When it comes to high quality pastured pigs, Heritage Berkshire Pigs are at the top of the list. Just like the rest of our animals and their products, these pigs thrive on being primarily grass-fed. We only supplement them with organic, soy-free feed, since pigs do need more than just grass in order to flourish.
Berkshires are one of the oldest pig breeds known, originating in England, and documented as much as 350 years ago there. They were brought to the U.S. in the early 1800s. In 1875, pig breeders in this country formed the American Berkshire Association, the first pig breeders group and swine registry in the world.
All pigs come as one of two types: lard-type and bacon-type. The lard breeds produce more fat, which is traditionally rendered for cooking and used for lubricants. But after World War II, the market for lard dropped sharply, impacting a variety of pig breeds.
The bacon-type Berkshires did not suffer from this change at first, but when huge conglomerate farms took over much of the pork production, Berkshire numbers began to decline because they do not do well when raised in confinement. This unpopularity with large breeders led Berkshires to the point of being rare, until concerned organizations took it in hand to make sure they didn't die out.
Berkshire grass fed pigs are hardy and early maturing. They make good mothers and do very well on grass. Their meat is darker, juicier and more flavorful than other breeds--and raised on pasture--much healthier for us, like all of our meats.
Thanks for supporting your local farmers!