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Author Topic: Mixing Ages of pigs  (Read 1309 times)

Chrisdavies

  • Joined Jun 2020
Mixing Ages of pigs
« on: June 03, 2020, 10:13:31 am »
Hi guys
New to pig keeping as far as owning my own having only picked up my first 3 weaners a few weeks ago. My question is that I’d like to have a steady flow of pigs coming and going for meat. Therefore can I mix ages of pig? I have a large wooded area, could I in theory add more weaners to the ‘paddock’ at a later date? Say add 2 every few months so age range would be 8 weeks to slaughter weight?
Look forward to hearing your wisdom
Thanks
Chris 

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2020, 07:05:30 pm »

Pigs fight when introduced. Given plenty of space they will sort out the pecking order without doing much more damage than superficial bites and scratches. However sometimes the result is more than that and to introduce weaners into the same area as pigs ready for slaughter isn't very fair on the smaller pigs. Occasionally pigs can take a real dislike to an individual and be pretty relentless.


Also if you have pigs about to go to slaughter then you wouldn't want fighting and bruising your meat.


The greatest risk is one to your biosecurity. Generally speaking isolating any new animals onto your holding is good, sensible practice.


As you have never finished pigs before I would suggest you finish the first lot and go from there. A finished pig gives you a lot of meat. What do you intend to do with the meat? If selling you need to look into the rules and regs and I would suggest again you need to see what finished product you get with the first ones.

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2020, 07:16:21 pm »
I would be wary for the reasons given above - you also have older boys that may be very interested in the girls. For me it would be too risky. I think I would keep different ages in separate paddocks. Maybe separated by a couple of strands of electric?

As its your first weaners I wonder if you have a market for the meat and realise quite how much you will have from a stready stream of porkers? Many people think that selling to friends and family would be easy, but a lot of our experience is that we can't produce - free range slow grown pork, at the same cost as supermarket. So even when we sell it at cost - its more expensive then suprtmarket pork.!

Chrisdavies

  • Joined Jun 2020
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2020, 08:06:37 pm »
Thanks for the replies guys. As advised for now I will just finish the pigs I have and see how it goes ????

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2020, 08:24:37 pm »
Just think of it as a trial run!

Have you any experience of pigs on their land over a winter? I think a few of us have been cought out and had to rescue our lovely free range pigs from a freezing field of foot deep mud in favor of a barn!

Chrisdavies

  • Joined Jun 2020
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2020, 08:33:34 pm »
Hi. I have put some thought into this and THINK the land will be fine in the winter it’s on sand with a slight slope so very free draining. The ground is also fairly under populated so shouldn’t get to muddy hopefully. ????????

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2020, 11:07:59 pm »
If you have larger pigs through late autumn and winter then the ground could get quite churned up.  If it gets muddy to the point their bellies get muddy as they come out to feed or toilet, you must find somewhere else for them to be.  (We all go through this and discover that free range pigs are very happy in spring and summer, and in winter, indoor pigs  / pigs with shelter and a cement run, with lots of space and lots of straw - and lots of interesting things going on and people visiting them - are also very happy pigs!

If you can rest the ground after one batch of porkers, at the end of the summer, to let the grass regrow, and then get the next batch in winter, so that it's only smaller pigs on the ground when it's most likely to get muddy, you might get away with it.  But if you are planning on having pigs through the winter, make sure you have indoor accommodation you can move them to if you need to.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2020, 06:13:28 am »
Wintering pigs and ground damage is a hit and miss thing. Some pigs will totally destroy the ground they are on. Constantly rooting around and digging holes. Other do very little damage. But your problem will be the weather. Wet weather just amplify any damage the pigs have done to the ground. Yes you say you have sandy soil. Here on the Moray coast we have that too. And it still creates a mess in winter. So a good dry solid bit of ground for housing is a must! I'm not saying try it. But just be prepared to move the pigs to dryer ground if need be.
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2020, 08:37:16 am »
Thanks for the replies guys. As advised for now I will just finish the pigs I have and see how it goes ??? ?



I'm not getting your emoji?
 


Chrisdavies

  • Joined Jun 2020
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2020, 10:32:26 am »
It was ment to be fingers crossed haha

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2020, 11:30:11 am »
It was ment to be fingers crossed haha



 :roflanim:


Some of the best advice is to research your market if you intend to sell your meat, locate abattoir and butcher well in advance of your pigs being ready and have freezer space available.


Other than that enjoy your piggies!




Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2020, 06:49:28 pm »
Hi. I have put some thought into this and THINK the land will be fine in the winter it’s on sand with a slight slope so very free draining. The ground is also fairly under populated so shouldn’t get to muddy hopefully. ????????

I think you should keep ages separate for the reasons already given but seeing as you say you have a wooded area you are already quids in, especially if its sloping and sandy soil.  Woodland is a pigs natural habitat I think and you say its a large area of woodland so in theory it should provide enough shelter from the elements for pig keeping through the winter (although a pig ark wouldn't hurt) so I don't think you  should shy away from winter pig keeping just because most other people do.

Chrisdavies

  • Joined Jun 2020
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2020, 10:52:25 pm »
Hi. I have put some thought into this and THINK the land will be fine in the winter it’s on sand with a slight slope so very free draining. The ground is also fairly under populated so shouldn’t get to muddy hopefully. ????????

I think you should keep ages separate for the reasons already given but seeing as you say you have a wooded area you are already quids in, especially if its sloping and sandy soil.  Woodland is a pigs natural habitat I think and you say its a large area of woodland so in theory it should provide enough shelter from the elements for pig keeping through the winter (although a pig ark wouldn't hurt) so I don't think you  should shy away from winter pig keeping just because most other people do.


Hi thanks for the post. As you suggested I have a few pig arks so I think I will give winter pigs a go worth a try after all.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2020, 09:38:37 am »
You need to provide arks whether you have woodland or not. It is a requirement of keeping pigs. Woods are much better at shade. There will be little cover once the leaves come off. Yes, you can shelter under a tree but when we do we stand with our backs to the trunk generally. Got a lovely vision of your pigs doing this on their back legs  :) .




I see you asked about the sows for rehoming on another post. If you are looking to breed be careful getting sows of an unknown age that haven't bred recently.


If you have a large area make sure weaners are fastened close to the ark for a few days or they might not find their way back when you first turn them out.

Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Mixing Ages of pigs
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2020, 06:39:53 pm »
You need to provide arks whether you have woodland or not. It is a requirement of keeping pigs. Woods are much better at shade. There will be little cover once the leaves come off. Yes, you can shelter under a tree but when we do we stand with our backs to the trunk generally. Got a lovely vision of your pigs doing this on their back legs  :) .




I see you asked about the sows for rehoming on another post. If you are looking to breed be careful getting sows of an unknown age that haven't bred recently.


If you have a large area make sure weaners are fastened close to the ark for a few days or they might not find their way back when you first turn them out.

If pigs survived naturally in woodland in winter without arks before human intervention I'm sure they could now, that said I would also recommend an ark to be safe and if its a requirement then of course one should be provided.

 

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