THE RANGER PIGS STORY

How it all began…

 

Story

Bob, the Pig Ranger, tells the story

During a visit to friends, Alec and Jane Archer, back in 1999, Jane had prepared a meal of farm fresh roast pork.  The pork was absolutely delicious with that really succulent flavourful taste that you can only get with real meat, and by real meat, I mean from pigs that have lead happy free-range lifestyles.  I believe that this real meat taste has been lost over the years through intensive industrial farming methods; pigs cooped up indoors with no access to outside, with breeds being selected for ultra-lean fast-growth meat.

With memories of a mouthwatering meal, an internet search was begun for advice as to the sort of pigs best suited to provide that old fashioned real meat taste from free range farming.  I kept stumbling across Pig Paradise, rare breed pig centre run by Tony York, a well known international rare breed pig specialist.  Tony, whose catch phrase ‘happiness is pig shaped’, offers a short induction ‘One Day Pig Keeping Course’, as the title suggests a crash course in keeping rare breed pigs.  So I signed up.

During the course and with the knowledge I gained from my research, it became obvious to me that the Tamworth pig was what I was looking for; they will live out of doors in all weathers, will eat almost anything, grow quickly for a rare breed, are sociable, easily handled, and lively, with a reputation for being good mothers and productive boars.

Pig mothering

At the end of my course, I left for East Anglia having ordered six Tamworth Weaners, and so Ranger Pigs was formed.  Three months later in April 2000, seven pigs arrived (Tony had a spare) and were housed in our Longthorpe garden, much to the amusement and shock of our neighbours!  It took 6 months to find a suitable piece of land, i’d assumed that farmers would have welcomed the extra cash offered for a parcel of land to raise a few porkers, but it wasn’t that easy.

Ranger Pigs finally had a new home in the form of just under 5 acres of former gravel pit ideally suited to pigs; shallow soil on gravel, free draining, on the Elton/Nassington Road just outside Elton Village, on the Cambridgeshire-Northamptonshire boarder.

The pig yard

 

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