RBR News | August 22, 2014
August 22, 2014
Around the Ranch
Everyone at the Ranch knows that I love all of the animals on the property, but am particularly fond of pigs and the products they offer. My fondness of course began in the kitchen due to the plethora of delicious recipes that include pork. When starting our farm in North Carolina, my wife Sarah and I were naturally drawn to heritage breed pigs as they fit in well with our property and rotation plans and thus my appreciation for these incredible animals has grown. After several years and many generations of raising pigs it is still magical to witness every time they farrow (give birth).
This Tuesday, Peggy Sue, a four-year-old Large Black sow (mother pig) gave birth to another litter. She spent the majority of the morning nesting and preparing a safe place to give birth and at 7:45PM the first piglet was born. One of the main reasons we selected the Large Black breed at Rock Bottom Ranch is because they are excellent mothers and generally do not need any assistance with the farrowing process. Just as a precaution, however, we try to be on hand in case anything unplanned happens. So I grabbed a headlamp and a raincoat to hang out with my 550-pound pig friend. Peggy did a great job, as usual, and by midnight she delivered eight healthy piglets without my assistance.
Baby piglets are incredible animals. Aside from being insanely cute, they can walk and nurse within 15 minutes of birth. They know exactly where to go for milk and figure out quickly that the spot between mom’s jowl and front leg is a nice place to warm up. As they get older, they continue to amaze: They recognize voices within a few weeks, and are clearly smarter (and sometimes more mischievous) then the other ranch animals. One of the most impressive feats is watching a 550-pound sow slowly and gently lay down, avoiding all eight of the new, three-pound, hungry babies zigzagging between her feet.
So, big thanks and job well done to our seasoned mother Peggy Sue. I hope the other pregnant sows took notes on Peggy’s calm attitude and graceful farrowing for their upcoming due dates.
P.S. My pregnant wife Sarah is due any day now and nearly the size of Peggy Sue.
Absolutely delicious squash and zucchini are available this week as well as more and more cherry and heirloom tomatoes. Plenty of sweet genovese basil and mint will be back this week.
A good quantity of pasture-raised whole chickens are still available, as well as our delicious non-GMO, Animal Welfare Approved chicken eggs.
A new restock of pork inventory is available including bratwurst, chops, spareribs, bacon, shoulder roasts, smoked hams, fresh ham roasts, and several flavors of sausage.
Plenty of lamb cuts are available including racks, chops, and the popular Mediterranean Lamb Bratwurst.
Purchase RBR products at:
- Rock Bottom Ranch Ranch | Monday – Friday, 9AM-5PM and Saturday, 9AM-1PM
- Basalt Farmers’ Market | Sundays, 10AM-2PM
~ Jason Smith, Rock Bottom Ranch Director