Rightpet

American Mulefoot Hog

Overall satisfaction

5/5

Acquired: Bred animal myself

Gender: Both

Appearance

5/5

Temperament

5/5

Health

5/5

Tolerance for heat

5/5

Tolerance for cold

5/5

Meat quality

5/5

Commercial value

3/5

Mulefoot Hogs are easy, fun and delicious

By

United States

Posted Nov 10, 2010

We started raising Mulefoot pigs to add one more dimension to our farm. We were traditionally fairly intensive grass farmers (cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys) and decided to take on a pig project to help with tillage, understory clearing, pasture management, compost making, fertilizer production and shortening/meat production. These pigs are pretty self sufficient on pasture, in the woods and thrive on dirt -- you need to offer additional feed in the form of grains, non-pork kitchen scraps, fruits in season (they love pomace left over from cider making) and fresh clover or alfalfa. We don't clip teeth, assist with births or shoot iron into newborns. The breed is docile, fun loving, hilarious to be around. The meat is out of this world -- not the "Other White Meat" -- rich, healthful and positively succulent. Lard rendered from the kidney fat is pure white, low melting point, high burning point and delicious -- try frying potatoes in Mulefoot lard or creating pastries with Mulefoot lard and you will never go back. Downside to the breed is that it doesn't do well at all in high-density, high-efficiency production models. Our sows also never managed to pull off a litter with more than 7 babies. Most of our sows are able to keep sufficient track of the little ones to avoid crushing any during the early days after parturition but we loose a few that way. The newborn pigs aren't terribly cold hardy so plan your farrowing accordingly. Without careful management, these hogs will till up your pasture -- they work wonders in late season gardens and if you need to break sod, pen a few Mulefoots in the area and they will leave it grass free and mellow in a few weeks. To make the numbers work, take into account all the ways you use the pigs -- they will convert a 1500 pound bale of old hay into mellow mulch in about a month -- and sell them as meat and/or lard through venues where their gift will be appreciated both monetarily and culinarily.

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