NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: advice please  (Read 5096 times)


  • Joined Oct 2010
advice please
« on: October 09, 2010, 09:14:42 am »
Hi all

I want to raise 3 piglets for meat,

I would love any advice for a first timer

The plan was to get them over the summer months but we are now in October, it is still good to do at this time of year for a first timer what are the pros and cons

plenty of people are doing it but as a first timer I want to get it right

looking forward to you hearing your advice  :pig:
Voss Electric Fence


  • Guest
Re: advice please
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2010, 09:33:51 am »
Firstly WELL DONE for asking questions and thinking about it BEFORE getting your pigs - so many folk just rush in with little or no forethought  :(
I'd advise waiting til spring for a few reasons
1) It'll cost more to raise them to weight in the winter as most of their food be used just keeping warm.
2) You'll need a more substantial house for them over winter (especially if it's a winter like last year) Spring to Autumn raising you can get away with something made from straw bales or pallets.
3) Ease of tending them - it's no fun trailing out, in the dark, cold winter days and your fields would get more cut up and really muddy - pigs DO like mud, but only when it's warm. Cold, wet and mud makes for unhappy pigs (and can lead to arthritus)
4) You'll want to spend time with them, they are hilarious and great fun - it's more enjoyable doing it in better weather.

Obviously these are just my thoughts on it, and by all means it is possible to do it autumn to spring, it's just easier and a bit cheaper to start in the springtime.


  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: advice please
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2010, 10:21:11 am »
HH makes some very good points, and as you have not yet started, I would agree that waiting until spring is certainly a good option.

BUT - plenty of our customers grow pigs all year round, and as long as you go in eyes open, there is no reason not to start at this time of year - HH's coments should be taken on board, and more planning is required to consider things like getting them into a trailer in say February, and how you will feed them and when, and we tend to move our pigs more in winter to help keep ground reasonable. But with three pigs it is not as though you will be large scale, so have a think.

Good luck whichever route you choose
"Perfect Pigs" the complete guide to keeping pigs; One Day Pig Courses in South East;
Weaners for sale - Visit our site for details


  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: advice please
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2010, 11:27:00 am »
Yes, I'd definitely wait for spring, too, if you can chose. If, say, they're born in March, you can pick them up in May and take them to slaughter in September, which works out really well.
There's not only a big difference in size between a 6-month old pig fattened in winter compared to one fattened in summer, but it'll be so much more pleasant for yourself, too, and ultimately nicer for the pigs when they have long days to root around instead of long nights to be bored.
We spend quite a lot of time sitting in their pen during the summer evenings - and warm mud is much more pleasant to get covered in than cold mud!  ;D

Ask away, you'll learn a lot in their first year but it's great fun and they taste divine!

Eve  :wave:


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Devon - EX39 5RF
    • Ford Mill Farm
Re: advice please
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2010, 02:37:35 pm »
Very good advice.

Although if you are like me, I couldn't wait to get my pigs.  So the thought of waiting even 4 months to get my first pigs seemed a lifetime.

I got my first at the beginning of a November and loved every minute.   I now have 35 and they keep coming  :) :) :love: :pig: :love:
Pedigree GOS Pigs and Butchery for Smallholders.


  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: advice please
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2010, 04:48:30 pm »
hi we got our first tamworth last october and it was fine through the winter. with three they will keep each other to huddling up to for heat.  as for feeding them set the time for when its still clear cause they will stick to the same time every day. pigs like more than one is a good idea.


  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Cornwall
Re: advice please
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2010, 12:18:39 pm »
 :pig: :chook: hi there yes pigs are great fun and very time consuming, they are so great to just watch and they love to be brushed every day  ;D

I an also new to the whole pig keeping experience, but must say its so enjoyable.

we got 4 welsh weaners in August they were 8 wks old and so cute, when it rains it rains here in Cornwall but its been dry for a few weeks now and its nearly dried out.

We will be sending them off to be slaughtered in November and I'm dreading it  :-[ .

 good luck with whatever u decide to do but pigs are great  :love:


  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: advice please
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2010, 01:22:51 pm »
Pigs are wonderful any time of the year.  For your first venture it may be that you would find waiting until the spring better.  Your first pigs will prove to be an almost magnetic attraction to you and family.  Its so much nicer standing watching (or sitting) on a warm day than a freezing cold wet one.  Although the novelty never really wears off the first pair are always the most memorable.  Also the learning curve of pig keeping is a steep one.  So much better to learn that the electric fence is too low/high not strong enough etc. when the weather is good and the nights longer rather than managing with a torch in a howling November gale.  Thats just a personal thought after years of keeping pigs.  Personally nothing could have deterred me, except the very real difficulty of finding outdoor rare breed pigs here in Brittany at that time.


  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Pembrokeshire
  • The Happy Smallholder!
Re: advice please
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2010, 11:01:08 pm »
hy ya goodlife i have to say i agree with those that say wait till spring to get them in.
we are new to pig keeping ourselves, we are on our 2nd lot of pigs now, the present ones are going to slaughter in november
and i was thinking of getting some in again, but after reading those replys about bringing pigs up in winter concerens me so i will
wait till spring, you know it makes sense!!!!!!!!!!!
langdon ;) :pig:
Langdon ;)


  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: advice please
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2010, 11:55:36 am »
I had forgotten about the water.  I wheelbarrow about 400 litres of water twice a day when the pipes freeze.  Worst of all is wheelbarrowing the containers through mud when its raining and the pipes are still frozen. 


  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: advice please
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2010, 10:15:49 pm »
That's commitment for you!! Chapeau!

Eve  :wave:


  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: advice please
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2010, 10:26:48 pm »
we got our first lot of pigs in feb and kept them till summer & had lots of wet and horrible days during that time period - though not as cold as winter obviousyl.  However, we found that nothing in the veg garden was ready and we spent a lot on feed.

we get our secnd lot week after next and already we have lots of apples, root veg and pots for them so expecting the feed costs to actually be a bit less.  time will tell of course but planning to keep an eye on our 'experiment'.  we have 2 separate areas marked off for them so we can move them half way in the hopes that neither area gets too muddy.

one of the areas is a rather over grown veggie plot and i'm hoping they will root and eat everything and have it ready for me to plant up in the spring - yet another reason why we are trying over the winter this time.


  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: advice please
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 06:35:06 pm »
 :pig: :pig: :pig:

Finally I have got my 3 piggys

OS&B  we have 2 girls 1 boy all 14 weeks old

any advice would be great

the kids are loving it and when they go off to school I take my turn


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • West Cornwall
    • Movement is Life
Re: advice please
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2011, 06:39:35 pm »
Congrats  ;D
Is the boar entire? If so you will need to separate the pigs relatively soon - someone else on here with far more experience than I will be able to give you a timescale.
In the meantime enjoy  ;D


  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: advice please
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2011, 06:50:04 pm »
Yes the boy is intact
and I was starting to worry about this

they are for the freezer
but any advice please on when i should be separating them



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