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Author Topic: Land requirements  (Read 275 times)

Fruity

  • Joined Jul 2014
  • West Sussex
    • K-9 Beauty by Teresa Dog Grooming Haywards Heath
    • Facebook
Land requirements
« on: July 16, 2017, 08:20:07 pm »
My boyfriend and I are looking to have Large blacks when we finally purchase a piece of land to start up a smallholding. Could I see people's set ups for their breeding sows please. How much land area do you give them? How often do you rotate these areas? Do you have an area of hard standing they can be on if the weather is poor so they aren't ankle deep in mud. What kind of arks/buildings do you use when farrowing? What has and hasn't worked for you. I've books for reference and have been on a couple of courses but want to see what other people do  :excited: :pig: :pig:
K-9 Beauty by Teresa Dog Grooming
Hand Strip Specialist
Horsted Keynes, Haywards Heath RH17 7BA
01342 811 681
www.k-9beautybyteresa.co.uk

greenbeast

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Land requirements
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 08:28:34 pm »
Our 'maternity ward' is a stock fenced pen 30x30m, sub-divided into 6 pens with electric (including a central alley way).
In these pens we use 14 litre fisher drinkers, big enough to not completely freeze up most winters and low enough to be safe for piglets.
We have standard arks (albeit with back doors to allow checking on farrowing/piglets without getting in the lone front access. Although we have had farrowing bars before, we currently don't have any arks with them fitted. I suspect we will fit some in the future but we don't appear to have lost many (if any) piglets to sow crushing.

Fruity

  • Joined Jul 2014
  • West Sussex
    • K-9 Beauty by Teresa Dog Grooming Haywards Heath
    • Facebook
Re: Land requirements
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 01:14:51 pm »
Hi Greenbeast thanks for your reply :) you are living our dream. I currently working my through your blog and it is an invaluable source of information for us!! Do you have a website as well as a blog?
K-9 Beauty by Teresa Dog Grooming
Hand Strip Specialist
Horsted Keynes, Haywards Heath RH17 7BA
01342 811 681
www.k-9beautybyteresa.co.uk

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Land requirements
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 01:39:07 pm »
We have some old pig buildings from the days when the farm was a 65-sow commercial unit.  The sties we use for farrowing are 3 metre x 3 metre block and tin structures on a concrete base, with warehouse strip openings.  |These can be rolled onto the roof on hot days.  There is a Suevia automatic drinker system, which suits both piglets and mature pigs.  Runs are concrete, minimum 4 metres x 3 metres for a sow and piglets, with mesh shading for the Summer.  32 degrees today so we've been spraying the pigs with ambient-temperature water from the hoses.  That's a pain as someone has to be around when it's hot, but it's a boon in Winter - no pig likes being up to its belly in freezing mud.  Some of our pens have farrowing bars but the sows farrow in an area around 3 metres x 2 metres with no bars and we haven't yet had one laid on.  The sows are transferred to the pen at least three weeks before their due date.

greenbeast

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Land requirements
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 08:56:53 pm »
Hi Greenbeast thanks for your reply :) you are living our dream. I currently working my through your blog and it is an invaluable source of information for us!! Do you have a website as well as a blog?

Oh i feel bad that i've let the blog slip again now, we are just too busy

www.charleyandnicksrealfood.co.uk

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: Land requirements
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 11:35:28 pm »
My advice would be to move in and have a couple of weaners first, test the situation and see what investments are needed.  If your looking to put a few pigs on the ground then you need to consider the amount of pigs.


Pigs will decimate ground and you'll have to consider the run off, soil type and access to water.  Look up free range units - Say Helen Browning.  From all the good outdoor units the land is dry and flat.


We had ours in the corner of the mountain on a large area with oil tank cut in half. Water and a huge pond.  We hardly saw them it was easy but these were just fatteners.  The fence was a standard farm wire and it kept them in also no need for rotation. 


Things to consider - security, escape artists, muck, run off, water supply, collection and loading points.  How many and selling the offspring which can be hard and not that lucrative. Feed costs are high, vets fees, farm trailer.


Never done rotation with pigs as the land area weve given them has been huge with mature trees, farm fencing, good water.


Doing it properly will involve investment but better to do it right from the start.

greenbeast

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Land requirements
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 08:11:06 am »
I echo farmer's wife, worth starting with some weaners to grow up and see. We couldn't do this as this was intended as a business and we knew we had to get on. In addition my parents had a 50 sow pig unit and my OH is a vet, so we weren't starting from scratch.

We have developed some reasonable facilities with plans for even better systems in the future, especially around the area of loading/unloading/sorting pigs.
We started with a single 50x50m pen by the road as there were no tracks here, so keeping travel across bare land to a minimum was important, we sub-divided that for our first groups of sows and brought in weaners. It has now been opened up and serves as our boar/dry sow pen. I have just put two more sows in there yesterday in fact as the farrowing pens need some refurb work before the next litters are due (deep wallows have been dug next to the only water source for example)

 

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