My dad grew up during the depression. He said they would keep enough chickens to eat through the winter until a piglet was big enough to butcher. Without a freezer they would keep the chickens as living food supply. Dad said he got tired of fried chicken in the winter. Each spring they would order new chicks from the feed store.
This is, essentially, what we are working towards. My sow is getting ready to drop a litter, and we just brought the last of last year’s pigs to the butcher. I’d like to start butchering them myself, but that HAS to happen in the late fall/early winter around here, unless I want most of it to spoil.
I’m currently experimenting with time frames. It’s taken roughly 18 months to get them to butcher weight, feeding them on pasture, with minimal amendments. If I fed a lot more slop, or…
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