Our IPP's were hand selected directly from the breed developers in Rigby, Idaho. The following is a breed description from their website:
"Hello and welcome to Idaho Pasture Pigs. Idaho Pasture Pigs, Ipp's for short, are a new breed of pig. They were designed specifically for pasture based systems. They were designed with the small farmer, homesteader and hobby farmer in mind. Through selective breeding and unique breeding, we have developed a friendly, pasture based, meat hog. We have selected breeds known for excellent, red marbled meat and have thrown in an extremely gentle pig that is pasture based.
Our Idaho Pasture Pigs (Ipp's) are friendlier than domestic pigs. The sows have better dispositions at farrowing time. The boars are gentle to handle. The piglets crawl into our laps instead of being so flighty, like other domestic pigs. Ipp's reach butcher weight in the 180 days as do traditional hogs, but do not get as big at maturity. Idaho Pasture Pigs at maturity are around 350 lbs; compare that to 750 lbs on other breeds. Ipp's have short, upturned, snouts. These snouts set them apart from other breeds and allow them to graze the grass instead of rooting it up. They come in a variety of colors including red, red and black, black and white, tri-colored; ginger, and black and white. They have wattles or tassels under their chin. Very few pig breeds have the waddles. They have great conformation, with nice well rounded hams."
Pasture pigs cost less to raise because they can forage for feed. Expensive grains and feed do not have to be purchased year round in the traditional quantities. Pasture does not typically give pigs all the nutrients that they need, but it helps to reduce the cost dramatically. The pigs get plenty of exercise, which makes for firmer pork products. Pastured pork has higher levels of vitamin E and healthier omega-3 fatty acids than traditionally raised pork. Omega-3s are considered the good fats and play an important role in every cell and system in the body. The pork has a flavor that modern pork cannot match.
Pasture based pigs are less work intensive than other pigs to raise. Pigs fertilize the pasture as they wander around. The manure is not offensive to smell and more the consistency of horse manure. Pigs on pasture are less likely to get diseases and are raised in a natural environment. If the pastures are rotated, there are fewer parasites than there would be with confinement type pigs. Before confinement type hog farms, most pigs were pasture based.
Pastures planted with quality plants like alfalfa, clover and grasses can lower grain consumption of pigs, which results in fewer costs. Good quality pasture creates a high level of reproductive capacity of boars and can increase litter sizes.
Before the 1950's and the start of confinement type farms, the majority of pigs raised were raised on pastures and allowed to forage for feed. Pasture based systems was absolutely essential in raising pigs. They needed the vitamins and proteins from the plants and the vitamin D from the sun. Then the development of providing vitamins like A and D into the feed came into play. Farmers no longer had to have pigs outside to get the vitamins from the sun and forage. Confinement type farms sprang up. Pigs were housed by the thousands in these farms and still are today. Before this happened, several studies were conducted on the best forages for swine. In all of their studies, Alfalfa is considered the best. It is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals like selenium and vitamin E. Alfalfa is rich in protein. Studies have shown that increasing fiber in sows diets, like that found in Alfalfa, have contributed to increased sow reproductive performances.
For best results, other grasses like orchard, brome, fescue, and timothy should be in the mix with the legumes.