Butcher Date: TBA for July or August at the latest. This is payment for butchered and frozen into regular supermarket style cuts, 1/4 kune kune hog, to be picked up either at our farm (20 minutes southwest of Redding), the butcher’s (to be decided), or at ‘The F.A.R.M’, a store located in downtown Redding. Use Quantity (2) for one-half hog or (4) for whole hog. Each quarter hog will yield approximately 20-25 pounds of butchered and frozen meat cuts.
You can opt to get the bones and extra fat trimmings with which to make bone broth and lard. Making lard from fat trimmings is a time consuming, but not labor intensive, simple process that can easily be done in any home kitchen with equipment you likely already have. Each quarter should produce enough fat trimmings for at least a pint or two of lard.
HOW THIS WORKS
- We sell you a pig by the quarter, half, or whole. For a quarter, you do not get the ‘front half’ or the ‘back half’, you get 1/2 of all cuts that are produced in a half pig split evenly down the middle. If there are 12 chops, you get 6, etc. For uneven amounts, we make it as equitable as possible.
- KuneKune are smaller pigs. At about 200 pounds and fatter than other pigs, you’ll get about 20-30 pounds of meat cuts from each quarter pig. You can also request the bones for broth or for your dogs, and you can and should request the fat trimmings to make lard. Good quality lard can be $15 a pint, and you should get at least one pint, and probably 2, from each quarter hog.
- Once you order, we will contact you about your preferences including: bacon or pork belly, chops, or roasts, etc.
- We send the pigs to the butcher where they are packaged and frozen into cuts.
- We will then contact you again to pick up the frozen ‘supermarket style’ cuts (chops, bacon, roasts, etc) at our farm, the butcher, or a local brick-and-mortar store
- It’s possible that we can ship by having you meet us at San Francisco Airport, LAX, or Orange County Airport for a nominal shipping cost of $50. Contact us personally to arrange for this service. Mail is too risky in the summer months to ship by mail. Check back in winter for shipment to other locations.
GRASS GRAZING KUNEKUNE PIGS
KuneKune pigs are smaller heritage breed pigs ‘native’ (all pigs are from EurAsia originally) to New Zealand. KuneKune means ‘fat and round’ in the native Maori language, and they are fat, having been bred to produce extra lard before vegetable oils became the dominant cooking oils. KuneKune are furry, come in many colors, and have short noses that limit their ability to root in the soil. As such, they ‘evolved’ to be able to derive lots of nutrition from the ample green pastures in New Zealand. Their limited ability to root keeps the soil from being turned into bare dirt like most pigs do. They are also friendly, cute, and good-natured, making them fun and easy to raise.
We graze our pigs on our Northern California green pastures year round, just like we do our cows, only supplementing them with a minimal amount of specially formulated pig feed (see below for details on feed), and some alfalfa hay in the winter. This means that most of their nutrition is derived from grass! This unique trait of kunekune pigs allows us to feel comfortable giving our pigs the designation of ‘grass fed’, which usually only applies to ruminant animals like cows and sheep. Kunekune and Idaho Pasture Pigs (selectively bred using the kunekune breed) can be called true grass grazing pigs. Most ‘pasture raised’ pigs are pastured for welfare, not for nutrition, and are still fed an ‘all you can eat buffet’ of grains. Our pigs are truly grass fed and finished on green grass, weeds, bushes, and acorns that they spend most of the day noshing on like little cows.
What We Feed Them
- Mostly Grass– They are grazed year-round on our green Northern California pastures, being rotated frequently to new pastures. Unlike other pigs, they can derive significant nutrition from grass and, therefore, most of their nutrition comes from grass. I’d estimate that at least 50% of their nutrition comes from grass.
- Specially formulated pig feed– We give them a special high mineral corn-free feed from a local farm/mill that grows all their own human food crops, then uses the waste products from their screening and milling to create custom pig feed. Because they are not an industrial livestock feed production company, there’s no microplastics, antibiotics, hormones, medications, or questionable wastes like donuts or candy in the mix. Their formula changes regularly and often contains ingredients like sunflower seeds, grape must, peas, and wheat.
- How Much Feed they Get– While other pig breeds eat as much pig feed as they can from weaning to slaughter and still produce lean pork, kunekune will get obese on an all you can eat grain diet, making them unhealthy and their meat greasy. So, our pigs get as much as they can eat as piglets, usually about 2-3 pounds a day, until they are about 30 pounds and getting a little fat. At this time, we put them in with the adults where they will only get 1-2 pounds a day until they are slaughtered. Compare this to regular pigs that get 7-8 pounds a day.
- Acorns- Besides grass, our land houses hundreds of native oaks that drop thousands of acorns every year that our foraging pigs gorge themselves on. We often curtail feed during this time as they are getting sufficient nutrients from foraging. We even get hundreds of pounds of acorns from a neighbor who rakes them up off his property and gives them to us.
- Hormones and Antibiotics- We never give them hormones, and only give antibiotics when they are sick, which is rare, since they are naturally disease resistant.
- Vaccines– We only give a few non mRNA vaccines
What Makes KuneKune Pork Special
- Slow Growing- Regular pigs have been selectively bred to get to 250 pounds in almost exactly 6 months. KuneKune are slow-growing and will take 15-18 months to get to an ideal slaughter weight of 180+ pounds. That’s almost 3 times as long as regular pigs for a lower weight. This longer growth time and extra fat is why you rarely see heritage breed pigs in stores.
- Marbled Meat- Regular pork is called ‘the other white meat’ for a reason. It’s pale in color and as lean as chicken. KuneKune meat is dark red and marbled like beef. It’s beautiful and delicious.
- Extra Fat- You’ll not only get marbled meat, but you’ll get an extra fat cap on the cuts themselves. Ask for the fat trimmings to render your own lard at home (it’s time consuming, but not labor intensive or difficult).
- How it Tastes– I get frequently told that it tastes like pork ‘used to taste’ or how pork should taste. It’s absolutely delicious and moist because of the extra intramuscular and exterior fat.