Duroc & Hampshire Pigs, Dorset & Crossbred Sheep, & Angus Cattle
Duroc and Hampshire Pigs:
Known as the “pig farm” along route 210, Mahoning Creek Farm pigs have been raised at MCF for 75 years. Clyde Sr, Hattie, Clyde Jr and Lois raised hogs for many years before Darlene even was around.
The home is dotted with many reminders of show ring success with the pigs at the PA Farm Show as well as other shows and state fairs.
Darlene is honored to have shown pigs at the Pennsylvania Farm Show with three generations of her family. Her grandpa’s stories of traveling to the Farm Show by rail with cattle still ring in her ears. She shared the 1st Farm Show Family of the Year award with her parents and siblings.
Morgan and Garrett first experienced the Farm Show in backpacks on their parents’ backs, as Bob and Darlene moved pigs through PA Farm Show crowds. From there the kids began to show their own animals and haven’t missed a Farm Show yet.
Durocs have always been a mainstay at MCF and the Livingstons are utilizing the same sound genetics that have always been a part of Mahoning Creek Farm. Durocs fit into our retail meat business quite well: they are known as one of the two top breeds of pigs for meat quality. Our satisified customers verify that fact!
The family was able to reestablish the Hamp herd with a gilt from James and Gus Parlett, Airville, PA that traces back to Clyde Jr’s Hamp herd. She has proven to be a real asset to the farm. She knows how to raise a litter of pigs and milks great always producing one of the highest 21 day weight litters.
All the sows are farrowed in Clyde’s converted dairy barn in stalls outfitted to care for both the sow and the litter. Sows are crated at farrowing time for three to seven days allowing the baby pigs and mom to learn their duties and get used to each other. After that period of time the gate is taken out and the sow has a larger stall to move around freely. Her piglets are always with her but also have a heat lamp in the nursery area that allows them to have their own space and not accidently get laid on.
Pigs need grain in their diet for proper nutrition. Our pigs are fed various carefully formulated balanced diets for their age and size. The feeds contain grains raised on MCF. We've chosen to utilize probiotics in our pig feeds instead of antibiotics. A pig will only receive an antibiotic if it has a specific illness or infection that necessitates that particular medication. Any animal treated with a medication is tracked on a calendar to ensure proper medication, dosage and withdrawal time are monitored.
Pigs present a unique challenge when it comes to pasturing. Pigs like to root in the ground and anywhere they root and disturb the plant material is an area the bare ground becomes highly susceptible to erosion. Thus we must balance and care for both our animals and our farmland. Our sows have access to a pasture during their gestation period.
Sustainability of the farm land and soils are of high importance. Erosion can pollute our water bodies, if our land erodes it will find it’s way into the Little Mahoning Creek which is known for it’s pristine condition and trout fishing. We don’t want to pollute the Little Mahoning or lose precious top soil.
Morgan and Garrett assist with breeding decisions by researching sires and providing input even though they may be away from the farm.
Darlene has always been the sheep person in the family. Several years ago she and Bob purchased their first Dorset ewes from The Stavers in Palmyra, PA. They utilized one ram with Penn State genetics and the rest have been Maple Hollow Farm sires from the Barkley family in Bedford County, PA. Our new registered Dorset stud ram is sired by a Sidwell ram.
The Dorsets are a versatile meat breed of sheep that enjoy the MCF pastures and produce lambs in the Fall or Spring. The rest of our flock consists of cross bred sheep which lamb in the Spring.
We are in the process of reestablishing a Suffolk flock through percentage Suffolks. We selected a registered Suffolk ram from Wiford Suffolks, Ohio for our first ram.
The ewe flock is a great resource to pasture the steeper more highly erodible areas of the farm. Due to their smaller size and by ensuring the sheep don’t overgraze an area; they are able to pasture the steepest areas without their hooves eroding the soils. This allows us to ensure healthy soils that stay on MCF property and doesn’t run off downstream.
