Thursday, April 11, 2013

Five "Lucky Duck" Pigs

Emma Lincoln of Lucky Duck Farms, Forrest Illinois
Professional Red Wattle Handler and Model

Nearly lost to extinction in the 1970's a group of Red Wattles were rediscovered in Texas. I believe George Bush Senior was blamed for losing track of them.

Since so few and so close to dying out , new owners bred these few hogs to other breeds and then back again to a few other Red Wattles. Over the decades, the group has grown and the Red Wattles have became more pure in their genetics but remain on the Critically Endangered list according to the ALBC   To date there are less than 2000 registered Red Wattles in the world.

The good news is there are many many NON-REGISTERED Red Wattle hogs. These are the real workhorses being bred primarily for their meat, because let me tell you, Red Wattle Pork is to die for.

Our hogs never laugh when I say that. Nothing worse than a 1000 pound boar without a sense of humor.

Keith and I are doing our part to spread the greatness that is the wattle which we've been raising since 2009. The first year we raised them the majority went to private customers. The next two years a very large number went to the Chicago Restaurants. Last year we backed out of the restaurants and focused on selling the meat as carcasses and by the piece in our farm store.

This year we are increasing our breeders and feeders. Meaning, now that we have a good strong, but still small, herd of Red Wattles we are selling more to other farmers who want to raise them for breeding and for eating.

So far in 2013 we have sold more Red Wattle Breeders than we have the other three years combined. Before you drop over in true amazement, keep in mind we only averaged 1-2 breeders sold each year, and maybe 5-8 feeder hogs. Yes, I have exact records somewhere just to lazy to get up and find them.

For 2013
In Feb. we sold 5 feeders and 1 breeder.
In March it was 3 feeders.
In April we sold eight feeders.
In May, June and July we have another 10 feeders and another 6 breeders scheduled to leave South Pork Ranch, all of them secured with deposits.
In Aug, a couple will be traveling from North Dakota ( over 1000 miles from here) to buy a little Red Wattle Boar.

Seems the small homesteading type is catching on to how wonderful these Gentle Giants really are.

Today's RW delivery was very local. Friends Emma and Kyoshi  Lucky Duck Farm  just about 8 miles from us. They choose three full bred RW's and two cross bred RW's . All will be grown for meat for their CSA customers. Be sure to contact them ASAP if you want to be one of their very lucky CSA members. Not only will you get RW meat but true free range chicken and eggs and awesome Japanese, Chinese and Thai vegetables.

Emma and Kyoshi are in that very limited group of real homesteaders. They both work full time on their farm struggling to sell at least as much farm produced items as they have to spend in farm related expenses. Where everyone and their dog refers to themselves these days as "sustainable" these amazing folk really are. Theirs is definitely not a hobby farm! We stock our farm store store with their free range eggs which are very popular.

One of their "value added" income sources now includes Kyoshi's hand felted creations. Recently receiving the attention it deserves via art venues like ODLCO Design ., no one has ever made me WANT to have little sloth hanging from my bedside lamp before but after you see More Of His Creations you'll understand.  As soon as I am done with this blog I'll be commissioning him to make a Red Wattle.

Emma and Kiyoshi  prepared for their new farm critters by putting up the coolest electric fence creation. With an electric hog fence from Premier1 Fence on the inside  and an electric fence meant for poultry on the outside, all solar powered, it was obvious they meant business! 

Piglets were unloaded from our livestock trailer and carried into their new pen (due to a minor truck stuck in mud issue).

Big fat spoiled pigs!

They took to their new home quickly, digging into the dirt and tearing up the grass in record time.
Big fat spoiled HAPPY pigs.


  1. Great looking Red Wattles! Our sow recently farrowed, she was bred to a Red Wattle - we are excited to watch these babies grow. We were told that Red Wattle meat is amazing. :)

  2. I love the idea of an effective electric fence. Ours never gave any animal pause.

    Love the photos!

  3. I have been a long time lurker and have never commented anywhere, usually just soak in the knowledge and let slide things I don't agree with, but I do have to take exceptions with what you said:

    ...very limited group of real homesteaders. They both work full time on their farm struggling to sell at least as much farm produced items as they have to spend in farm related expenses.

    I consider myself a homesteader. I make my own bread, crackers, pasta, cheese, yogurt, laundry soap, shampoo, cleaning products, etc, etc. You get the picture. We raise meat birds and process them ourselves. We have hens for eggs. We grow food for them and the meat birds. We run a small vegetable, fruit, and egg CSA and will start in some farmer’s markets this year. We rely on compost and cover crops with almost no outside inputs for the gardens. We save seeds. I can, freeze, and dehydrate most of our own food. I crochet and sew. Oh, and I also work a full time job outside my homestead. Full time nights as it happens, so you can imagine how long my “days” are!

    I hope you didn’t mean to sound so exclusionary. I realize that we are not yet where we would like to be as homesteaders. We need to take several more steps, including a non-electric water supply that doesn’t involve a bucket and a long rope, our own source of dairy, and finding a way for me to also be home full time. Emma and Kyoshi are admirable, no question there. You are admirable, and I admire your fight for what you believe in. But I don’t consider myself, and others like me out there, any less of a “real” homesteader just because we are not all in the same place and cannot completely self-support from our farm. Yet.

    Can you tell this is a pet peeve?


  4. Hi Sandra, sorry I did not see your comment sooner because it is an important one. I stand by what I said. There are very few real homesteaders out there. You though certainly sound like a real one to me! . A "homesteader" in my opinion is not someone who ONLY works on the farm but someone who works very hard to be as self sufficient as they can be with the resources they have. My husband and I still use a furnace and electricity and phones but like you we keep working towards even more self-sufficiency, to produce ALL WE CAN ourselves. We're only half way there. My own pet peeve is the 4 car, 2 income couple who plants a garden, eats 10% of it and lets the rest rot because it is too windy or too hot or too cold to work outside but then calls themselves "homesteaders." But being America, they can call themselves Mr and Mrs Scott Nearing if they choose too. Real farming is at its best, real inconvenient. Do you blog? Would love to see your farm, bet you have things to teach me!

  5. Donna,

    Thank you, I understand better now. I have run into too many people, including at sustainability and market gardening events, who if you are not doing this full time will put you into that "hobby" catagory and try to negate everything else that you do. As if it were an all or nothing decision. Add that to full time farmers (NOT homesteaders) who laugh at our tiny efforts from their air conditioned cabs as they spread chemical herbicides and maybe I'm a little sensitive!

    I do have a blog for our CSA, but the target audience is our customers, and thus it is at their level. (They are appreciative of the local, fresh veggies. But don't want to see too much chicken poop.) I will send it to you privately if you like. And believe me, I learn from you! My next venture will be soap making.