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Chelsea Green Publishing Co

Happy Pigs Taste Better – Alice Percy

Happy Pigs Taste Better – Alice Percy

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Happy Pigs Taste Better: A Complete Guide to Organic and Humane Pasture-Based Pork Production

by Alice Percy

Published by Chelsea Green Publishing Co - June 2019 - Paperback - 272 pp – 22cm x 19cm

What does it take to raise a happy pig? Armed with experience from running the largest organic hog operation in Maine, author Alice Percy is well equipped to answer this question.

Pigs are much closer to their cousin, the wild boar, than other domesticated animals. Ethically managing pigs requires an understanding of their natural mannerisms, including factors such as social grouping, mating, territory, housing, and, of course, their love of wallowing in the mud.

In Happy Pigs Taste Better Percy offers a comprehensive look at raising organic, pasture-fed, gourmet meat. She advises readers on pasturing and feeding hogs organically, as well as managing the breeding herd and administering effective natural healthcare. In addition, she provides an overview of marketing and distribution for those looking to turn their hog farming operation into a lucrative business.

This book is the first of its kind to offer an in-depth approach to organic, high-welfare commercial production, including information on:

  • Designing a hog business from the ground up
  • Housing pigs, including benefits and drawbacks of various housing systems
  • Evaluating the nutritional content of common organic feedstuffs
  • Butchering humanely and economically
  • Recordkeeping, with templates for financial tracking

Whether you’re looking to convert a conventional operation to organic, grow your backyard hog operation into a viable business, or start from scratch, this comprehensive book has got you covered, nose to tail.

‘Searching for a thorough, research-backed book on pasture-raising pigs and the business of selling pork? Then look no further because Alice Percy has produced the most comprehensive guide on the subject to date. Covering all the basics, with special attention to the unique behaviour of swine and the importance of preventative practices to keep them in optimal health, farmers will be able to produce healthier animals and tastier pork if they follow her advice.’ — Rebecca Thistlewaite, author of The New Livestock Farmer and Farms with a Future.


Alice Percy operated a commercial hog operation for 10 years on her farm in Whitefield, Maine, becoming the largest certified hog producer in the state. Percy has mentored hog farming startups through the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), and helped to develop the association’s Raising Organic Pigs fact sheet. She has presented workshops on organic hog husbandry at MOFGA events and the annual NOFA Summer Conference. She served on the MOFGA board from 2011 to 2018, including two years as board chair. Percy currently works as the manager of the Organic Growers Supply division at Fedco Seeds.


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