Raising Hereford pigs
If any pig can be considered "pretty," this is the one.
Radio interview source: Heather Faye, Owner, Faye Farms
A small farm owner looking for a good meat hog that's easy to raise should consider the Hereford breed.
A breed of pig developed 100-years-ago in the Midwest is still around, but not very common. The Hereford hog was created from the Duroc, Chester White, and Poland China bloodlines. Small farmers like raising Herefords because they're not temperamental, they fatten up quickly, and produce high-quality meat.
Heather Faye and her husband, Mark, have four Hereford sows and one boar.
"I originally got this breed because I wanted a hog that would do well on pasture," she says. "The Herefords have definitely lived up to that. They go out and graze quite well. And then another thing that I like about the breed is they're a very docile breed, they don't get excited very much. Just real easy-going pigs."
The Hereford's gentle disposition makes it a good breed for a young person's 4-H project. The pigs tend to raise eyebrows when they walk into a show ring because of their unusual coloring.
"Well, the Hereford I guess is most famous for its coloring," says Faye. "It looks like a Hereford beef cow. It has a white face, white ears, red body, and then it has a white underbelly and four white socks."
According to breed standards, the shade of red can vary, but a deep red is preferred.
Hereford hogs feel at home in a three-sided shed on pasture. Some boars reach upward of 600 pounds, and sows are about 100 pounds less.
Faye says the Herefords are good mothers at farrowing time and need little intervention when caring for their bright red-and-white piglets.
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