My Pigs

 

My long standing friend Will Roger and I are now raising pigs.

The breed we have chosen is “Oxford Sandy Black” and they will be reared in a natural environment in a quiet valley in the Forest parish.
We wanted to go the organic route, as we believe we would qualify as organic producers.
The problem we discovered was two fold:

  • there are a wide number of organisations out there you can join to be accredited- which do you choose.
  • the cost is prohibitive for the average small holder. Charges include membership, accreditation and soil checking to name a few.

Complying with current laws, we cannot use the word organic without being prosecuted, even though we believe we are just that. The area that the pigs will be raised in, has never been farmed or grown in since the 19th century, and it has never had any man made chemicals used on it.

We will term them as “Naturally Raised Pigs”, and that is what we will market them as.

We started with two Gilts and at the end of February and once they are bred with a local boor, they will be called breeding sows. Once they are pregnant it will be 3 months, three weeks and three days until they give birth to up to 14 piglets. In 6 months they will be ready “ to go to market”.

Oliver outside pigsty and run.

 

Feeding Time

Grandson Oliver watching feeding frenzy

feeding the pigs

Snow in the Forest

We expect to have pork for sale in late November to our existing customer list. In addition we will also be at the Farmer’s Markets of Saumarez Manor and Castel.
Please take this opportunity to join our customer list by my contacting me on davidgorvel@yahoo.co.uk.

Email: davidgorvel@yahoo.co.uk
My friend Will Roger wants to just  look after the two sows at Petit Bot with the  Turkeys he has there and keep the eggs, for himself and friends.
I have decided to breed and fatten for market at my place La Roberge Farm, Forest and do it more as a business venture.
In the 1950’s my Grandfather Francois Adolfrus Gorvel (to give him his full name ) farmed at la Roberge, with cows, goats, sheep, chickens, pigs and vegetables.
So perhaps on a smaller scale I intend to do the same and get more self sufficient and sell the surplus.
I have now started with two weaners( 11  weeks old ), one of which will be for  market ( 6  months)and one to breed from at 8 months old.
I will be breeding for pork and also to  sell weaners at 10 weeks to the public.
The animals are so domesticated

If you wish to buy pork or weaners please contact me to go on my list at davidgorvel@yahoo.co.uk.

It will be possibly take at least 10 months to get up and running, but I will on this website, give updated information on how I am progressing.
So keep coming back to see as this will be on going and it you may wish to keep some yourself.
So put this on your Favorites, for easy  log on, when you want.

I collected my two 12 week old female weaners (Oxford Sandy and black crossed with Large White) on December 12th and put them in their pigsty. The pig area is at the bottom of my orchard field and I built a shed for them out of wood( fig 3). It is surrounded by wire animal  fencing with 3 1ns diameter poles, which are stapled to the them.
There is a metal gate for entry ( fig 3)and electric fencing all around the enclosure. The electric wire is at 9 ins. above ground and a circular circuit,  to the 12 volt battery, which can be powered by a solar panel.
It has a energizer that can be turned on and off ( fig 3 green box)
If you have fencing with electric around the inside of the wire, if the pig try to go though it pushes the wire onto the fence and   they get a double shock. There is also a water tub, 3/4 buried in the ground, as they need it filled every day especially in summer. Also in a metal trough (Fig 2 ), which is used to feed them twice a day.
I give them 2 lbs each of  country mix twice a day and also any house or veg plot waste and water, but never any meat or fish.

All this equipment to set up  can be obtained from Farm Supplies, St. Martin Tel. 236795 and Gaudions Tel. 257361.
The Pig feed is available from Stan Brouard Ltd Tel. 252521 and Gaudions, Camp de Roi Tel257361.

Tuesday December 22nd
The two pigs  weigh about 50 lbs and 45 lbs and are now almost 14 weeks old healthy and eating well. They are the size of a Black Labrador, but will soon be a lot bigger and weigh at 6 months about 130 to 155 lbs.
Monday December 27th
The pigs have spent a lot of time inside, because of the cold weather, but they do rush out for meal times. I am feeding them a lot of parsnips, carrots and house hold waste ( potatoe peelings,old fruit etc.).
It is how my father, uncles and grandfather did, they did not have the luxury of all the feed nuts we have now.
But my intention is to keep most of the weaners to fatten up myself and do it more towards the way they used to.
When the pork is ready for sale it will be on this website and orders will be taken for 1/4, 1/2 or full pig.
This used up all the food waste and produced, better quality pork and gave the animals a better life.
Jan 12th 2011
The two gilds are now 15 weeks old and they are spending more time outside the pig-style now that it is warmer. The cold weather and snow kept them inside.
I am supplementing their feed with old carrots, parsnips and household waste. It did take them a time for them to get used to this and I had to cut down the weaner nuts.
Animals have been so domesticated that it is hard to get them back to eating natural food.

