Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: What to do next?  (Read 2824 times)

Moregin

  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Grangemouth
What to do next?
« on: May 19, 2013, 11:29:02 pm »
So....I ventured into my first pig keeping with two nice 10 week old Welsh gilts.  Sausage and Bacon have been great fun to have around and learn from.  My local wholesale fruit and veg merchant gives me boxes of spoil in exchange for some free range eggs so the pigs diet has been pretty varied.  Its been a great experience but the sad day is fast approaching for them to go off on their holidays!
There are lots of options on what to do with the meat produced and having a cousin in the butcher trade I am not stuck for ideas although their names give my plans away!!
My dilemma lies in what I want to keep next.  I was interested in hearing opinions on the difference of keeping Large Black V's OSB's and thought I should look into sourcing too.  As its for meat and not breeding I am basing my choice more on aesthetics and since I like the look of both and wondered if anyone has knowledge or experience of them in a 'garden pig' set up.

Regards

Stu
Try to be the type of person your dog thinks you are!

Tudful Tamworths

  • Joined Aug 2009
    • Liz's website
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 12:58:11 am »
I'm a firm believer that meat pigs should also have an aesthetic benefit. Why not have a dual purpose animal? It should look good as well as tasting good.You mentioned OSBs - fantastic meat (and this is a Tamworth breeder talking). Very lean for a traditional pig, even through to bacon weight (10 months +). I was very, very impressed - but didn't warm to them (personality-wise) when they were alive.
Good luck,
Liz
www.lizshankland.com www.biggingerpigs.com
Author of the Haynes Pig Manual, Haynes Smallholding Manual, and the Haynes Sheep Manual. Three times winner of the Tamworth Champion of Champions. Teaching smallholding courses at Kate Humble's farm: www.humblebynature.com

Moregin

  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Grangemouth
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 02:12:06 am »
Thanks Liz,

I like the look of both and think that its an important feature for myself - no point in having something I don't like looking at as I only do my smallholding activities for my own pleasure and tend to barter my produce rather than sell!!

What did you find to be the issue with their personality? As you say you are a Tamworth girl I would hazard that they were maybe too laid back for you!!!

Stu
Try to be the type of person your dog thinks you are!

Tudful Tamworths

  • Joined Aug 2009
    • Liz's website
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 10:34:41 am »
I bought in a sow which turned out to hate me! She was great with her piglets but I couldn't go near her. Also she hated all the Tamworths, so I couldn't mix her with any other pigs. She threw two six-month-old gilts up in the air and they were so badly injured, they couldn't walk for a week. Then she broke through a fence to attack two Tamworths which were much bigger than her. She beat them up and then took over their ark.
I also found the piglets got much more pushy than Tamworths when they got to about eight months old.
Personally, I thought it was just a bad experience (a bit like rehoming a dog - you never know the full history). However, chatting to other OSB breeders, it seems some have had problems with sows with the same bloodline.
I wouldn't let that put you off getting some! I think I was just unlucky.
www.lizshankland.com www.biggingerpigs.com
Author of the Haynes Pig Manual, Haynes Smallholding Manual, and the Haynes Sheep Manual. Three times winner of the Tamworth Champion of Champions. Teaching smallholding courses at Kate Humble's farm: www.humblebynature.com

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 11:15:26 am »
I had 2 OSB weaners last year. I was glad to get rid of them when the time came but that wasn't their fault. I was fed up with getting stuck in all the mud each time I went to feed them because the weather had been awful. Their meat is lovely though. Roast joints to die for.
This year I have gone for 2 GOS weaners just to get the feel of something different. 
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 03:42:54 pm »
I like both breeds  ;)  :innocent:

In my experience, OSB's grow quicker, are leaner and kill out better (lighter bone density apparently) but Large Blacks are great pigs too, and taste fantastic  :thumbsup:

Personality wise, the OSB's swing it for me (they're just friendlier than LB's) but that's probably because their ears aren't as lopped and they can see more and respond better. When our LB's are at the bottom of the field you have to keep shouting to them so they can follow the sound of your voice to the feed - they just can't see  ::) ;D But if you lift their ears and talk to them you get a grunt of appreciation, the OSB will hang about for a belly rub and a bit of a fuss (she's like a big Labrador  :innocent:) But there's just something about the Large Blacks - haven't figured out what it is myself yet (might be that they cause NO trouble whatsoever  ;)) but I couldn't be without them.

*Advert warning*  :roflanim:
As it happens we'll have a litter of each born later in the year (due 30th July)  :thumbsup:
They're not pure bred litters unfortunately (time and distance ruled out hiring respective pedigree boars and the expectant mums are gilts so we gave AI a miss this time) but dad is a pedigree GOS boar and a lovely chap (being a cross they should grow a wee bit quicker - hybrid vigour and all that  ;)) Both the mum's run together just now and we're expecting to put them back together once the piglets are weaned - so you could have one from each litter and see how you think they compare  :thinking:

Karen  :wave:



Moregin

  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Grangemouth
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 06:51:46 pm »
Thanks for the info everyone!
 
Karen - I might give you a call over the next day or so for a wee chat if you are free.
 
Cheers
 
Stu
Try to be the type of person your dog thinks you are!

