Our Animals


Pastured Pork.

Old Fashioned, Free Ranged Pork

The pork at Townsend is not lean, it is not white, and it most definitely does not look or taste like chicken.

Our pigs live in luxurious fields and forests with sheep for company. They pull multiple duties on the estate by protecting our sheep, clearing out bush, as well as providing pork for the home farm. Our sheep have never been bothered by foxes coyotes or wolves, and even the local black bears living on the estate do not bother the sheep in the pig paddocks. We moved them around on a regular basis depending on the areas we need clearing and the fact that we do not want them to live in mud.

The Pigs at Townsend

The pigs that produce Townsend Free Range Pork are born outside and spend their entire lives outdoors in the fresh air, with freedom to roam in large paddocks, rooting around in our sandy Manitoba soil and playing with their peers. By growing at a much slower, more natural rate, Townsend Free Range Pork acquires a traditional flavour and succulence that has been largely forgotten in today’s mass produced pork.

In order to have the best tasting pork raised humanely outdoors we have introduced a better pig that can survive outside in Manitoba’s harsh winters and broiling summers with minimal human interference. We have created a cross of two very old breeds of pig that are noted for their ability to thrive outside. We call this breed the Blackworth. The pigs have shelter when they need it, in the form of large airy 3 sided barns in each paddock with plenty of bedding straw.  This extra space and activity not only ensures a vastly improved standard of living and welfare, but also results in the pigs growing at a slower rate, for the simple reason that they are burning off more calories than a pig enclosed in a concrete pen for all of it’s life.

The Townsend Blackworth Pigs

Townsend blackworths come from crossing our heritage herd of Large Black Pigs with a Tamworth Pigs also raised here at the farm.

The Large Black is a docile lop-eared animal, and its skin pigmentation helps it to resist sunburn, making it ideal for outdoor pig production systems. It is an efficient converter of outdoor feed, and produces pork of high quality which finds a ready outlet in specialist markets. Extremely hardy and capable of withstanding the worst of the weather, it is the ideal outdoor breed, favoured by those who like their pigs to have a free-range lifestyle.

The Tamworth is believed to be the purest of our native breeds and the closest living relative of the old English forest pig. As a meat pig, the Tamworth produces succulent pork as well as excellent bacon. In recent years, more and more chefs have been choosing Tamworth pork for their restaurants and the reputation is continues to grow

Herd Management

The pig herd is the single most important animal here at Townsend and for this reason our farm manager, Reuben, has direct control of the pork production. Reuben believes that pork raised sustainably and in its natural environment is better for the pig which means it will be better for the consumer. Reuben is a member of the Canadian swine breeders association as well as the British Pig association. We do not give our animals any kind of antibiotic unless they are sick or use growth hormone enhanced feed. We give our pigs plenty of forested areas for them to run around in feed off of as well as giving them a daily ration of feed. Reuben is in grade 11 and attending the Ste. Anne Collegiate where he was an honour student with distinction last year.

The Environment

Our aim for Townsend is to develop an environmentally sustainable mixed farming enterprise. The system is low input/low output, respecting flora, fauna, landscape, heritage, air, soil and water. We aim to be energy efficient and carbon neutral.