Glen Oakes Pigs
About our pigs
We love what we do. We love our pigs - maintaining the most healthy, natural life for our pigs, who graze on pastures and dig for grubs, crunchy acorns and delicious roots as good pigs should.
The most important thing of all is making sure the life our animals lead on the farm is as close to perfect as we can provide. Although our pigs end up as charcuterie or fresh pork – it is still imperative that while they are alive they are happy, comfortable and well fed with absolutely no stress or suffering.
Allowing them to mature in this way takes a long time, almost double the time than on commercial pig farms, where they are restricted with space and fed ad-lib. To keep the condition of our pastures healthy, we limit litter numbers, so mass production is definitely not an option for us.
Pigs are amazing animals, highly intelligent, social and inquisitive. Although omnivores it is a common misconception that they will eat anything. Unless conditioned from a very early age to eat specific feed like slop and dirty left-overs, they are actually quite selective on what they graze and choose to eat.
Apart from grazing, our pigs love foraging and their favorite past-time is wallowing in muddy pools, a lot like hippos. Glen Oakes pigs enjoy roaming in their very large paddocks which have specifically planted greens (clover, lucern and rye-grass) to ensure that 80% of their diet contains adequate protein for optimum growth and development. Grazing is supplemented via our unique milled mix to provide a natural supplement of trace elements and minerals that may be lacking in our soils but that are needed for healthy growth and strong immunities. No routine antibiotics or growth hormones are added to this mix and we do not feed with any animal by-products or fishmeal. Our pigs are not fed ad-lib.
Our pigs are fed no fishmeal or bone meal.
Our pigs are bred for specific marbling & taste.
We don’t cut off tails or cut teeth or castrate our male piglets.
Males & females are raised separately on opposite sides of the farm
They are free of routine antibiotics or any other drugs
They are free of growth hormones & steroids
Exercise is important and although pigs spend a lot of time in wet areas during the hottest parts of the day, they are actually incredibly fast and agile, able to get through pretty much any type of fence or over any type of bridge.
Breeding of our pigs is achieved by covering the young females called Gilts (crossbreeds of the Large White and Landrace pig) by our handsome Duroc boar. This 3-way cross is the key to ensuring the great marbling (fat distribution in the muscle) and charcuterie carcass.
If you are lucky enough to visit us at breeding time you will see our piglets are born in nests, either out in the pasture or in our farrowing rooms with free access to outside, with misters in summer and heaters for the piglets to snuggle under. This allows mums to move around during labour, which can be a lengthy process as they usually give birth to 10-15 babies.
We do not castrate our piglet boys, cut their tails or teeth and piglets are allowed to stay with their mum’s for at least 6 weeks before weaning. When we wean we separate the males from the females and they are raised on two different sides of the farm.
All of the above measures ensure our pigs are raised completely naturally, happily roaming on pasture, grazing on grasses, acorns and grubs…wallowing in muddy pools and sleeping in warm nests, just as nature intended.
Purveyors of pasture-fed pork
Growing up slowly in a completely stress-free environment is what makes all the difference to the flavour and quality of our meat.
Glen Oakes pigs are produced mainly for Charcuterie – the art of curing pork, traditionally done in France, Spain and Italy. Time is essential in the process of this technique of curing meat naturally, so the flavour and fat distribution is of utmost importance. The quality of the meat is determined by a few things; the breed, diet, exercise and stress.
We are very lucky to have some wonderful local artisanal foodies creating exceptional menus from our products. Our pork is turned into the most delicious products by the following passionate chefs at establishments that share our philosophy and appreciate how we farm our animals:
Eat Restaurant – Hermanus
Babylonstoren – Simondium
Foliage - Franschhoek
Chef’s Warehouse - Franschhoek
Bread & Wine - Franschhoek
La Tete - Cape Town
Janse & Co - Cape Town