Growing pigs is a relatively new thing for the Castle family at Koallah Farm. In fact it was only last year, after our on-farm abattoir received its pork licence that we introduced pigs to our property for the first time.
Until that point we had relied on other reputable free range growers for our online pork sales and for our Simply Free Range butcher shops in Mt Waverley and Rosanna. While we still rely on six other free range pig producers to breed our Koallah Farm approved animals, we’re now successfully raising the pigs right here on the farm.
We currently purchase 16 piglets every fortnight when they are weaned off their mothers at about 6-8 weeks of age. The piglets are brought to Koallah Farm and tended to daily in large paddocks where they have access to shelters and are free to do whatever they like and to grow at their own natural rate.
We’re lucky to have some stony rises country at Koallah Farm where underlying volcanic rock provides grazing areas that are less likely to become wet and boggy. This is important to us, because it means we can farm pigs without them causing long term damage to vegetation and the natural environment.
Access to pasture plays an important role in the diet of pigs. Aside from the succulent fresh grass, pigs forage beneath the surface where the soil and plant matter contains all sorts of natural minerals and proteins that keep them healthy. We also supplement their feed with a vegetable-based meal.
Depending on their individual growth rates, the pigs spend between 3-4 months at Koallah Farm until they reach processing weight. Each week, we process eight pigs in our boutique abattoir for your online orders and for our butcher shops in Melbourne.
At any one stage, we are now raising about 100 pigs at Koallah Farm. Controlling the environment they are grown in, their nutrition and they way they are cared for is important to us and to the quality of our pork products.