our ultimate goal is to be able to supply 100% of our own feed without any additional feed at all.

Intensively Managed Pasture Rotation

Proper timing is crucial to a well managed pasture rotation. If the pigs are moved too early, they are missing out on available nutrition.  If they are moved too late, the ability of the pasture to spring back in vibrant new growth is diminshed.  A well-timed move is beneficial to both the pigs and the pastures. Many factors, such as the stage of the pasture's growth, the weather, and the number and size of the pigs dictate the optimal time to move the pigs to a fresh paddock.  The pigs are moved into a new, fresh area, and while they are busy exploring the fresh table set before them, we are busy in their previous spot.  We level the ground where they've dug up grubs and roots.  We distribute the manure in order to evenly fertilize the field. We reseed with a season appropriate mix of grasses, clovers, brassicas, small grains and more. The paddock is then allowed to rest and recover while the pigs are systematically moved in order to graze and fertilize the entire pasture before starting the cycle all over again.  The pigs thrive.  The pastures thrive. And, in the end, you, the customer thrives!

Natural Reproduction

Dancing Pigs Farm is considered a farrowing to finishing farm.  This simply means that we raise our own piglets on site, rather than purchasing weaned piglets to feed until butchering.  We have pigs of every conceivable size at any given time, from the youngest piglets to the largest boar or sow.  When our sows are nearing their delivery date, they are gently separated from the rest of the herd and coaxed into a primarily wooded paddock.  Here, they are allowed to give birth naturally.  No farrowing crates are ever used to restrict her movements.  She will naturally build a large nest using grasses, shrubs, and sticks as she anticipates her litter's arrival.  In this nest, often under the shelter of young cedar trees, she will farrow - give birth to her piglets.  There are no harsh lights, no busy farm workers agitating her, and she is comfortable in her own nest rather than on a hard concrete pad.  She will care for her litter in this quiet wooded area, enjoying the company of other sows in her same situation, but separated from the rough and tumble herd life out on the pasture.  Her little ones begin their life in the woods and quickly learn from mama to forage and browse, and become happy little dancing pigs.

Locally, Humanely Processed

The piglets enjoy life in the woods, quickly forming a bond with the other little guys in their neighborhood.  They have become adept at foraging and are well able to navigate the delicious enticements of the bountiful fields.  At around 2 months of age, they are weaned from their mother, and begin their journey across the pastures.  They have naturally formed a herd, and as a herd, grow and thrive together.  At the end of the journey, they are fat and happy, and ready to make the final step.  They are gently loaded and brought to our local butcher.  We have developed a relationship with our butcher and have the utmost confidence in his skill and the care he shows in each step of the process.  Dancing Pigs begin their lives naturally and humanely, and the end of their lives are shown the same consideration.  Pride is taken all along the way to make sure that the efforts we've invested in raising clean, ethically raised pigs, are continued at the butcher shop in producing clean, ethically processed pork.  Personal involvement during each step of the journey ensures that our pigs are born, raised, and finally give their lives with the utmost of dignity and integrity.

A True Pasture-to-Plate Experience

When you allow us to raise a Dancing Pig for you, you are assured of several things you simply cannot find in your local grocery store's meat department.
  • Dancing Pigs are farrowed, fattened, and finished naturally and ethically. With so much emphasis placed on food in today's culture, we stive to go above and beyond all expectations of even the most discerning foodie.
  • We strive to feed our pigs just as their nature demands - a vastly varied diet of real foods instead of tasteless, bland pig chow. Quality pastures produce quality pork!
  • Our local butcher shows the same care and consideration to his craft as we show in ours.  Safety, cleanliness, and quality are the highest priority from the beginning to the end.
  • We encourage you to be involved!  People should know where their food comes from and what goes into producing it.  Dancing Pigs Farm would be honored to be a small part of your family's food choices.
If you are looking for the highest quality pork, raised in an ethical and humane manner, contact us to find out how we can team up together to make that happen!

Reserve Your Pork Shares Today!

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Please use this form to determine if the shares you desire are available for purchase. Upon verification availability, we will forward you an invoice for your total.  Upon receipt of your payment, your shares will be secured and we will keep you updated, consider your processing options, and make arrangements for delivery or pickup.  Thank you from Dancing Pigs Farm!