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Author Topic: another newbie  (Read 1502 times)

the great composto

  • Guest
another newbie
« on: July 09, 2012, 04:27:29 pm »
Hi All
I found this site while searching for information about keeping pigs and found it so good that it has made up my wavering mind.  I want to move on from the allotment so I am going to give it a go and see how I get on.  Just need to finalise some small but very important details. I look forward to telling you about all my little mishaps!  Anybody like to tell me the most obvious thing I am likely to get wrong please?


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: another newbie
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 04:37:25 pm »
Welcome gfrom a wet Wales  :wave:
I have 2 weaners but there will be someone along shortly who has a lot more experience with pigs than I do
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

the great composto

  • Guest
Re: another newbie
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2012, 04:42:11 pm »
Thanks Sally - did you start with 2?  I intend to 'share' my end product with a few interested parties ( one definately on board already) so I was thinking of starting with 4.  Which variety have you chosen & was there a reason?


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: another newbie
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 05:31:55 pm »
Welcome, gc - great user name  :D

I think the most likely 'rookie' mistake with pigs tends to be overfeeding.  It's sooooo easy to make a pig overfat.

I am two years in now, but still very much new to it all.  I chose OSB (Oxford Sandy & Black) originally as I know they are very friendly, very tasty pigs - and I really like the way they look! 

I bred my own litter last year, crossing my remaining OSB gilt to a British Saddleback boar.  The offspring have been fantastic - incredibly laid back, really nice to have around, grew well, good conformation, not too fat (so long as you watch intake like a hawk.)  I did at first think that the meat was a little less tasty - but then the OSB went midwinter and had had a lot of apples in the last few months.  (And feed ration reduced accordingly.)  She was so appley you never needed to make apple sauce to go with her!   :D  However, having now had some of the slow-cooked and barbecued x-breed pork, it has been absolutely fabulous - and the homecured bacon and gammon was delicious.  (Mind I'm going to have to kidnap arl to get her to tell me where she gets the cure we used on her course...  ;))

I've struggled getting my own girl back in pig this time - my own fault, not hers - and have just ordered a couple of Large Black weaners off Happy Hippy on here (so that's order confirmed, Karen  :wave: ;D) to fill in the gap in my - and my friends' and relations' - freezers - and to have a look at personality and pork from a different rare breed.

What breed(s) have you seen that tickle your fancy, gc?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

the great composto

  • Guest
Re: another newbie
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 08:54:24 pm »
Thanks for the info SallyintNorth - thats exactly the type of advice i like to hear because i am sure i would have made that mistake thinking its better to have a well fed pig than a hungry one.
As for the breed I would like a rare breed pig from the list identified on the site but as the land is rented I dont want to destroy the land with a four legged  plough like a tamworth. I like the idea of the old spot but the middle white is the one I would choose ( at the moment).
 I have a possible access to weaners locally but I dont know the breed yet then that may swing it towards the local help i may receive.
I have read a lot about the legal paperwork required so I am going to sort all that out as soon as the land is confirmed.
Thanks again for the advice.


  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: another newbie
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 08:58:38 pm »
Welcome The G C - sorry no pigs just pygmy goats - I think they eat more than pigs!!
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Castlemilk Moorit Sheep, Zip Border Collie, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: another newbie
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 09:14:13 pm »
Hello great composto  :wave: from a soggy Durham


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: another newbie
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 09:14:37 pm »
Hello and welcome from Carnoustie :wave:

We've had Tammies and loved them; never had escapees but they are ploghs on legs. Got Hampshires this year - nice pigs but not a RB. I'd love Middle Whites but might try Large Blacks next year if I can find a decent breeder  :eyelashes:

the great composto

  • Guest
Re: another newbie
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 09:35:10 pm »
Thanks for the warm welcome everybody - I really appreciate it.
Can you tell me how many pigs you keep please?
 I only want them for personal consumption for myself and a few others so theres enough freezer space between us. 
The land I am hoping to secure shortly is about 3/4 acre is that enough for 4-5 pigs?  there wont be any spare to rotate any land I dont think.


  • Guest
Re: another newbie
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 09:17:47 am »
Hello and welcome to TAS  :wave:

I'd echo everything Sally has said and add - plan how you're going to get them out at the end  ;) Weaners are easy enough to carry to the pen, but you can't carry them back out, a wee bit of forward planning and a couple of sheep hurdles will make the job easier  :thumbsup:

Don't worry too much about the paperwork - if you've got your CPH number that's the main thing.
Once you get your pigs advise animal health and they'll issue you a herd number (it's got to be on your pigs when they go to slaughter - either by slap mark or ear tag)
The breeder you buy from will give you a copy of the movement licence and you need to confirm it once you have them home. In Scotland the new on-line system works well, I think they're still ironing out a few wrinkles in the English system though (but don't use it so can't tell you for sure)
Three quarters of an acre should be fine for 4 weaners to pork weight, I'd section a small area (10m x 10m) for them to live in initially (just til they get used to you and the feed bucket  ;)) with electric tape or temporary fencing. Then once you decide to give them a bigger area, move the fencing to give them access to say half of it, and move them onto the other half for the last while. The advantage with this is that the first half will be resting, ready for another batch sooner than if the pigs get access to the whole field as it'll need a wee while to recover a bit. All pigs will root, though some less than others, and the shorter a time they're on any particular bit of land the quicker it'll recover  :thumbsup:
Anything else, just ask  :) You'll enjoy keeping pigs (as long as you're as daft as the rest of us  :D)
Karen  :wave:


  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Wiltshire
Re: another newbie
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 09:44:20 am »
Welcome to the forum. All good advice above.
Tucked away on the downs in wiltshire.


  • Guest
Re: another newbie
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 09:55:57 am »
hi from cornwall :thumbsup:


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: another newbie
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2012, 09:15:57 pm »
Hi from near Banff  :wave:


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: another newbie
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 09:58:15 am »
hi from Midlothian, good luck with your piggies

12 sheep, 5 geese, 17 chickens, 3 cats and a toddler


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