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RBR News | April 24, 2015

Posted in Ranch Report

Around the Ranch
Rock Bottom Ranch has raised Large Black pigs for the last several years. This heritage breed is a perfect fit for the Ranch because they are extremely docile, excellent mothers, and can handle the climate of the Roaring Fork Valley very well.  

Nearly 18 months ago, we introduced a new breed of pigs to the property – the Tamworth. The Tamworth is another heritage breed that is praised for its meat quality, disease resistance and ability to thrive on pasture. More details about the Tamworth breed can be found in this previous blog post.  

We brought the two Tamworth females to Rock Bottom Ranch with the intention of crossbreeding them with our Large Black boar. The goal of crossbreeding is heterosis, or hybrid vigor, which allows for slightly faster growth and a combination of the best qualities from both breeds. In this crossbreeding we were looking to optimize the premium meat quality of the Large Blacks and the longer and leaner loin from the Tamworths. The hoped-for result would be leaner meat (than the purebred Large Black) and longer bodies – which means more bacon and larger pork chops! 

A few weeks ago, the first litter of the Large Black/Tamworth piglets was born at the Ranch. As expected, we are already seeing combined traits from heterosis. These piglets are noticeably more muscular than the purebred Large Black piglets, particularly in the shoulders and hams (back legs). The piglets will move around Rock Bottom Ranch all summer long – grazing and rooting in the pasture and the forest.  

Visit Rock Bottom Ranch to see this incredible group of piglets, one of which even has a brindle coloring of both breeds. Farm tours run Monday – Friday at 11am.     

Available Products
We now have a steady supply of our locally famous, pasture-raised, non-GMO, Animal Welfare Approved, delicious chicken eggs. 

A full pork inventory is available including chops, ribs, bacon, roasts, and several flavors of sausage.  

Products can be purchased at the Ranch during open hours, Monday – Friday 9AM – 5PM. Please call ahead to confirm availability or to place an order for pick-up.

~ Jason Smith, Rock Bottom Ranch Director

Rock Bottom Ranch is open Monday – Friday 9AM – 5PM with free Farm Tours each day at 11AM. For questions about Rock Bottom Ranch please email Jason at jsmith@aspennature.org.