Who knew a few years ago that John and I would be in Missouri raising Heritage Berkshire Hogs? When John came home and said that our property was conducive to raising Berkshire Hogs, I immediately imagined hogs in knee deep mud and a really awful odor. We went on a tour of a hog ranch in SE Missouri that raises hogs outdoors on pasture. In the middle of the winter we decided to take a ride, and when we arrived I was very surprised to see there was not any odor and the hogs were not in mud.
It took a couple of hog farm visits for me to be convinced that raising Berkshire hogs outside on pasture the natural and humane way was the only way to go. No Confinement Hog Raising for Circle B Ranch!!!
John picked up our Berkshire breeding stock in October and brought them home. We were prepared with a deeply bedded range hut and an underground waterer. The Berkshire gilts and Barney the Boar were right at home. They immediately checked out their surroundings and settled in. Poor Barney, he had to stay in a field by himself until the girls were ready to be bred! Hogs are very social animals and do not like being alone. Sounds a little like humans.
There was never any doubt how we would set up our farm. John and I decided that we would raise the hogs by the standards of Humanely Raised and Handled. We took the Humanely Raised and Handled standards and took them a step further.
We do not buy feeder pigs! John and I want our customer to know that the pork they eat have been bred, farrowed and raised on our farm. Circle B Ranch does not administer any unnecessary antibiotics, additional hormones or steroids. Circle B Ranch has a closed herd and we genetically control the breeding of the hogs. When we introduce a new boar to the herd, he is in isolation for 60 days before he is introduced to the gilts. We are able to say without a doubt, you the customer, are getting the highest quality, best tasting Berkshire pork product that can be produced. You as a consumer have the right to know the source of your Berkshire pork and how the hogs are raised and handled.