Essington Free-Range Pork is run on traditional principles with an emphasis on top quality high welfare pork.
All our pigs are free to roam outside all of their lives where they have the freedom to exhibit their natural behaviour, rooting in the soil for food and wallowing to keep cool which makes for a happy contented pig. The results of this are a top quality pork product with excellent taste and texture.
Our sows are a cross breed of Landrace and Duroc. The Landrace gives a long pig with good carcass qualities and the Duroc element gives a bit extra fat and good mothering abilities to make an ideal outdoor sow. These sows are then bred using natural service to a Large White boar, a traditional breed giving good size to the piglets which are then reared for our pork and bacon. All our sows are housed individually when giving birth to give them plenty of peace and quiet from the other pigs at this important time, and they really appreciate it!
Unlike many commercial intensive pig farms who wean their pigs at 3–4 weeks old we like to wean our pigs at around 8 weeks of age. Although it means our sows do not achieve as many litters in a life time as other intensive pig farms, we believe that the extra time the piglet stays on the sow gives a healthier piglet, a less stressful sow and ultimately a better tasting pig. After weaning the sow will get a hard-earned rest for around 3 weeks and the piglets will be reared outdoors until a suitable size for pork or bacon. It may take a little longer to rear our pigs this way but we believe the health and happiness of the pigs and the quality and taste of the end products make it all worth while.
There are increasing concerns about the routine use of antibiotics in agriculture which increases antibiotic resistance in people. Our extensive method of rearing our pigs not only makes for a healthier pig but it also vastly reduces any need for antibiotics. We do not routinely administer any antibiotics to our pigs to help them grow or to suppress disease. Because our pigs are generally healthier than most this also reduces the need to treat any individual cases of illness that may arise.
It is our aim to give our Essington Free-Range pigs the best life possible whilst on our farm. This is both better for the pigs themselves and also you the customer as you benefit from a more succulent better tasting product with the safe knowledge that the pork you are eating has been produced in the best ways possible.