Advice for a first time pig owner

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by CordleFarm, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. CordleFarm

    CordleFarm New Egg

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    May 10, 2013
    Rome, Georgia
    Hello BYC friends, My husband and I have finally made the decision to raise our own pigs. Tomorrow we are picking up two American Guinea Hog barrows. They are almost eight weeks old. I've done extensive research online but i would like some advice. We plan to keep them in the 3 acres we have fenced in with welded for our goats and chickens. We have plenty of shelter available in the form of a barn a well as multiple doghouses scattered about that the goats love to sleep in. We plan to feed them some pig ration, hay,and vegetable scraps to supplement their grazing and foraging. We plan to wet down a corner of the area and place a kiddy pool there to encourage them to use that spot for a wallow. I have a few questions if you don't mind:

    1. Should we keep them confined to a smaller area at first and gradually let them have more space, or just set them free on the whole 3 acres from the start?
    2. If they haven't been wormed already, should we go ahead and worm them as soon as we get them home?
    3. Should we feed them once a day or twice a day, or does it matter since they have access to grass and forage?
    4. Will we need to trim their teeth/tusks?
    5. Do you think they will try to get out of the fence? (My theory was that if they have enough room to roam about they won't have any desire to get out, but i don't know pigs)
    6. Anything you think I should know that you wish someone would have told you before you got your pigs?

    Thanks so much in advance smile
     
  2. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

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    1 yes
    2 yes
    3 once if they can forage
    4 mine was already done
    5 mine hasn't
    6 not really but they don't need a whole lot of grain
     
  3. CordleFarm

    CordleFarm New Egg

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    May 10, 2013
    Rome, Georgia
    Thanks :) We have a 10/10 dog kennel we can put them in so they can get use to their new home. I'm sure I'm making this out to be more difficult than it really is, but I'm a worry wart.
     
  4. TommyDaDelaware

    TommyDaDelaware Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2012
    Central WI.
    Be careful though... they may want to root out of the enclosure.. what we always do when raising our pigs, we put an electric fence on the bottom of the run, so if they try to get their snout under the wire they'll get a jolt... once they learn that the fence is there they will not bother it.. (Ours dont even want to go out the gate sometimes, because they are used to the fence being on..)
    And yes, I would worm the pigs, it will keep them growing and eating nicely.

    As for forage, I have never grown my pigs on forage (I guess 4-h pigs and foraging pigs are 2 totally diffent subjects) So I couldn't help you there.

    A shot of antibiotic never hurt as well.. Ask your vet about it. It just keeps their immune systems up during the move.

    The kiddy pool is a good idea for a start, but after a while they will start chewing on it and it will be toasted... I think a mud wallow filled every other day would be sufficient..

    here's a little helpful hint... Instead of having pans to water, what we did was we kept the pigs in a smaller location for a while, and buried a hose under the ground in a plastic pvc pipe (about 3 feet under ground), and the hose came out of the ground in the PVC pipe still, up a wooden post, and then we hooked that hose into a PVC pipe with a male end that was sealed really good, and attatched a 2 sided split onto that.. Onto each side of the split we put these little nipples (in pic below) and then turned the water on. the pigs learned quickly that the water from those nipples was always cool and refreshing. Having cool refreshing water makes the pigs happy, because who likes to drink warm, alga filled water??
    [​IMG] (Those are the nipples I mentioned above)
     
  5. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Just be prepared that if you run the pigs on the whole three acres, you will more than likely have dirt and rocks in no time at all! Pigs love to root, and its amazing how quickly they will root property.

    As for the teeth, ask the breeders if they had their needle teeth cut when they were born. If so, you shouldn't have to worry too much about trimming teeth for now. When they get their adult teeth, they may need to be trimmed occasionally, but it seems to be an easy thing if you expose the pig to it early on. (Scratches and treats are awesome tools!)

    Are you planning to breed these pigs or eat them? If you are planning to eat them, socialization isn't as much of an issue. If you are planning on breeding them, get them used to being handled. Our pig used to roll on his back belly up if we scratched his belly. This made doing anything on him really easy! I also trained my pig to walk on a leash, which made moving him very easy as well!

    Good luck! Pigs are a lot of fun!
     

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