Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicken and Pork

There is such a huge taste difference between Pasture Raised Chicken and Pork and the conventional product that is available, that it could be considered a different meat product. I have read and heard different opinions - like you can't taste the difference or that people prefer the conventional product. The only comment I would make is that they must be too used to the conventional product. I think that conventionally raised chicken meat is very tasteless and has no texture - it's like a paste! Free range, pasture raised chicken will have more flavour and will be moist and juicy. Pasture raised Pork will also be juicer, however I think it actually tastes LESS porky, but more tasty than conventional pork. That may sound strange, but conventional pork is stronger flavoured and I believe that's probably due to the fact that they have to live in their own filth! Apart from the taste, the nutrient value of the meat is far superior with the pasture raised product. And if those reasons aren't enough to make you consider changing from conventional to pasture raised, think about the animal welfare issue. The animals are housed in sheds where they can't experience the sunshine and fresh air and to live the way nature intended. They love grass and it would surprise you how much grass chickens and pigs actually eat.

We rotate our pigs around and also let them out to graze around the house and sheds. At this stage we only have 4 sows and a boar, but when they start reproducing, we will install more paddocks so that they can be rotated, ensuring that they always have fresh grass to graze. We have one sow due to give birth in the next few weeks, so this will be the beginning of our Pork enterprise. These pigs are all heritage pigs and some of the breeds are quite rare. They are breeds that naturally free range well. Conventional Pork comes from pigs that have been bred to grow fast to ensure a quicker turnover for the producer. They are pink and therefore can't handle being raised free range very well, as they get sunburnt too easy. We have had them here and they do get a little sunburnt, but they usually rest under a shady tree in the heat of the day anyway. Our pigs are real characters! They all seem to have a unique personality and love a scratch and a bit of attention. They can also be a nuisance - you can't leave a houseyard gate open, or they head straight for the vegetable patch.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Lucy, Your blog is brilliant! I look forward to reading it regularly. Peter put me on to it, and I'm very pleased he did! x