It’s that time of year again. Spring signifies new life, which is easily observed here on the farm. Recently, I visited fellow Niman Ranch Farmers Paul and Andrea Brown, who farm with their children right here in Iowa. They raise pigs for Niman Ranch – just part of their entire operation. They rotate the pig’s pasture from year to year, incorporating livestock with their crop production to enrich the soil.
I often get asked what we use to take the place of farrowing crates. I like to say we take our lead from nature. Animals are already given the tools to reproduce and care for their own. Farrowing in the pasture begins in the spring. I know my dad’s goal was to have everything set up for the sows in the field by April 1. Historically, hog farmers utilized A- frame houses as shelters for pigs raised on pasture.