Our farming cycle

Our farm runs on simple principles with a focus on high welfare to guarantee the pigs a good life. By raising pigs as naturally as possible, allowing them to roam, root and forage, we can produce the best tasting pork.

The pigs live in large paddocks in the Warwickshire countryside with traditional arcs for shelter. They are raised in family groups and fed on a carefully monitored diet to supplement their natural foraging and ensure they grow into strong, healthy porkers. Every day of the year we are out with the pigs several times to feed, water and monitor every animal. The pigs grow up with an awareness of human company, but our approach is based around offering them the most extensive, natural lifestyle possible.


Breeding

The cycle begins with gestation – three months, three weeks and three days of pregnancy. During this time the sows live in groups in the field where they are free to roam and forage in the soil. As the big day approaches they are introduced to their private farrowing arc in the neighbouring field where they’ll give birth.

Farrowing

All our sows are farrowed outside so the arc will be bedded with plenty of straw for them to build themselves a nest in which to farrow, just as they would in the wild. We stay well clear whilst they give birth, just checking them twice a day to ensure all is going well.

Suckling

As soon as piglets are born they will find their way to a teat to start suckling. The sows will give birth to up to 12 piglets and they’ll each pick a teat to claim as their own for the entire suckling period.

After about a week the new-born piglets will venture outside to start exploring. They won’t go far to begin with, but after another week or so they’ll be off ‘testing’ the fence line.

After four weeks they’ll have access to solid food to supplement their suckling.

Weaning

Our piglets are weaned late to give them plenty of time on their mother’s milk. By eight weeks the piglets have moved onto solid food and will be eating from the self-service, or ad lib, feed troughs. They’ll be weaned and moved into a new paddock where they’ll be introduced to other piglets of the same age and a new arc for a home.

Growing

In the grower paddock the porkers will live in family groups of 2-3 litters where they’ll have access to food and water whenever they like from the troughs. They will be fed on a special pig nut, made principally from British cereals and pulses. The make-up of their diet will change as they grow to ensure they get the optimal nutrition. Crucially on Paddock Farm there are never any hormones, antibiotics or growth promoters added to feed or water.

Finishing

When the porkers are approaching slaughter weight – at about 7 months – their diet is again adapted for the final phase to ensure the best meat is produced. Once the pigs are ready for slaughter we’ll load them into a trailer and take them on the short journey to the abattoir.

Butchery

We collect the carcasses the following day from the abattoir and bring them back to our butchery to hang the meat. We hang all our meat to mature in a cold store on the farm, and only when it’s ready will our master butchers prepare it. Every joint is cut to exact specification or turned into fantastic sausages, bacon or ham.

Selling

All our pork is sold direct from the farm and we have a loyal following of top chefs and gastro-enthusiasts. We try to accommodate everybody’s needs, supplying whole and half carcasses to restaurants or pork boxes, joints, sausages, bacon and charcuterie to our foodie-fans.