Woodland pork

from rare-breed, proper outdoor, slow grown pigs

How they live

Our pigs are the freest ranging as you would imagine they should be. They live either in a pasture, or a woodland. Here, they are enclosed in mobile fenced areas. Once they have eaten all forage in their current paddock, they are moved to a new piece of woodland or pasture.

In this way, they continually forage for green leaves, roots, nuts, seeds and insect, as each their new area has plentiful.

In this woodland, our Large Black pigs are enjoying foraging and eating greenery, roots, nuts, seeds and leaves. It’s pigs’ haven.

Pigs as master restorers

Since our pigs do not remain in a single area for more than 2 weeks, and not return until next year, their action on the land is beneficial, rather than destructive. Pigs like to root to look for roots, shoots and insect. However, if left in an area for too long, they can create over-compacted landscape devoid of any plants (a pig moonscape).

Instead, our pigs only gently root over the land and clear it from nettles and brambles. Such disturbance brings up seeds of plants currently not present in the forest undergrowth, and allows them to sprout. Some seeds can survive in the soil for 100 years.

The biodiversity of the forest floor or old pasture increases as a result. In nature, pigs are the tools of woodland and grassland restoration. We allow them to do just that – for higher biodiversity and richer wildlife habitats.

woodland pork

3 years ago, this Large Black pig along with his friends helped us to clear the woodland understory from dense nettles and brambles. The rooting action waked up dormant seeds and increased biodiversity and thus wildlife habitats.

Woodland pigs pork Nature Way Farm

Today, 3 years on in the woodland. The woodland biodiversity flourished – new plants emerged and a huge new biodiversity of the woodland floor was formed. But only because we do not allow pigs to stay in one area of woodland for too long, so that they do not damage it beyond repair. They also do not return to the same area for a whole year.

Feeding regime to promote high level of foraging

We feed our pigs only GM-free and soya-free feed. They receive twice daily ration, so they are never overfilled with commercial feed.

Instead, they become keen foragers for most part of the day, and eat grass, leaves, roots, nuts, seeds and insect. In this way, the natural part of their diet gives the meat complexity of flavour unlike any other.

Tasty meat

Our meat is dry aged for several days before our butchers expertly cut it. A range of steaks and joints reveal the diversity of flavours our pork offers – from the dry loin and chops, to the juicier leg steaks and even juicier and flavourful marbled collar steaks.

Watch how our woodland pigs live

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The amount of feed and fertilizers per 1 beef animal

As a calf, it is fed 100 kg of feed in a creep feeder:
60 kg barley
14 kg soya
23.5 kg sugar beet

growing steer (for 100 days) ratio:
350 kg barley
30 kg rapeseed

finishing steer (for 80 days)
600 kg barley

TOTAL feed per steer:
1010 kg barley
30 kg rapeseed
14 kg soya
23.5 kg sugar beet

Source: AHDB

Pesticide figure based on yearly application of pesticides on barley in 2018 (based on application to 0.17 ha that would produce 1 tonne of barley):

spring and winter barley were mixed in equal ratio for simplicity.
Pesticides in spring barley:
157.5 g
Pesticides in winter barley:
307.5 g

TOTAL 465 g of pesticides = to litres it is about 465 ml of pesticides per year.

Source: Pesticides usage survey 284 for arable crops in the United Kingdom 2018 (National Statistics)

Fertilizer figure (based on application to 0.17 ha that would produce 1 tonne of barley):
nitrogen: 24.14 kg
phosphate: 4.59 kg
potash: 5.95 kg
sulfur: 5.95 kg

TOTAL 40.63 kg of fertilizers

Source: British survey of fertilizer practice for 2018 (DEFRA)