Suntan Piggery

This farm has not been visited in person yet, but we know they are the supplier of many delis and online shops (including Mysthill and Red Barn). So all the pork we get from Red Barn is actually from Suntan!!

Below is the information supplied in interview with Jenni from Suntan Piggery.

“The pigs live in large grassy paddocks. They are not regeneratively farmed, but are moved every 3 weeks to give the grass a chance to regrow. They are fed GM grain, but also eat grass, insects and roots as part of their diet. There are no growth hormones, steroids or any animal protein is mixed in their feed.The pigs are Landrace and Large Whites – the boars are Duroc.

“They are never crated and have access to the outdoors when they are weaned at 28 days old. Prior to the this, the piglets live with their mums to a 39 sqm metre enclosure where they can be protected from other pigs until they are sturdy enough to fend for themselves. Their permanent staff have a strict schedule to check on all moms and babies half hourly 24 hours a day – they have a 99% success rate with this method for piglets not being squashed by their mothers (which has happened once).”

Questions on agricultural practices:

1. What space is there available for each pig? Our camps are roughly 100m x 40m for every 30 pigs.

2. What kind of pigs do you raise? We have a mix of Landrace and Large White sows. Our boars are Duroc.

3. Is your pork feed GMO & glyphosate free? Due to the maize used in the feed, unfortunately, our feed is not GMO & glyphosate free. But we can, however, assure that no growth hormones, steroids or any animal protein is mixed in our feed.

4. Are the pigs allowed to range free outdoors all day during the day? Our pigs roam freely outdoors (in large camps), and get to enjoy the sun, grass and soil (as an added mineral supplement) day and night.

5. Are your pigs pasture raised i.e. they get a portion of their nutrients from rooting and grazing in pastures – instincts. As a portion of their nutrients, our pigs graze in pastures and enjoy rooting.

6. Do piglets have access to grass / for foraging once they are 21 days old? Our piglets are weaned when they are 28 days of age. Once weaned, they start to roam freely in large camps.

7. Are they regeneratively grazed: managed under a planned grazing system – moved to a new grazing area regularly so the pasture is allowed sufficient rest before the animals return? If so, how often? We move our pigs every 3 weeks.

8. Are your pigs put in sow gestation crates to protect them from fighting with other pigs and to ensure access to food? If so, for how long? We do not use crates. 1 Week prior to farrowing, the sow is moved to a smaller camp, approximately 39 square metres. The sow and piglets have enough shelter and can still move freely, for 28 days.

9. What square meterage for each sow and litter? Approximately 39 square metres

10. Do you use farrowing crates: where the mother is put into a device which stops her from sitting on her babies? If so, for how long? No, we do not. Our permanent staff have a strict schedule to check on all moms and babies half hourly. We have a 99% success rate with this method.

11. How, when and where are the pigs slaughtered? Our pigs are slaughtered at 5-6 months and are classified between O and P groups. The P classification group represents the pigs with the highest amount of lean meat (≥70%) and has the smallest amount of back fat (≤ 12mm) the O classification group represents pigs with 68-69% lean meat and 13- 17mm of back fat. Our pork is sought after and in high demand.
Our meat also has a beautiful darker red colour, compared to the “pink” meat in the supermarkets.
Our pigs are slaughtered at an accredited abattoir – Tolman in Hartenbos. A qualified health inspector examines our pigs prior to slaughter.

12. How do you manage predators? We do not have predators on the farm.

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