NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: To have weaners or not  (Read 3366 times)

dyedinthewool

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Orpingtons and assorted Sheep
To have weaners or not
« on: September 05, 2011, 08:16:57 pm »
Hi,

Advice please...

I'm thinking  :-\ I would like to have a couple of weaners to bring on and then put in the freezer.

Knowing nothing about pigs any advice would be valuable.

I have a small area at the bottom of the hayfield that is rough/brambles/nettles etc, hedges all round so fairly protected and shady.  It's stock fenced at the edges and I could put a fence across making it into a triangle approx 20m x 20m x 30m would this be enough.

Would they be alright as it's some way from the house - thinking foxes/badgers.

What sort of 'house' would they need size wise.

When would the best time be to get them - thinking not to have them over the winter.

What do I feed them and how much.

How do I tell the OH that I'm having them!!!

And any other things I need to know.
You are never to old to learn something new
Voss Electric Fence

welshlass181

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: To have weaners or not
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 08:34:10 pm »
Hi.  I am new to pig keeping and i keep Kune Kunes and KK crosses.  They don't need that much room to live in as they are only small themselves.  I rear them for the freezer and everything is smaller but the taste is awesome.  Mine are stock fenced in with elec fence running along it just to keep them away from it. I feed mine a pig meal mix that i get from a local feed stockist that makes it themselves and they have haylage and whatever fruit and veg i can get free or cheap.  I use 2 wooden arks 8x4 that hubby built and 3 old heating oil tanks :) Tell OH that you will be raising your own pork and it is lovely and you know where it comes from.  Make sure (if you haven't already) that you get a CPH number as you need this before you can get pigs.

I can't really offer much more really as i am new to this aswell.  What i would say is research the slaughter houses that are local to you and ensure that you can get said pigs to the abattoir.

Hope it helps a bit

cuckoo

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: To have weaners or not
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 08:59:21 pm »
Starting with pigs by andy case (I think) would be an excellent buy.  The space seems fine for 2 pigs- you will need a shelter (normally an ark) - 6'sq should be ample, a source of water - trough or buckets in tyres work well.  We use stock fencing around our paddock and then electric fencing to seperate runs.  Feed pig nuts - sow and weaner 16% protein is what I feed - we have Oxford Sandy and Black and this suits them.  Feed 1lb a day per month of age upto 5-6lb is the usual guide or what they will finnish within 20 minutes.  Split their feed into 2 meals.  Veg can be fed as well but there are rules governing what you can feed ie non catering waste - nothing from your kitchen - the british pig association and defra do some good guides - good luck - nothing tastes better than home raised pork!  PS I would advise you get them in the spring.

melodrama

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Forfar
Re: To have weaners or not
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2011, 09:14:25 pm »
Go for it!  We got 2 this summer that are growing and going for slaughter at beginning of November and it has been a great experience so far.  The kids are really interested in knowing all about the animals and what their uses are (food, milk etc) and it has really helped us to grow as a family.  Their meat should keep us going for a while but definitely planning to do it again.
Melanie

Mo

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Yorkshire
    • A Small Holding
Re: To have weaners or not
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 06:22:40 am »
For the first time I'd recommend getting them in Spring to raise over the summer.
Apart from the obvious plusses of daylight feeding. less mud etc. you get to see more of them too :)

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: To have weaners or not
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2011, 07:27:22 am »
I'd agree with everyone else  ;)
Wait til spring (if you have the patience) as it'll be a more pleasant experience for you & the pigs.
Space wise sounds okay, but limit yourself to 2. The more pigs you put on, the quicker it's turned over and it's once it's turned over that they start looking for fresh ground (and ways to escape  ::))
If you're keeping them through the better weather you can knock together a simple shelter from pallets or straw bales, but you'd be amazed how inventive you can become.
Feeding - the usual is to feed 1lb per month of age, up to a maximum of 6lbs a day or whatever they can eat in 15 minutes. Sometimes you need to adjust it, it depends on how they're growing.
Where abouts are you ? It's worth talking to some local keepers or going on a pig keeping course just to give you the basics and let you get 'hands on' before your pigs arrive. (I'm in Lanarkshire & do courses - shameless plug  ;))
HTH
Karen  :wave:

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: To have weaners or not
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2011, 09:13:07 am »
Agree with all written prior, defo wait until Spring.
Suggest try and visit some local breeders there are usually breeders lists on the various breed sites, i keep GOS so would suggest you have a good read of the GOS website in the Getting Started articles, they'll give you a good heads up on what its all about, you'll find them in the forum or in one of the top tabs www.oldspots.org.uk Theres also a members list by region.
The GOS is a good pig to start with for a beginner. I'm in North Yorkshire if thats any help to you and will be at Penistone & Nidderdale shows in the coming weeks.
Piggies are very addictive and keeping them thro the summer will bring great delight to you and your family, hours will be wasted just watching and playing with them.
best of luck Mandy  :pig:

oaklandspigs

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: To have weaners or not
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 10:14:56 am »
A good book will give you all the info you need, and if you get it now, will let you read & plan over the winter for next spring.

