Humanely Raised Livestock
Born & Bred In East Texas
Why Angus Cattle?
Brittany and Nate decided on Angus because they tend to be good mothers who birth their calves with minimal fuss. Since both Brittany and Nate have “jobs in town,” as they say, they needed their cows to be fairly self-sufficient, in case calves came during the workday. Angus also deal well with the Texas summer heat but can withstand the occasional Texas snow-pocalypse (looking at you, February 2021!) too.
Why Red Angus?
Well… because the best deal Brittany found on a registered bull was a red one! She found Red Winston (whose fancy registered name is 4GGN Fat Cat, who is in turn a son of Red Northline Fat Tony – a champion Canadian Red Angus bull) from a breeder in Hallsville, Texas. And that is how Harper Valley Acres became a Red Angus ranch!
Why Red Wattles?
It all started with a pork chop. The best pork chop Brittany ever ate, to be precise. On a trip to the Pearl district in San Antonio in 2018, Brittany and Nate enjoyed a meal at the restaurant Cured and Brittany was wowed by the Red Wattle pork chop they served.
More research into the breed led her to discover that Red Wattles were an endangered heritage breed that had been popular in the South in the 1800s before being abandoned for fatter breeds. Red Wattles tend to run leaner than some other popular pig breeds, producing less lard for cooking and candles, which were important pig by-products in a time before electric lights and cooking spray. A gentleman from East Texas named H.C. Wenglar discovered a feral herd in Deep East Texas in the 1960s and began raising them – and saving the breed – in Jacksonville, Texas, where Brittany’s family has had roots for more than 100 years. It seemed like the red porkers were destined for Harper Valley Acres.
It took about 3 years to get the farm prepared for a slightly smaller species of livestock (although nobody would call Red Wattles small to their faces – older males can easily reach 1000 pounds!) and to find the right bloodlines, but Howard’s JD Hogg arrived on the farm in March 2021 and the first litter of Red Wattle piglets were born to Epic Bluebonnet in May 2021.
Red Wattles are extremely good-natured, intelligent pigs who grow to 250+ pounds in as little as 8 months and produce a flavorful, well-marbled red meat that is actually more like beef than pork (it’s definitely not the other white meat!). They forage well in forests and pastures, which lowers their feed cost, and produce 8-12 piglets a litter on average and make very devoted mothers. Boss Hogg, HVA’s foundation boar, is so incredibly chill that he lets Bluebonnet’s piglets climb on top of him and use him like a jungle gym!
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