About Open Station Farms
Farm Animals Raised With Love
HOW WE STARTED
Open Station Farms started with three feeder pigs. We soon realized raising pigs was something we wanted to do permanently. After quite a bit of research, we came to the conclusion it would not be raising pigs in confinement. Providing these animals room to root and roam was a top priority. We firmly pledge to provide the best growing conditions we are capable of for our animals.
On the other hand, we also know the customer is what makes all of this possible. At the same time, we pledge to you a focus on providing high-quality products with high-quality service tied to it. Those two commitments guide us.
Humane Pig Farm in Maquoketa, IA
Our Breeding Program
During all that research we learned most commercial operations were farrowing in crates and averaging 2.4 liters per year. This meant that young pigs were weaned at 21 days and the sow was bred back as soon as possible. Again we felt this was not right for our operation. Through trial and error over the first couple of years, we developed our own breeding program that keeps our sows healthy and gives our young pigs a great start. It's simple... a sow farrows, her pigs are weened at 30 days and she is given between three and six weeks to recover before we breed back. With a 114 day gestation this ends up right about 2 litters per year.
We currently run three lines of pigs here at OSF. Purebred registered Berkshire pigs, purebred Tamworth pigs, and crossbred heritage pigs.
Berkshire pigs are widely sought after for their flavor. Known as some of the best tasting, juicy, and tender pork available. We selected this breed for just those qualities. We are members of the American Berkshire Association and selectively breed for correct body structure and breed markings. We want to stay true to the breed. If you're looking for that high quality pig for premium pork loin roasts, boston butt, and super succulent chops and steaks this is the pig for you.
Heritage breed pigs are those that have not been crossed into high production pigs for commercial operations that lose their ability to thrive in their natural habitat. They have specific characteristics of their own. By crossing one of these breeds we have produced a herd of fast-growing meaty pigs that do very well in the pasture structure on our farm as well as have larger litters. If you like to have a freezer full of all of those good ol' grilling favorites with a much better flavor than the stuff offered at your local grocery store this is the way to go.
Their Life On the Farm
We have developed a system that involves stall farrowing with access to a run so our sows are never confined. After weaning, all of our breeding stock is raised on a combination of dirt lots and pasture paddocks with concrete pads for rainy day feeding and watering with portable shelter structures. Our feeding/ finishing stock is raised in pasture and timber paddocks with a custom feed blend available at all times as well as all of those natural nuts, grubs, and roots they love. When everything freezes over for the year they are brought into group paddocks with heavy bedding and keep each other warm. Providing them the ability to do what they naturally do is a top priority for us!