Meet the Herd

Maui

Maui is our boar. He is a 3 year old Ossabaw Island Hog, and he has produced a number of litters for us. At approximately 350 lbs, we feel that he is a great representative of what is possible with the Ossabaw breed.

Make no mistake, he might sport a fierce mohawk and have a long snout, but this is not a feral hog. Maui especially likes marshmallows and shoulder scratches. He can really shake a leg if you hit just the right spot!

Pua

Pua is a 3 year old Ossabaw Island Hog sow. She is a great mother; she has not lost a single piglet since she has been with us! She produces a mixture of piglets with spots like hers or the more common black (with white socks). We will eventually keep a few of her best offspring to use as future breeders, but until then, she will produce two litters a year for us until it is time for her to retire. Pua's favorite treats are fresh fruits and vegetables, especially apples!

Piglets

We do not sell breeding stock of our Ossabaw Island Hogs. Their smaller litter sizes means that raising them to butcher becomes a priority for us as we want to bring more Ossabaw Pork into people's consciousness. The rarity of the breed is also a factor, as we would not want our pigs unique traits to be lost in non-meat producing crosses. We may occasionally offer barrows (sterilized males) if you are interested in growing out your own Ossabaw to put in your family's freezer.

Ossabaw Island Pork

If you are interested in purchasing our Ossabaw Island Pork, we can offer a few options.

- You can purchase a fully grown hog by the half or the whole. Your cost is based on the hanging weight of the pig at slaughter, plus your share of the associated processing fees. 

- We will have limited quantities of packaged pork available as animals are due to be processed. You can arrange to visit the farm to purchase directly, or we are vendors occasionally at local events or farmer's markets. Please visit our 'Sales' page to see what is in stock.

- If you are a restaurant or a local market that would like to feature some of our Ossabaw Pork, give us a call to see what options work best for you or to discuss wholesale pricing.

Other Pig Options

Sometimes, we may purchase or raise other breeds of pigs other than our Ossabaws. Given the exclusivity of the Ossabaw and the higher cost of production, other breeds may be a cheaper option for you to have access to healthy, pastured pork.

If we have any other breeds, piglets to raise yourself and half/whole shares at a lower cost than the Ossabaw Hogs are options. Check our 'Sales' page to see what may be available, or give us a call to make arrangements

Caring for our Herd

We raise pigs in as natural a setting as possible. This means they live outdoors, with access to grass 24/7. They have shade and we let them make all the wallows they want! As we expand our current pastures, the pigs will eventually have a woodland forage available to them as well.

Breeding animals co-habitate until right before any farrowing, and our sows farrow on their own in provided shelter with as little interference from us as possible. We believe that nature knows best, but we keep an eye out for injury or illness on a regular basis. Weaned piglets are utilized in the garden as natural roto-tillers and fertilizers, receiving extra human contact and moved often to new ground. Piglets are re-introduced into the main herd and separated by sex (unless males are castrated) to grow out until processing. 

Our pigs receive an additional whey-fermented grain ration in addition to pasture, as well as produce scraps. In the fall and winter, pigs are kept supplemented with apples, pumpkins, and acorns either gleaned or donated by other farms or individuals. We strive to give our animals the best lives possible during their time with us, and we love to share the history of the Ossabaw Island Hog breed, as well as the individual characteristics of our pigs.

About The Ossabaw Island Hog

Image courtesy Hamthropology Artisanal Hoggery

Breed History

The Ossabaw Island Hog is a breed of pig descended from pigs (probably Iberian pigs, though some genetic markers indicate Asian influence through the pigs of the Canary Islands) left by Spanish Explorers in the 1500's on Ossabaw Island, Georgia. 

Left to their own devices when the explorers left, and without introduction of outside feral hog genetics (Ossabaw Island is separated from the mainland, and only accessible by boat), these pigs developed in isolation to become uniquely adapted to the environment of the island.

Hot weather, scarcity of food and clean water have made the Ossabaw a tough and resilient animal. As a result, Ossabaw Island Hogs are smaller than most domestic swine (in a farm setting, no more than 350 lbs.), and their meat is dark red with heavy marbling, and a magnificent texture and taste that is highly prized for pork and charcuterie.

Image courtesy Oklahoma State University

Critically Threatened

The Livestock Conservancy lists Ossabaw Island Hogs (along with Mulefoot and Choctaw pigs) as 'Critically Threatened'. This means that without the intervention of dedicated breeders, the Ossabaw Island Hog is in danger of extinction in its own right as a swine breed.

The pigs still in residence on the island are treated as environmental nuisances or of scientific interest only, and are quarantined from the mainland, exportation is prohibited and illegal. The few numbers of farmers that continue to raise this breed from pigs that were allowed to be removed from the island in the past are the only thing keeping this breed alive. It takes a huge conservation effort to keep the breed profile intact, and the only way to do that is by utilizing the breed, mainly for pork production. Keep the best examples of the breed for use as breeders, and eat the rest!

Ossabaw Island hogs are featured at the Smithsonian National Zoo, Mount Vernon, and Colonial Williamsburg. They are an extreme example of a uniquely American pig, and we are thrilled to be able to raise them on our farm.

Image courtesy the Ossabaw lsland Foundation

About Ossabaw Island

Ossabaw Island is the 3rd largest barrier island (but still only 26,000 acres, of which only about 9,000 is high ground with the rest being marshlands and tidal creeks) on the Georgia coast, and home to the one and only Ossabaw Island Hog. Visits to the island are restricted to only those of a scientific or educational nature, or as organized events only. The history of the island is interesting, Ossabaw has been inhabited by humans dating as far back as 4,000 years ago (based on archaelogical evidence). After Spanish explorers left the island (and their pigs), four plantations were established by private owners in the 1700's, where indigo was the most important crop, raised with the aid of slave labor. (Slave dwellings still exist on the island and are of unique historical interest.) The island changed hands many times until it came under single ownership in the 1900's. It is now owned by the State of Georgia, under life estate from the last owner, who bequeathed the island to the state in 1978. We can't wait for an opportunity to visit the island ourselves