PELLA, Iowa- When talking about endangered species, you don’t often think they would be found on Iowa farms. But that is the case at Prodigy Farms near Pella.
The farm specializes in animals on the endangered species list, according the Livestock Conservancy.
“We have chosen breeds that are in that critically endangered status we are trying to educate people and also make the livestock available to other small farms in Homestead as well,” said Lyndsi Laughlin, owner of the farm. “You know you don’t really think of livestock breeds, heritage livestock breeds being endangered, you think of lots of exotic animals throughout the world.”
Laughlin has hogs, chickens, and goats all on the endangered list.
The Mulefoot Hog has a hoof, which is not split like conventional breeds. There are less than a thousand head of these hogs world-wide.
“From birth to processing it’s like double to three times the amount it would take for a commercial hog they also require very little grain input, so that actually fits in very well to our farm model is feeding certified organic grains,” said Laughlin. “They are hogs that forage for the majority of their intake, they will be out here in the pasture pretty much year-round, they do have shelters available in the winter, they do eat hay.”
The farm has San Clemente Island goats born on this farm recently, believed to be the first such goats born in Iowa.
“Now the Livestock Conservancy says the registered population is less than 800 world-wide,” said Laughlin.
The farm also has Barred Holland Chickens, estimated 300 population left. The farm sells eggs and meat from the livestock.
“I’m not sure if hobby farm is a good fit, conservation farm might be a little bit better,” said Laughlin.