Yes, we have 4 legged inhabitants here at the farm too! I’m sure that’s no surprise! We have a few horses and miniature horses as well as a few Nubian goats and some hair sheep – mostly Katahdin x – but a large portion of our efforts are directed at breeding purebred, registered Tamworth Pigs. Yes, another heritage breed, and one well worth the effort! We are also raising the fabulous Dexter cow – the perfect bovine breed for small hold farmers!
TAMWORTH PIGS: The beautiful red Tamworth pig is known traditionally as a ‘bacon pig’ because it’s meat is less fatty than ‘lard pig’ varieties. They are particularly known for their great-tasting, leaner meat with good texture. The breed has a history as a British forest pig that grazes, and this foraging ability gives the fresh Tamworth meat a distinctive flavourful taste. It may take a bit longer to grow a Tamworth to market weight, but the flavour of the meat alone makes this heritage breed worth the effort. Tamworths are hardy, with good farrowing and mothering capabilities, and they perform very well outdoors, especially when grazing on pasture.
Here at Ravenwood, we produce Tamworth and Tamworth X weaners available several times per year and we are very excited to be able to provide registered Tamworth seed stock for discerning breeders who wish to aid in keeping this fantastic breed going!
Our farrowing schedule for 2022 should see 3 litters in March, 2 more in May and 1 or 2 in fall depending on demand. If you are interested in registered stock, please contact us to get on the wait list, especially for a boarlet, as we need to know in advance of castration.
We were selling pork for some time, but then the pandemic hit and we found it too much work to accommodate delivery in addition to our day jobs, but stay tuned as we hope to have some delicious offerings for you in the near future.
DEXTER CATTLE: Dexter cattle are the smallest of the European cattle breeds, being about half the size of a traditional Hereford and about one third the size of a Friesian (Holstein) milking cow. They were considered a rare breed of cattle, until recently, but are now considered a recovering breed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. The Dexter breed originated in Ireland.
Dexters are classified as a small, friendly, dual-purpose breed; used for milk and beef. Dexters raised for beef, are generally mature by 20-24 months and result in pre-portioned cuts of high quality lean meat, with little waste. The expected average dress out is 50 to 70 percent. The beef produced by grass-fed Dexters is well marbled and tends to be a dark rich red. Dexters also produce a rich milk, relatively high in butterfat (4%) and the quality of the milk overall is similar to that of the Jersey. We are in the process of having our herd tested for A2 qualities which are said to be more digestible by those with allergies to commercial cow’s milk.
Dexters have been enjoying a resurgence in many countries, especially with small hold farmers. The popularity of Dexters has been fueled by a desire for organic food, health concerns over factory farming, and soaring food prices. The cows are exceptionally good mothers, known for easy calving. They will produce enough milk to feed 2–3 calves, and we are told they will often willingly nurse calves from other cows.
Our lovely girls, have set a gold standard for us on calving and rearing their calves, and we expect 3 more beautiful and correct calves again in 2022 sired by our bull Tandria Poll. We have sold many of our calves as breeding stock for other small hold farms, and look forward to seeing their contributions to the breed in the future.
For more information on Tamworth or Dexter availability, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our contact form here on our website.