Keeping Pigs?
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    Bubber's Avatar
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    Keeping Pigs?

    Just spitballing here. It'll be spring before we were to try this if we decide its for us.

    We live on 3.5 acres, fully wooded. I'm thinking of fencing in an area and getting two pigs. Much to my wife's dismay, they would be raised for meat. I have already found a processing plant that would come and pick them up. My questions are...

    How much space would two pigs take, say Tamworth, or Yorkshire (other breeds?). We are fully wooded, would they be ok under a full canopy? There are a bunch of nuts for them in addition to what ever food they would require. I'd provide them a loafing shed, would more shelter be required?
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    johnH123's Avatar
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    awsome! i love to hear of people doing pigs this way.

    this has a ton of useful info in it:
    Pigs ‘n Glens | The Polyface Primer

    it should answer all of your questions.
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    johnH123's Avatar
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    sorry, i would give you a more elaborate answer but im short on time right now.
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    Bubber's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply. I actually tried to pay the $15 to watch that video, but got an error.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    We used to raise 6 pigs a year for quite a while. They were solely for meat. We sold 4 and kept 2 for our own freezer.

    I had them in the woods (near the house of course) with a full canopy. I used electric fence with short posts and 4 strands - lowest strand was as close to the ground as I could get without touching and the highest one at ~4'. The fenced area was about 40' x 30'. I also built a small shed for them which was ~15' x 15' with a half door to separate them when needed. I made it with a wooden floor so they had a place to rest out of the mud. It doesn't seem to matter if it doesn't rain for weeks - the outer fenced area was always mostly mud.

    We bought our piglets from a local pig farmer in the spring when they were 20# of so. Fed them commercial pig feed from Agway plus anything extra from the table and garden. Back then you could swing by the grocery store and if you were lucky could get 6-8 boxes of their expired produce that was being thrown away. Man they loved that!

    In the fall I hauled the pigs myself one at a time (live) to the processor. The following day they would call (us or the person buying the meat) and get their order on how they wanted it cut up. All the meat was nicely wrapped in the portions ordered and flash frozen.

    Worked out great for us. The worst part was loading them in my home made crate and loading the crate in the pick-up.

    Sometimes it was a challenge to keep the in the fenced area. One example was when they kept getting out and I couldn't figure out how. The electric fence worked very well. When they were first put in the enclosure they all sniffed the wire within the first couple minutes and got the idea. So one day I just sat up in the woods a for a while to watch them. Here the one which seemed to be the smartest would take the lip at the end of her nose and be able to touch the insulator on the T-post without touching the wire. Then she would push up on the insulator to slide it up the post and gave herself enough room to get out. Easy fix as I then put a nail in a hole in each T-post above each insulator so it couldn't be slid up.
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    Loved raising pigs, did it for years. Two at a time in a 12-15' dia pen (w/hog house) made out of wood pallets wired together w/T post every now and then. I had an electric wire about 6" off the ground inside to keep them honest, didn't want any digging under the pen and get out. Mixed a slop of hog feed, alfalfa pellets and bran with warm water and fed twice a day (2# coffee can of each).

    Loading on to trailer, oh yea, rodeo time. Yee-haw!!

    Key was to use a 3/4" piece of plywood to push with and not have a hole anyplace their nose would fit. If they can get the nose started they can push through.

    Always raised the heartbeat a little.

    Now they do 'mobile slaughter'.
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    One year we raised one,,, the next year we raised two.

    The reason for multiples is eating competition.

    With one,, the pig would nibble,,, with two,,, well, they would both "pig out"

    Two get MUCH larger than one in the same time.

    They ate everything extra from the garden and whole grain wheat soaked in cow milk
    (Did I mention we had a cow,,, at the same time?? )

    Pigs, calves, dogs, children, cow, all at the same time,,,,


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    About 25 years ago my animal lover friend and I decided we'd raise a couple of pigs and have a pig roast for our men's league hockey team at some point in time. We loaded my 4 year old son into the pickup and drove out to the pig farm and bought a couple of piglets. My son named them "Lunch" & "Dinner." My buddy kept them on his property along with his dogs, ducks, goats and chickens and we'd visit regularly. Always brought along some treats for the pigs. He fed them dried corn and a grain mix but also picked up leftovers from a couple of local restaurants. They became pets and nobody could bring themselves to have them slaughtered. Then they got to be very large, probably around 400-500 lbs and started roaming the neighborhoods. That was fun! Going pig hunting and trying to get them loaded into a horse trailer. Chasing them through yards and the woods........ Anyway, a friend of mine who grew up on a pig farm told me the best way to lead a pig was to put a peach basket over their head so they couldn't see and pull them backwards by the tail. Darned if that didn't work just fine!! That's how we finally got them loaded onto the trailer for their final journey to the slaughter house.
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    My biggest struggle is with my wife and taking them to slaughter. She doesn't want that to happen, so I'm still working on the plan.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubber View Post
    My biggest struggle is with my wife and taking them to slaughter. She doesn't want that to happen, so I'm still working on the plan.
    I have the place to raise pigs, i did not do it-too soft now I am sure that they will be pets and die of old age

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