This Lil' Piggy Farm
Thank you for visiting This Lil' Piggy Farm's website! Our farm is family owned/operated by a 3rd/4th generation farmers. Our breeding choices have always been Yorkshire/Duroc/Old Spot mix, (or F3 breeding) Each breed is known for their specific traits:
Yorkshires: Yorkshires are white in color with erect ears. They are the most recorded breed in the United States & Canada. The modern Yorkshire are known for their muscular bodies with high proportion of lean meat and low backfat, in addition to being very sound and durable.
Durocs: Durocs are red in color with droopy ears. They are the second most recorded breed in the United States and a major breed in many other countries. (Durocs can range from a very light golden, almost yellow to a very dark red that approaches mahogany.) Durocs are known for their quick growth & maturity, broad hams & shoulders, and a quiet disposition. They also have the ability to gain weight faster on less feed. Duroc pork is known for its incredible juiciness and relatively mild sweet flavor, marbling, amazing shoulders and spareribs.
Old Spots: Old Spots are a historic breed known for their distinct white coat with black spots. (back in the day) they were referred to as "lard" pigs, due to their ability to produce a higher fat content than most other breeds, they also have well marbled meat, resulting in high meat quality that chefs adore. They are excellent foragers and grazers. They are known for their docility, intelligence, and are prolific. This breed's maternal skills make it able to raise large litters on pasture.
Together these result in flavorful pork!
Our Promise & Commitment
All our pigs are:
~We hold the above commitments as a top priority to our customers, but mostly to our pigs, who make doing what we love possible.- Rhonda Williams, Owner/Operator
I take great pride in my pigs, without them, I couldn't do what I love! So, I believe it begins in giving our babies and mommas the best start possible. Part of our husbandry includes delivering all our litters , in 1 of our 3 maternity rooms. With the help of our Good Husbandry Grant awarded to our farm by AWA (Animal Welfare Approved); we were able to build pastures dedicated to our pregnant sows, post-pardum sows and daily outings for mommas and their unweaned piglets. This allows our sows to be stress-free from pregnancy through weaning. I am extremely blessed that all our sows allow me to assist with their farrowing, handle the piglets in their presence without aggression; allowing me to do the needed things directly following their birth. Piglets are in fact born anemic (low blood iron), so all piglets are administered a Fe Injection (Iron) directly following their birth. Each are weighed in and recorded at birth up until they leave the farm. (Either by live sale or processing)
In over 25 years, we have yet to introduce the need of vaccinations into our herd! I would love to take all the credit for that...but I believe our blessed healthy longevity is owed to our farm vet of over 25 years, who if nothing else drove "Don't bring outside pigs into your herd" into my brain!
~We have always practiced & lived by a strong belief, that no matter how short or long their lives are to be, that they deserve/be given the best life possible. No exceptions. -Rhonda Williams, Owner
Below, our farm vet of over 25 years, Dr. Bill Freel. (Pig pictured below is not a TLP Farm pig)
"Po-Po" and "Brinks" doing their interpetation of boys behaving badly!
I love what I do and I love all my pigs that make it possible! I can't express it enough, that their happiness & healthiness is key to what I do. Regardless of what many people think, pigs long for affection and positive contact as much as they do food! The necessary things in husbandry that have to be done on a daily basis can be prime opportunity to spend a little one on one time with your pigs. Our ear cleanings, teeth cleanings, and lotion rub downs give me a chance to not only do a visual body/hoof check to make sure there are no unnotice injuries, but it gives me that undivided attention between us that they & I so enjoy! It may sound homicidal to say I sit on the ground with pigs up to 1200 lbs., but this is were all the years of love & respect have come in! (However, I never forget they are animals, and very strong animals at that.) I'm just saying that although unconventional in some of my methods I incorporate into my daily husbandry, the extra time it takes me to do a belly rub, brushing teeth with some good tastin' toothpaste, or whatever it may be, makes the things that other pig farmers consider difficult, easy for me! For example, when moving pigs to be bred or to a pasture for graising or loading them, we just call their names! They walk with us like a dog would walk with their owner. When injections (shots) are given, the pig is either laying down getting a belly rub or sitting being spoon fed something yummy! Most of them never acknowledge the injection. Its a win-win situation, no stress for them or me! With the outstanding intelligence level rating of the 4th smartest being in the world, it only makes sense to treat them as such! I believe that you get what you give when your raising pigs.
It was well stated by Mahatma Gandhi~ "The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated."
Welcome Disney Chefs!
(March 30, 2013) What a fantastic day! We welcomed (9) nine outstanding Disneys chefs to our farm. These chefs go above & beyond cooking great meals for one of Disney's restaurants, The Yachtsman Steak House. They go outside the wonderful world of fantasy to find out the reality of where pork comes from, the benefits of humanely raised, pastured pork. We've had a few chefs visit the farm in the past, but I can say nothing compared to these (9) nine! What a great display of committment and care, to come from Orlando on their own time (and only hours prior to serving) to come out and get to visually see our newborns on up to breeder sizes. To get a broader education about pork and the pigs that sacrifice their lives for what these chefs love to do....COOK! I hope they all had as much enjoyment out of their visit as all our piglets did! These are some belly-rubbin' chefs! Here at This Lil' Piggy Farm,our hats go off to them for the dedication and care they put into what they do everyday!