I now have an Oxford  Sandy and Black Sow and three piglets born March 1st 2011 across from my house. I would like too as the notice below says, hoping too use some food waste.
This will make the meat taste as it should taste. Also I will not be feeding additives and such like and will fatten in the traditional way of old.
They will go to market at the end of August 2011, when they are about 26 weeks old.
I am involved as a representative for  the Forest Douzaine in the on going or should I say forever going Waste Management.
I did start in 1996 with the then Waste Strategy 1 and we must be on number 10 or so.
What I am trying to do is to do my little bit to help in the overall picture.
An interesting fact is that with the cliff land which is ideal for pigs as they need lighter stony soil rather than good heavy soil.
We could produce all the local pork and also lamb needed to supply Guernsey’s needs ,but the Supermarkets would have  to buy it and the people prepared to pay the price.
The trouble is that pigs do not fly.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

I now have two bins here (look behind) which I am putting for any leftover green waste from your vegetable garden you may have for my pigs. This would be any whole fruit and vegetables, peelings even including banana skins.
The only fruit they do not like is lemons and peppers, apart from that all is suitable. Also stale bread or rolls are a favorite of theirs.

During summer any fallen apples, pears etc can be put here in bags provided.
Any old vegetables or salads (not rotten of course) can be left in the bins.

Attention no meat or fish must be left in the bins.

Please use the bin marked no. 1 first, but if full use no. 2.

Please do not feed them as I may have to sort out what I can give them.

 

 davidgorvel@yahoo.co.uk

We are now at the start of July 2011 and the three crossed pigs are about  9 weeks from going to market. They are getting to be quite a size and should be between 135 lbs and 150 lbs in weight.

In about 2 months time I shall be breeding Betsy with a Glouster Old Spot boar.
It is best to wait until they are in the region of 8 months, since the size of the fist litter determines  the number of weaners she may have in the future ones.

Betsy and the two Oxford Sandy and Glouster Old Spot cross.

Same two and Betsy "food time"

same two and Betsy “waiting for food”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below: The new pigs are a cross from a Large White boar and an Oxford Sandy and Black,. They are faster growing than pure Sandys but I beleive not as good pork. In my opinion and experience the crossed Sandy and Gloucester Old Spot is the best tasting pork.

the new pigs.  

These new picture in October 2012 are of my latest pigs and the marrow is from my veg. plot at the back of my farm.

Look at the size

What  can not sell at the Catel  Farmers Market at Le Frequent Garden Centre on Saturday goes to them with their gratitude.

This really tastes good

Lets get going

 

 

 

 

Look in MEDIA: Is British Pork better than Local?

Eating the vegetables

Eating the vegetables

PigThese are my three  new weaners and they were born on 13/1/2016. They are Oxford, Sandy crossed with Gloucester Old spot and have reverted  back to the original breed of Sandy, very orange.
I need them so all my green waste form my 26 St Martin allotments are put to good use and recycled but not  into to landfill or perhaps burnt?
I am also growing on the spare allotments, cutting down, so reducing my  dry food bill by 2/3 rds and also producing as near to vegetarian as possible.
All the pork, sausages,chops,belly slices and joints will be sold on my site Dave Gorvel.com/shop.

look at them

look at them

Lola P 4

I love feeding them

Lola P 3

I will give you a good rub.

Lola P 2

 

 

 

 

 

My 4 year old great grand daughter daughter Lola Mai and her parents live with us at the farm and Lola loves all the animals we have. They were living in Oxford where her mother Tori-Lee went to college before working at the Churchill Hospital and with her partner Ben decided to returned to her Island home. Lola was born 1 hour into Boxing day and perhaps lucky as my mother and  identical twin  were born on Christmas day. It would have meant another present and card to get.
There are chickens, horses, also my pigs which are across the road from the house. My  grand son Oliver is featured in some of the  earlier ones, so it is Lola turn. She adores feeding them and as no fear of them or other animals and loves being outside and wearing the wellie boots.