Shelly Farris of Rigby, Idaho, saw a need for a good grazing pig. She wanted a good-natured animal that would graze the grass instead of rooting. The animals would also need to mature out at a smaller size than traditionally grown pigs, but able to reach a butcher weight in a reasonable amount of time.
She put her dream to reality by developing the Idaho Pasture Pig. She began offering breeding stock to the public in 2012.
Down with IPP
Idaho Pasture Pig—also called IPPs—are comprised of Old Berkshire, Duroc and Kunekune breeds. Many years of dedicated work went into creating a pig that is great for small family farms, as well as anyone interested in raising quality pork.
The meat from grass-fed pigs is higher in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also more marbleized than traditional grown pork, with a deep red color and a sweeter flavor.
Idaho Pasture Pig boars mature to about 350 to 450 pounds. Sows top out about 250 to 350 pounds. With a diet consisting primarily of grass, the pigs will mature to a butcher weight of about 230 to 250 pounds in approximately 10 months.
Grains & Minerals
All pigs require lysine that is found in grains, so IPPs are unable to be 100 percent grass-fed. But they can be primarily grass-fed. Only 10 to 20 percent of their diet needs to consist of grains and minerals.
It’s essential for the minerals to be mixed properly into the feed. Due to their toxicity to salt, Idaho Pasture Pigs are unable to be fed free-choice minerals or mineral blocks. A mineral deficiency will result in the pigs digging in the ground to locate additional minerals instead of grazing the ground properly.
Its uniform head leads to a shorter, up-turned snout. This allows Idaho Pasture Pigs to graze grass. Other breed-standard attributes include:
- a long back
- well-developed shoulders
- rounded hams that extend all the way down to the hocks
- a good personality
The Idaho Pasture Pig has more hair on its body than other breeds, making it very cold-hardy. Sows make excellent mothers, and they don’t require heat lamps to farrow outside in A-frame shelters.
The keys to a happy, healthy grazing pig include minerals; water; grass, hay and fodder; shelter; and, of course, a nice wallow!