We are proud to share that recently Elizabeth Murray a Anthropologist from USF and Food Warrior for "Real Time Farms" visited our farm to see first hand the husbandry of our pigs and to meet the pigs that run our farm! She literally got down & dirty with some of our little ones! What a great visit we had and the piglets sure enjoyed the extra pair of hands for the belly rubs! Real Time Farms is doing a wonderful things for family farms and I encourage other farms, customers, distributors or just curious consumers to visit their web site. Real Time Farms lists farms they have actually visited & interviewed which not only lets you get to know the farm, but know your food. We are proud to be a part of Real Time Farms!!! (Below are two links, the first one will be the article of Elizabeths from her visit and the other will take you to a list of Real Time Farms farms including us!) Words from Elizabeth: "What is applied anthropology? Digging in trash bins and playing in pig pens. Yes, literally. (and being excited about it!)." And let me tell you, she has been such a delight to have here at the farm, I hope she enjoyed us as much as we all did her & our agricultural world is certainly blessed to have her on our side!
Many 'Thanks' go out to Professor Chad Carr at University of Florida's Meat Sciences Dept.(located in Gainesville) for inviting me to the Meats Sciences Dept/Lab & Pig Farm. What a treat it was! I got the grand tour of the universities meat/lab science dept...the processing facility & retail store also located on the Universities IFAS grounds. Then our next stop was a few blocks away to the pig barns. Where I had the pleasure to see some of the best boars, sows & piglets I have seen in a long time. The quality was no doubt a high priority. Pictured below is Professor Chad Carr at the conclusion of the afternoon, a couple photos from the pig barns & the last guy there was such a "Ham" (no pun intended!)...he just had that winning personality. Again, what a great opportunity this was and the kindness/knowledge Prof. Carr was willing to give me was above and beyond! "Thank You" Professor Carr for inviting & welcoming me to your facility.
Please take a few moments to watch this news clip on the PEDV outbreak from WUFT News & This Lil' Piggy Farm
the jones B-side
203SW 2nd Ave. Gainesville, FL. 32609
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I AM VERY HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THAT "THIS LIL' PIGGY FARM" HAS BEEN CERTIFIED FOR ANOTHER YEAR & WILL CONTINUE TO CARRY THE 'AWA' LOGO (ANIMAL WELFARE APPROVED) & USDA APPROVAL! (Its going on 10 great years so far w/AWA and we look forward to many more!)
To those of you who may not be familiar with this; Animal Welfare Approved is a program for family farms that is distinguished by a humane and conscientious attitude toward the animals in their care as well as by the housing and husbandry. AWA has the highest standards for animal welfare, according to the World Society for the Protection of Animals (or WSPA).
In conjunction to being 'AWA' certified, we also carry the 'USDA' (United States Dept. of Agriculture) Approval! Our farm label has been passed by both AWA & USDA giving us the green light to further our sales to grocery stores and restaurants! So needless to say I am extremely honored and its been a rewarding journey!
Please take a moment to visit our AWA page and their web sites for more information.
Please visit http://www.animalwelfareapproved.org/ and their Summer 2013 Vol.6 Issue 2 for the article "A Helping Hand" for photos and article on our farm and a few other of the 42 AWA farms that received 2012 Good Husbandry Grants!
Here's a few peeks behind the scenes in our 'Maternity Ward' as we welcome some new little hooves!
Only seconds old Suctioned, cleaned and weighed...
Bright eyed and bushy tailed! The Finished Product!
DAISY MAE always has us seeing "spots"!!! Daisy is one of our best mommas! She is extremely good natured & seems to appreciate any helping hands we are willing to lend during farrowing. Her largest litter to date is 17 precious babies...and she's had 2 litters of 17! Below, on March 16th, we welcomed her 6th litter into the This Lil' Piggy Farm family! (Our farms largest litter record holds at 19 live births!)
'HARLEY' (Below) is known for her mixture of beautifully marked babies. Although 'Harley' has had the most litters on the farm (13 litters to date), her ending litter size is small. Regardless, we are always thankful she continues to bless us with each litter. (A PREVIOUS LITTER PICTURED ABOVE)
Cuteness Over Load!!!!
"PO-PO" ENJOYING THE POOL ON A HOT DAY!
MEET FOUR OF MY MOMMAS! THESE ARE SOME OF MY BREEDER SOWS.(FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) 1.DAISY MAE 2. SISSY 3. BESSY LOU 4. LUCY
PO! PO! PO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! (FROM PO-PO & THIS LIL' PIGGY FARM)
"Once Upon A Piglet"....... named Po-Po.
Sept. 11th, 2008 was just the beginning of a rough road this lil' guy would endure. He was revived at birth and was born with spread leg syndrome in the back legs which is most always painful & end in having to put them down. This made him unable to nurse or get out of the mommas way to prevent being stepped on or laid on, in fact that happened twice and he was revived a total of (3) three times! Amazingly, his spread legs didn't seem to be painful as much as just weak. So, many sleepless nights for me in having to feed him every 30min-1 hour turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I've done in my farming years.
Its Po-Po's birthday! 1 lb. 2.5oz 8 weeks old 12 weeks old
(2012) 4yrs old at 1068lbs
This is 'Puppy' a.k.a.-'Po-Po' (or Pokey Puppy!) Born-Sept.11th, 2008. He is the farm puppy & fulltime security! Po Po 'sits',bows down on his front legs & lies down! He also knows many voice commands. Reproduction wise he is no benefit to the farm (been 'cut') but he is priceless to me!