Spring lambing ewes are brought into the barn to lamb and remain there throughout the first 60 days of life, due to the harsh winter/spring time weather in western PA. Lambing outside would not be wise during that time period due to the harsh winter weather in western PA.
The fall lambing ewes remain out on pasture and raise their lambs on pasture since the temperatures are milder at that time of year.
Our ewes enjoy pasture and hay to meet their nutritional needs. When they are close to lambing we begin to supplement them with a small amount of grain mixture that is mixed on the farm. Once they lamb we feed the ewe a larger amount of grain thus giving her the necessary nutrition for milk production for her lamb(s).
Angus cattle at Mahoning Creek Farm. We brought our small Registered Angus herd with us when we moved to the farm!
Bob, is the cattle man. He is the mastermind behind the cow families (or as we refer to it genetics) base. During his nearly 20 years managing South Branch Farms Angus herd. He focused on selecting cattle that would be trouble free, efficient, and produce beef that provides a great eating experience every time. Ultrasound and the collection of carcass data verified the progress.
In 2011 Morgan, our cattle lady, put the genetics to the test when she entered her steer in the National Junior Angus Carcass Show. Her steer was deemed 3rd place Angus Carcass Steer in the Nation, standing just behind the Grand and Reserve! Confirming how good we ate! The 3rd place steer in the nation was destined for our freezer prior to Morgan’s wise decision.
Our Angus genetics are rotationally grazed, utilizing grass to produce a very high quality beef product.
Calves are born and raised in the pasture with Bob checking on them and caring for any needs twice a day.
Both a cattleman and animal nutritionist, Bob knows the healthiest way to raise beef is to ensure they have adequate proper nutrition over the winter when the snow is deep in western PA. Therefore during the winter months Bob chooses to complement the hay with enough grain ration for the calves to continue to grow at a proper rate. His goal is for them never to have a bad day.
Thus just as we encourage our children to eat a balanced meal our cattle are encouraged to eat a balance diet throughout the winter. Fall, Spring and Summer are great months for a grass based feeding program that meets the cattles’ nutrition needs.
Our cattle do not have any added hormones; and while our first treatment is always probiotics, if an animal would ever have an illness or injury that requires antibiotic treatment we would utilize the medication in order for the animal to regain an excellent health status. Medicine directions are always followed and meticulous records are kept on any treatments ensuring animals are never marketed during a withdrawal period.
We think of it like treating a sick child. If our child was sick and required a medication we would utilize it for the sake of the child’s health and we treat our animals the same way.
We are extremely happy with our high quality pasture based Angus beef and know you will be too. Our goal is to share our high quality beef with your family allowing you to eat as well as we do.
History of our Angus Herd:
As a young cattleman, Bob started his career at Lemmon Cattle Enterprises in Georgia. At a production sale in 1986 he purchased his first Angus cow a Pathfinder cow, 057 and her daughter. The next day he bought Darlene an engagement ring and while shopping for it stated, “It’s ok I paid more than that for the cows.”
The rest is history.
This great cow and her offspring became the base for the Registered Angus herd that roams Mahoning Creek Farm today.
One other cow brought into our herd was from the South Branch Farm herd Bob managed and bred for nearly 20 years. Through a scholarship opportunity Morgan purchased the SBF cow from a bloodline she grew up with at SBF. She and her father carefully reviewed SBF genetics choosing the cow family they felt would be the best fit.
South Branch garnered the following Pennsylvania awards under Bob’s management: PA Cattleman’s Association Seedstock Producer of the Year, Stewardship Award, and Angus Family of the Year.
As you can tell the MCF Angus herd is what it is today because of a cattleman who always had a keen eye for Angus genetics.
Offspring from the herd also proved to be a great asset to Morgan and Garrett during their 4-H years. Their 4-H projects came from calves they were given at birth. Morgan garnered Champion Angus Steer at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, Supreme Champion Heifer at York County 4-H Fair among many other honors. Our hog man, Garrett showed two Angus and retired from cattle showing to the hog show ring.