We are Andra and Daniel Johnson. Andra works an eight hour day at a job in the community, and is also a big help on the farm. I work as a handyman but enjoy working on the farm and gardening as much as anything. One of my handyman customers started talking to me about raising pigs when he retired. After pondering the information for at least a month, I started to do some research of my own. We started with three crossbred feeder pigs. According to the internet, if you raise three pigs, sell two, put one in your freezer, the selling of the two is supposed to cover the cost of raising three. It doesn’t always work that way. We built a small 16 foot by 16 foot pen with a lean-to style hut in a corner for our first three pigs. After building it, we thought three 300 pound pigs in that area would not give them a whole lot of room. So we expanded. Our pens are now roughly 45 feet by 75 feet with an 8 foot by 8 foot hut in the middle of each pen. The huts have a floor so the pigs can get out of the cold wet slop during the winter time. The huts also have electricity so heat lamps can be put up when the temperature drops into the teens or single digits. We use tube waterers so that the pigs always have fresh clean water. We hand feed all of our pigs two times a day. That way, we know how much each pig is getting and can monitor their weight gain. The feed bowls are in the middle of each pen, so we must be in the pen twice a day every day. Our hands are on the pigs every day, so that they become even more docile.
We have had our share of trouble getting started and after doing research to fix the problems, we have accumulated a lot of information. Because we know how hard it was to find solutions to our problems, we don’t mind, and enjoy sharing our knowledge with others. We are not experts at all, but have knowledge and contacts we can share with others.
Anyone interested in pork or pork products, we try to accommodate all their needs. We will sell a piglet to raise for butcher. We will sell a registered piglet as either a show pig or breeder. We will sell either a half or whole butcher hog and deliver it to the butcher of their choice within a 50 mile radius. When we have a hog butchered for ourselves, we will have it USDA inspected so we can sell individual packages of meat by the pound to our customers. We will sometimes give a package of meat to a potential customer to have them try before they buy a half or whole pig.
The Fair and Farming communities are quite a great group of people to be around, kids and adults alike. They are friendly, thirsty for knowledge, a place to share knowledge and a joy to meet. We enjoy talking with customers or potential customers on the phone and even more so in person when they stop by out of curiosity or to actually pick out piglets. Sometimes it is the young people who have done the research and want to become farmers to raise animals for their fair projects.
We know that in general, these pigs are on this earth for only a short period of time. If we can make their lives a little more enjoyable, for example; clean pens, clean fresh water, ample room to walk around, plenty of quality feed, pests and parasites under control, and a little or a lot of lovin’, like back or belly rubs and pats on the head or even some hugs. The pigs in turn will give you joy by rubbing on your legs or even a little goose in the caboose and good tasting and nutritious food on your table.
This is who we are and our farm truly is:
Happy Hereford Hogs
All Natural Grain Fed Hogs
One of our goals is to educate people about Hereford Hogs. We have met many people who have never heard of let alone seen a Hereford Hog. Another goal is to raise an all natural grain fed hog. The recipe we are currently using is one we designed ourselves. It consists of corn meal, soybean meal, rice bran, rolled oats along with added calcium, phosphorus, salt, pig mineral (trace minerals and vitamins), vegetable oil as well as added lysine, methionine and threonine. We sometimes add a little garlic granule to the feed, which helps boost their immune system and gives their food a little extra flavor they don’t always get. They will also get extra eggs from our free-range chickens and vegetable scraps from the garden. They will not get any table scraps, meat of any kind, or blood meal, fish meal, or bone meal like what you may find in some commercialized feeds. They also will not be given any growth hormone, steroids or antibiotics on a regular basis to induce growth.
Information on Our Breeding Stock
We bought two new gilts from Reinhardt Mini Ranch in Wisconsin in March of 2022. They were born January 1, 2022 and January 15, 2022. Their names are Ellie and Pepper. Ellie's parents are No Diggity and Rose. Ellie's parents are Cheesehead and Elena. They will be bred this fall with first litters in the spring of 2023. Pictures coming soon.
We bought a boar in the spring of 2021. He came from Shaffers Goldrush in Indiana. We named him Sampson. He is a grandson of Taco Truck on dam’s side and his sire is Transformer. He was born in December 2020. He is just now beginning to fill out and is looking good.
We have brought 2 gilts into our breeding program. They are Nikita and Cheyenne. They are full-blooded sisters out of Penny and War Cry and were born October 2020.
Ayita is the offspring of CoCo and War Cry and was born October 2019.
CoCo was one of our first Hereford Hogs out of Indiana. Her parents are Shock and Awe and Cotton Club and was born January 2016.
How We Transport Our Hogs
This is our pig-mobile.
How We Feed Our Hogs
This is our vertical mixer (left) and hammer mill (right).
How We House Our Hogs
This is the process of a hut being built