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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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sorry, i would give you a more elaborate answer but im short on time right now.
 

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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!! :cowboy:

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. :laugh:

Always raised the heartbeat a little. :laugh:

Now they do 'mobile slaughter'. :good2:
 

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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?? :laugh:)

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

:lolol:
 

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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.
when you pick them up, get the whiniest, brattiest, most annoying ones on the farm . she will realize that they are so annoying that she wants them to go.:laugh: its true, most pigs are annoying.
 

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we use a 3/4" poly tape from tractor supply. if you raise in the canopy, you dont need to put in a shelter. now, you say you have about 3.5 acres. you need small ( 35'x35') paddocks made of poly tape. about once a week, you will need to make another. the reason is, they will tear stuff up if leave them to long-- just look at my dad's front pasture! you will need a small shed or something to train them on the electric fence. just put a strand across one corner and hook up the charger. make sure the building is sealed well.
 

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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.
Does she wear/own anything leather?
 

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I have the same problem
see above quote:

when you pick them up, get the whiniest, brattiest, most annoying ones on the farm . she will realize that they are so annoying that she wants them to go.:laugh: its true, most pigs are annoying.
 

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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?? :laugh:)

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

:lolol:
Sounds like our place, except we added turkeys and chickens. I wasn't fond of the chickens, but everything else I enjoyed raising and :eating: .

You don't name them and once they are full grown and stink real good on a hot day, butchering sounds better. . . . And fresh pork, oh my goodness, so much better than store bought.
 

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and once they are full grown and stink real good on a hot day, butchering sounds better. . . .
STINK,,, we did not mention that!!

Make sure you locate them up wind of your house,,,:gaah:

OR, down wind of a neighbor you do not get along with,,,:knownothing:
 

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You guys didn't mention the massive amounts of flys that pigs & their manure attract.

Dad raised from 600 to 800 head of hogs every year he farmed, farrow to finish. His methods were less labor intensive than the ones described here. They were fed a ground mix of shell corn, soybean meal, and whole oats with commercial feed added for trace minerals. About two-three times a week I'd make the 5-6 mile trip to town for 5000# of ground feed. Small pigs after weaning got a commercial pig feed supplement. Pigs were vaccinated and casterated around 25-40 pounds and weaned from the sows. Lighter weight makes them MUCH easier to handle. Some guys would have problems with the hogs biting them in the back of their ankles, I never had that problem, I kept their heads tight between my calves, if they tried wiggling too much they got the heel of my boot stuffed in their ear. After they were vaccinated and the neighbor came over to castrate them NO WAY were they wiggling around.

Market weight at the time was around 200-220# and depending on when the pigs were born, we'd start shipping them late November, December, etc. The vast majority of our sows were bred for spring born pigs, others raised fall pigs, and some farmers raised both. The sows gave birth in a fresh crop of alfalfa just starting to green up in spring and were brought in to a concrete feed floor just before Christmas, after they foraged all the dropped corn out of the picked corn fields.

We never butchered a hog, but Dad started butchering a steer a year, half for us, and half for the landlady & her family. Eventually that business grew to selling 8-10-12 head of cattle to butcher per year. Lots of repeat customers and word of mouth referrals. Cattle were fed ground ear corn and a little alfalfa hay every day. Talk about good tasting beef!
 

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STINK,,, we did not mention that!!

Make sure you locate them up wind of your house,,,:gaah:

OR, down wind of a neighbor you do not get along with,,,:knownothing:
I fed several batches of two wieners a slop mix of a 2# coffee can of hog feed, bran, and alfalfa pellets with warm water. Best pork ever. Not smell from their waste.


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Growing up we kept 20-25 sows and one good boar. We would take them to the local market at slaughter weight. The were housed on dirt under an old chicken house (our farm had 70,000 laying hens back in the day). Of course we slaughtered one whenever we needed meat. We used old runway panels as fencing.

It seemed like I always stunk like pig Shhht.


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