|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.
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.