Need advice on raising a feeder pig

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by lighthawk, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. lighthawk

    lighthawk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2009
    Gobles MI
    I did find an old thread on the subject but little information on what is needed specific to my case.
    I have thirty acres but most of that (about 12acres) is planted annualy and 15 of that (in back) is designated hunting and too far from the house to do anything with. The remaining 3 near the house includes mostly lawn, a small pond and a couple of swail areas (very wet) that I just let come up in weeds. Nearest neighbor is 1/8th mile east. I have enough 2"x4"x3' welded wire fencing and barbed wire to build a pen approximately 10'x15'. My soil is heavy clay that is always greasy when wet and dries like concrete in the summer heat. I have found a few articles on the web regarding the subject but nothing that resembles BYC where I can get firsthand answers to the myriad of questions swimming around in my head.
    Has anyone here attempted the task with good results?
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  2. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

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    San Antonio TX
    Define good results...

    (I love to show off Tina)

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    I got her when she weighed fifteen pounds. I had to sell her when we moved to Texas just over a year ago. She was ten or eleven months old and weighed 600 pounds. We fed her pig feed, goats' milk, and she helped herself to the goats' alfalfa hay. After I had her, I couldn't bear to eat her, so she became a gigantic pet pig. Tina also was a "free-range" pig. She lived with the goats in the main pen, but would lift the fence to go out or in whenever she wanted. I never had a problem with her wandering, but she would get into ANYTHING we had open. She was great. I still miss her.

    Best advice-if you're a softy like me, get more than one. If they are annoying you are less likely to get attached. If you only have one, it WILL bond with you.


    Do NOT use barbed wire unless you want a seriously injured pig. They will just push against it until it gives without any regard to the pain. Hot wire would be my suggestion, strung at snout height around the inside of the pen. And ALWAYS keep it hot.

    A 10X15 pen is pretty small and if you kept one in that size of an area, it *will* stink. Tina's poo was spread over the several acres she roamed, and after a few months, you could smell it faintly. If you keep a pig in that size pen the smell will literally HIT you. My aunt and two of my cousins' families raise show hogs in confinement. Nothing wrong with that, but just make sure you are prepared for the stink. They shovel pens every day, but with that much manure in a pile, whooo-eeeee!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  3. lighthawk

    lighthawk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2009
    Gobles MI
    Thanks for the feedback. Good results meaning a cost effective & pleasent experience. Yes smell is a huge concern. Especially here as it would be difficult to keep the pen high and dry in the spring. Seems the basic necessities keep adding up. Electric wire seems expensive and getting wiring to the pen would mean a good deal of underground wire would have to be installed. My understanding is that the electric fence is to keep it from rooting under the fence. Would some other type of barrier other than barbed wire work as well? Do you think a pen twice that size would suffice?
    I most definitely will not allow the critter to reach more than 240# as any larger than that I couldn't handle it. My intention is to butcher it on site then send the hams and bacon out to be smoked.
     
  4. arabianequine

    arabianequine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2010
    I don't agree with a nose ring but that is an option to stop the digging but one of the only things they have to do and it is natural. They root for many reasons. I use hog panels....I would barry them 6 inches min. down first now but I raised 2 pigs and hog panels right on top and only one pig each year. No problems with weight gain either....they were both huge. People say to get 2 for several reasons but primarily for food competition. I did not want to have to get rid of the other pig or have room in my freezer for it so it is up to you on that. Last year we did not raise a pig this year we are doing two pigs. I did not the first two I raised but we will be putting up electrical wire around here soon and we will do every pen we have. I would do one strand for pigs. Pigs don't need much room. There may be other reason and preferences for giving them more room. I will tell you our pigs were very clean and did not stink that bad and I would own a pig any day over a cow. I have had those to though. Pigs if in a small cage usually go to the bathroom in one spot. It makes for easier cleaning and does not get in their bedding which is nice. Our pigs always made a pile farthest away from their bed/shelter and farthest away from our house thankfully.

    They can't sweat so if you live in a hot area....they need water to roll in and play in. We made a big hole in the dirt a good size small swimming pool size and filled it up daily while feed all the animals. They loved the sprinkler too. Another reason they root cause the dirt is cooler under the top soil.

    They like toys old shoe, ball, tire, a good section of hose etc.

    If your only raising it for meat I think you would be fine with whatever area you come up with since your only gonna have the pig 6-9 months tops.....we get our spring and gone by hard winter.
     
  5. hencrazy

    hencrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2009
    Pigs are super easy to raise. Provide plenty of clean fresh water - especially in the summer. Quality feed - just don't over feed. Pigs are garbage disposals so any and all table scraps and garden scraps are happily accepted. Pasture is a plus, but you have to have REALLY good fences or you will be getting a call from your neighbors to come get your pig. They must have a mud hole - when it's hot add some cold water to it a couple times a day. They also need a dry, sheltered area for sleeping at night - this will require daily poop scooping and a complete cleaning at least weekly. My family raised pigs for show, meat, and sales for years and they were the easiest animals on the farm and they didn't smell unless you were in the pens with them. Best of luck with your piggy!
     
  6. lighthawk

    lighthawk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2009
    Gobles MI
    Thanks all. apparently I have a good deal more research to do.
     

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