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book suggestion? pastured pork

 
Danielle Diver
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Location: Niort, France
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so im looking for a good go-to guide for an eventual pastured pork enterprise i want to initiate soon. im a newby, so any ole book will interest me at first, but of course id like to find a good guidebook that will give me timeless information about disease control, breeding and farrowing, management techniques, and of course any info about making a business of selling pork meat. Browsing thru the selection on amazon im finding a few books directed at hobby farmers, but we will be a larger scale than just a few backyard porkers, not to say those books cant also be helpful.

do y'all have a good book on your shelf you can recommend? and why?

THANKS!
 
Walter Jeffries
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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The first book I would suggest is "Small Scale Pig Raising" by Dirk van Loon. He just updated it in 2014. This book has been out for a long time and the first edition was excellent. I expect the update is even better. The first edition which I read was not focused on pasture but covers pigs most excellently.

The second book I would suggest is "Harris on the Hog". This book is about old time pigs and was written long ago. Very good read.

"Swine Science" is more about modern commercial hog raising but well worth reading.

"The Meat We Eat" rounds it out.

You'll also find about 2,000 articles on my blog http://SugarMtnFarm.com about how our family raises pastured pigs. We have about 400 pigs on pasture and deliver weekly to area stores, restaurants and individuals.

Discussion groups like this one, the Pastured Pigs forum on FaceBook and other places are all good places to go for sharing information and asking questions. Delve into the archives of this group for years of knowledge. If you have a question there is a good chance someone else has already asked that question so the search feature on forums is invaluable.

-Walter
 
Danielle Diver
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Thanks a lot, Walter!
I'd be lying if said i dont visit your website just about every day, if not for information, just for inspiration and pleasure! Thank you for your suggestions and for taking the time to share with us all you've learned and exeprienced!
The Dirk Van Loon book was just the one i was eyeballing, so thats great you second that intuition. High On The Hog looks like a great read too! Thanks for your suggestions~
 
Dillon Nichols
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Walter, by 'Harris on the Hog'; this would be 'Harris on the Pig: Breeding, Rearing, Management, and Improvement', Joseph Harris, 1870?


Danielle, it's possible you'd also find Mark Shepard's 'Restoration Agriculture' and/or Joel Salatin's 'Holy Cows and Hog Heaven' of interest.

I've only read the latter; found it good reading, but wouldn't call it a guidebook per se.

Restoration Agriculture is definitely on my to-read list after watching a few videos of his land, and his interaction with his pigs. Having helped with a measly 6 pigs last summer, I was blown away by how easy he made it look!

I see Joel also has a 40 minute video out on this subject now, 'Pigs 'n Glens'.
 
Danielle Diver
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Thanks Dillon,
I must be on the right track because my copy of Restoration Agriculture should arrive in my mailbox any day now, im so excited to start reading it. Thanks!

I recently participated in J.Salatin's webinar seriers and the Pastured Pigs was very interesting indeed, but rather conversational as well (meaning there were good helpful hints and bits, but he only discussed his personal experience and teqniques and didnt focus on actual generalities, understandable). i was not aware he had a book about hogs , ill check it out. Salatin is certainly the 'go to guy' for farming these days, but only because he is one of the few thats made such a great job at being a spokesperson. I really appriciate Walters work, as well as other farmers who take time out of their lives to share information w/out necessarily trying to make a full time job out of education. That said, having read my ears and eyes out of Salatin's work, I know now his style is mostly 'this is what i did on my farm and this is what i learned thru trial and error and it worked so you can use it as a model too" style is not exctly what im looking for either. Having read 'Holy Cows' do you find it useful as a technical guide or is it more general and Polyface specific? (im assuming the latter, by your notes) hey, maybe you can write a book review about it! i dont think its on the list yet!

I have the impression a book like Small Scale Pig Raising is more in line what my needs, basic solid information about pigs that can serve for many if not all models of pig enterprises, but does not soley cater to the industrial market. (because what we want to do is certainly NOT industrial!) But heck, in the end i might read them all! Too bad my library is only in French (even with very little books in FR about the topic!) i certainly am creating a library here at the house!

thanks again for your imput!
 
Danielle Diver
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also, im assuming Walter meaning 'Harris the Pig' and not 'Harris the Hog' because 'the Hog' looks to be cookbook-travel journal written in 2011. but it looks like a good read too!
 
Dillon Nichols
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Hi Danielle,

I read a borrowed copy while interning last summer; it was a pretty busy time, and everything I read has kind of blurred together. I think a quality book review is beyond me! However, as best I recall, 'Holy Cows' was very much as you describe; some helpful information mixed in with personal experiences/techniques. Not a textbook style reference or guide.

I'd be interested to hear your impressions of Restoration Agriculture. I really like the idea of growing tree crops/mast for pigs to forage. Not a fan of the 'grain from thousands of kilometers away' dependence of so much of our 'local' meat. However, my interning experience taught me how much of a handful a handful of weanlings can be, when the systems aren't quite right... Next I need to learn how to do it efficiently... because bacon.
 
Danielle Diver
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Thank you Walter for the links.
And Dillon, I will gladly leave a review on the Permies book forum when im done with Rest Ag. I just watched the video associated with the review this morning and was blown away. His model feels in one way so unachievable (because its so over my head) but also so necessary to at least do as much or as little as I can to move towards this goal. Without getting too sappy, im so thankful for this forum, to have a place to share information and ideas freely... because, yea, bacon.
 
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