A good course will take the book into practice, by showing different environments (woods, fields, housing, shelters, space etc.), let you see the various breeds, and take you through the routine and less routine aspects.

We do both, but in BBC balance style other books and courses are available, inc. the Haynes Pig Manual by our friend Liz Shankland aka Tudful Tamworths.

Check out our website

www.oaklandspigs.co.uk


www.Oaklandspigs.co.uk
"Perfect Pigs" the complete guide to keeping pigs; One Day Pig Courses in South East;
Weaners for sale - Visit our site for details

Blinkers

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Carmarthenshire/Pembrokeshire border
    • Glyn Elwyn - Faithmead Herd
    • Facebook
Re: To have weaners or not
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2011, 10:27:23 am »
Yeay - go for it   ;D .. but then you knew I'd say that  ;)   You know where I am if you need help......or piglets in the Spring  :farmer:
Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again !!
www.glynelwyn.co.uk

Smokin

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: To have weaners or not
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2011, 02:29:53 pm »
We just got stuck in and are loving it.

We bought Oaklands manual (which is great and well worth the money, thanks Oaklands).

Our first lot ( 4 GOS boys ) should go for slaughter in around 4 to 5 weeks and we are looking for our next batch (possibly a pair of Tamworths) from this Friday.

dyedinthewool

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Orpingtons and assorted Sheep
Re: To have weaners or not
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2011, 09:43:28 pm »
Yeay - go for it   ;D .. but then you knew I'd say that  ;)   You know where I am if you need help......or piglets in the Spring  :farmer:
Thanks blinkers, did think you'd say that ;D ;D  it was seeing your little lot of  :pig: :pig: trotters that got me thinking of maybe one or two of my own. I will have to sort the end of the field out this winter ready...

How old would they need to be 'when' I get them and how old before they are ready for the freezer.

You should have shouted and I would have come up to help with the haymaking.

Thank you to all of you other enthusiasts for your encouragement.  I'll let you know how I get on.
You are never to old to learn something new

Blinkers

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Carmarthenshire/Pembrokeshire border
    • Glyn Elwyn - Faithmead Herd
    • Facebook
Re: To have weaners or not
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2011, 10:09:48 pm »
Yeay - go for it   ;D .. but then you knew I'd say that  ;)   You know where I am if you need help......or piglets in the Spring  :farmer:
Thanks blinkers, did think you'd say that ;D ;D  it was seeing your little lot of  :pig: :pig: trotters that got me thinking of maybe one or two of my own. I will have to sort the end of the field out this winter ready...

How old would they need to be 'when' I get them and how old before they are ready for the freezer.

You should have shouted and I would have come up to help with the haymaking.

Thank you to all of you other enthusiasts for your encouragement.  I'll let you know how I get on.
We don't let them go until they are 8 weeks and depending on breed, we 'finish' as follows:   22weeks for GOS, 24-26 weeks for Berkshire and 18-19 weeks for Middle White (all to pork weight).   Will be putting the boar in with Spotty (GOS)in a couple of weeks, then Belle (Berkshire) goes off to her boar at beginning of November and Mollie the Middle White will have her hubby come for a sleep over in December.   Heather (our newest Berkshire is due sometime within the next week or two - although these piglets are all booked already  ::) but I'll give you a shout and you can come visit anyway.
  ;D :pig: :pig:
Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again !!
www.glynelwyn.co.uk

 

Weaners

Started by Wildman

Replies: 2
Views: 2056
Last post September 06, 2008, 06:49:27 pm
by Wildman
Ive got my first weaners

Started by Jackie 2

Replies: 3
Views: 1532
Last post May 17, 2010, 08:29:41 pm
by little blue
Weaners

Started by Daisys Mum

Replies: 6
Views: 2087
Last post June 16, 2010, 08:52:47 pm
by Daisys Mum
Might be looking for a few weaners soon

Started by egglady

Replies: 15
Views: 5350
Last post May 05, 2011, 08:05:01 pm
by robert waddell
weaners

Started by melodrama

Replies: 20
Views: 5900
Last post June 20, 2011, 03:48:23 pm
by white-blazes

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS