Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wooly Pigs Pork in Seattle

A few restaurants in the Seattle area will be taking delivery of our special Berkshire hogs next week. They'll get delivered Wednesday morning. These hogs are really big - around 440 lbs live, 310+ lb hot carcasses.

These are the restaurants (in alphabetical order):
Above is a blurry photo of Gary (the herdsman) trying to get 3 of the hogs out of the trailer. We took 5 of them to the slaughterhouse that day. Two had already left the trailer. One, a sow, was a bit stubborn. She was hard to get in the trailer, hard to get out of the trailer.

I don't have detailed info on when/how they'll get served. If you really want to try them, you'd better call and make arrangements. They probably won't be served immediately. For example, if they get cured, that will be at least a week or two.


Sean said...

Thanks for your detailed response to my previous comment. I appreciate the thoughtfulness even if I disagree.

It seems from your posts that you do a fair amount of business with high end restaurants. How many animals do you typically have at any one time? Do you breed them and raise them from birth (now that you have imported the breeds you want) or do you raise piglets? Lastly do you have a wide range of ages (ie some pigs that are 3 months old, a five month old here, an eight month old there) or do you have a bunch of a specific age from one or related litters(is that the right word for pigs?)?

Thanks for any clarification on this. It would be nice to know how a small scale producer operates versus someone like Smithfield.

Heath said...


We've got about 250 pigs on the farm. About 90 of them are destined for slaughter, 90 of them are piglets (some of which may or may not get retained for breeding) and 50+ are for breeding.

We won't take any more animals. We'll be farrow to finish, unless people come and buy them young from us.

We've got market hogs at various different ages. The breeding stock and the piglets are all about as old as their peers.

"Litter" is the right term.

It couldn't be more different than a big producer. Did you look at the videos?

Sean said...

Thanks for the information. I didn't mean to imply that you were in any way like a big producer. I have watched the videos and I can certainly recognize the individual attention you show your animals. However, having read so much animal rights literature as well as contemporary stories and editorials about the bigger CAFOs, the distinctions between real farmers and huge agribusinesses sometimes blur.

bpm2000 said...

I'll be keeping my eyes peeled @ Sitka for these.

Heath said...


Our pig operation is very small by American standards. Gary's farm is about as small and diversified as it can get.

Would you like to visit the farm? It might be fun for you to see. The farm is in eastern Washington.

If you can't visit us, maybe I can recommend some other pig farmers that I respect near you.

boberica said...

Hi Heath,
Great pics from yesteryear. Any farmers in the Portland area, whom you hold in high regard? I know that you're fond of selling the whole hog. It's nice that you're offering up ideas(recipes and techniques) to use all parts. I'm amazed at the amount of hogs you're raising up there. Mostly Mangalitsas, or Berkshire?

Heath said...

boberica: I don't know anyone in Oregon - but the ones I'd check out are these guys.

Guinea Hogs are lard-type pigs. If those guys feed those things properly, they'd produce great pork.

A carcass that size might work for someone who wanted a tiny but tasty hog. Even at 15 months, they won't be too big.

You might want to visit Rocky Ridge Ranch in eastern WA (where Wooly Pigs has its pigs). It is only 30 minutes from the Spokane airport.

Our hogs are mostly Berkshire now, but their numbers are steadily decreasing. If things go as planned, there won't be many Berkshires left in few months.

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