Button End Beasts

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Harston, Cambridgeshire
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 09:24:25 pm »
OSBs for me :excited:  Lovely, funny pigs, sometimes a bit naughty and lively. Have a pregnant mama now and she is the gentlest, loveliest pig around, well with me. Will give our kunes a nip if she gets near to them! Also they look so striking, almost quite exotic.  We also had some Large Blacks and they were nice enough but just didnt have the personality of the OSBs. The meat was a bit fatty (our fault) but we have never had fatty meat from the OSBs.


There's also a nice variation in colour and marking in the OSBs which you don't get with the LBs. go for it!


I have to say, my next fav pig is the GOS. Nice gentle pigs, and again, nice markings.


Beki

Clive

  • Joined Sep 2012
    • Precious Porkers
    • Facebook
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2013, 09:30:00 am »
I haven't had LB's but definitely think OSBs are the best thing since sliced bread. Ours have occasionally been a bit lively but only at feeding time and they just love attention. Our gilt has recently farrowed and she has been incredibly calm and well behaved. A joy to be around. As others have said, the meat has been fantastic and lean for a rare breed. Whatever you choose, enjoy!

Clive

Moregin

  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Grangemouth
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013, 04:57:44 pm »
Thanks Clive and Beki
 
I love the look of both but I guess I am leaning to the OSB so far (mainly on the colour).  My Welsh gilts are good fun and have been a great start for me.  Nice temperaments.....although my girlfriend might disagree.  After being great with her for ages one of them nipped her on the calf muscle as she was cleaning and refilling the water trough (looked sore to be honest).  Next time Emma went in with them was to help me when I moved them to a fresh patch in the allotment and they both crowded her - never seen someone jump a fence so quick!!!! Anytime she does anything with them now its a scoop of food scattered or a chopped apple each to distract them.
I am hoping that doing my homework and researching for a litter I will be all sorted and can plan it for when I am ready for them.
 
Regards
 
Stu
Try to be the type of person your dog thinks you are!

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2013, 11:44:26 am »
You could have one from each litter and see how you think they compare  :thinking:

Karen  :wave:

stop it stop it stop it stop it!!!!!  ;D
 
Mrs Womble didn't want me to get pigs last year because our fencing wasn't up to it, but now we've got it sorted, she doesn't want them making a mess of the nice grass (Isn't that the whole idea of a  pig?).
 
Seriously though Karen, I'll try to talk her round.  When would your July weaners be ready for sausaging then  :yum: , and how long before the field transforms from the Somme back into a field again?
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2013, 11:50:32 am »
Mr Womble tell Mrs Womble that she needs pigs now!!!


I had one of Karens pure bred Large blacks from last year that she ran on to about 9 wonths i think (karen will confirm) it produced an upright 5 draw freezer full of sausages and bacon (eye on bacon a bit samll at that age still) and other assorted porky products...


Looking forward to seeing what the crossbreeds from this next set of litters turn out like :-)


Yes i'm a fan of Karens Pigs, but yours would be closer to visit for piggy tickles  :excited: :excited: :excited:

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2013, 12:26:09 pm »
stop it stop it stop it stop it!!!!!  ;D
 
Mrs Womble didn't want me to get pigs last year because our fencing wasn't up to it, but now we've got it sorted, she doesn't want them making a mess of the nice grass (Isn't that the whole idea of a  pig?).
:roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim:
Or, you could get some Kunekunes - they'd grow a bit slower (and cheaper  ;)) and wouldn't do quite as much damage  :thumbsup: But to preserve the grass over winter you'd need some hard standing or a stable/indoor shed to keep them in  :thinking:

Seriously though Karen, I'll try to talk her round.  When would your July weaners be ready for sausaging then  :yum: , and how long before the field transforms from the Somme back into a field again?
That's a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' type question  :innocent:

We'd expect the weaners to be ready as 'small pork' pre-christmas (maybe around 70-75Kg liveweight) but this is the first time we've used this boar on these gilts and had this cross as a result, so they could grow like stink and be bigger than this, or they could grow a bit slower - sorry not much help am I  ::) ??? I would expect they'd be able to go before Xmas, but keeping them through the winter til end of Jan/Feb would give you better bacon sized pigs (and pork and sausages  :yum:)

But there's no hard and fast rule about when you have to send them - only what the abbatoir dictates as a maximum size (and most will do bigger pigs if you ask nicely - they just put them through on the cattle lines and charge a wee bit more for the kill  ;)) so you can work it round what suits best for you.

Field regeneration......
It depends on how big the area is, how wet it is, how quick they grow and churn it up and how long you leave them in it once it's trashed - the longer they're in liquid mud the longer it takes to fix  ;)
If you could section off 2 areas (next to each other - leccy tape would do it  ;)) and rotate them between the two it'll help. Have the arc in the centre so you don't need to keep moving it  :idea: and lay some slabs on the ground to put their feed and water on - this is the bit that gets most badly affected. But 6, 2x2 slabs laid in a rectangle will give a good sized platform for them and help loads  :thumbsup:

HTH ? But just shout if I've missed anything
Karen  :wave:

Clive

  • Joined Sep 2012
    • Precious Porkers
    • Facebook
Re: What to do next?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2013, 08:43:27 am »
If the ground is really churned up and has been liquified mud as ours was during the winter, you would do well to rotovate the ground before it gets too hard. The ground we have rotovated is recovering more quickly than the paddock we have left untouched

 Clive

 

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