Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs  (Read 19125 times)

Unicorn

  • Guest
Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« on: September 05, 2009, 01:17:31 pm »
Keeping aninmals is a big responsibility and should not be taken on unless you are
prepared to do some research and learning - pigs especially are not like sheep - you
cannot just leave them in a field. :pig: :pig:

I am totally amazed at some questions asked on here - it is obvious that some people have not
looked at a book or investigated the requirements pigs have from some of these questions.

Whilst the forum is here to help people, and I will offer my experience, as many others
will too - I do think that buying a book, visiting the library, or going to some breed societies
web sites such as the Saddleback Breeders Club, BPA, Oldspots.com or just google or Yahoo
"looking after and breeding pigs" - "Basic Pig Keeping", would be a good start. 

A lot of Bargain Bookshops now have Raising Pigs and other good books for sale for less that
ten quid - and if you can't afforf the book, then you can't afford to keep pigs.  You have to buy
food to give them every day, and make sure they have water, and a house, and bedding, and
are free from draughts and wind and water getting into their home. 

Questions you need to ask:  What they need, What they eat, How much does it all cost.

Please get some good background information and help yourself to become a good pig keeper.

I bought books, visited web sites, and visited farms and breeders before I took on any animals,
and I took it for granted that others would do the same.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 03:20:42 pm by Unicorn »

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009, 03:49:08 pm »
I agree, my pigs were 2 years in the planning, thinking & researching - before being here for all of 5 months ! And they were just a trial run for the freezer  ;). Now that I've done the basic raising of pigs I'm researching once again, for breeding this time - 'forewarned is forearmed' as the saying goes.

One thing I'd add to Unicorn's post is check out your local vet - if they are not in the habbit of dealing with pigs, you'll either have to learn a WHOLE lot more or change vets (which may be very costly if call-outs are needed and they are further away)

Hilarysmum

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2009, 03:56:51 pm »
Sadly its not just the novices that make horrendous mistakes.  Please, however experienced, the vet always has more knowledge he should be your first port of call should your pig fall ill.  (This is not a criticism of any posters on here, just from other peoples sad experiences).

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2009, 04:11:41 pm »
Hi HM,
I didn't for one minute mean that you should treat them instead of the vet, I should re-read my posts ! I just meant that you'd need more knowledge to maybe assist a vet that's not in the habbit of dealing with pigs than one who was.
(hope that makes sense  ;))

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2009, 06:28:36 pm »
I Second all that!
Applies not just to pig, but all animals.......... research first, and ask lots!
Little Blue

Farmer

  • Joined May 2009
  • Sidway, Staffordshire
    • Farmeats.com
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2009, 07:38:44 am »
I agree with everything already said...unfortunately, some Vets have only had experience of dealing with 'commercially reared' pigs and they are less understanding of the efforts a smallholder will undertake to treat illnesses or keep his/her animals alive. One of our own Vets spent several years with large 'commercial pig rearing' operations and he found our approach to treating and caring for our pigs as individuals very strange...we sometimes chose to ignore his advice and managed to save a pig that he would otherwise have culled...happily he now understands our ethos much better and his attitude and approach to treating our animals is vastly different; he even recommends us to other pig keeping smallholders if they have any questions.

Truth is you never know what you don't know...so keep asking the questions and research, research, research!

Farmer
 :farmer:

Hilarysmum

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2009, 08:51:26 am »
HH sorry it wasnt meant for a second as a response to your posting, it just bought to mind some rather sad cases of pig mismanagement by people who consider themselves to be experts.  Many apologies, should have written that better. 

charente

  • Joined Sep 2008
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2009, 10:19:32 am »
Unicorn, I am starting my research here, so asking basic questions generates answers from different points of views which then leads you on to further research. So dont be too surprised that people use this medium as their first port of call. ::)

Padge

  • Joined Aug 2009
    • Facebook
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2009, 10:40:41 am »
I have to agree with Charente

I had thought the point of the forum was friendly exchange of advice and experience
I have to say that on reading the opening post on this topic i found it quite hostile

I myself am a reader  prior to action.....however this does not preclude you from making mistakes

We all learn from mistakes and interaction   there is always something we could/should or would have done differently

Whilst some questions may seem a little incredible to some to those seeking advice they are important...in seeking advice there is a
willingness and need to learn. If there is a price tag for certain experience on this forum then i would suggest that that unforgiving attitude
is taken elsewhere...otherwise what's the point >:(

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2009, 02:04:09 pm »
Unicorn, I am starting my research here, so asking basic questions generates answers from different points of views which then leads you on to further research. So dont be too surprised that people use this medium as their first port of call. ::)

Good! thats the right attitude, and you Padge!  Theres lots of books but depends what type of animal you actually get, good advice is always given here (and on other forums) so ask away!
Little Blue

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2009, 02:40:54 pm »
I have found that pigs, like dogs, require more than just grub, water and a dry and warm place to sleep. They need somethng to occupy them during the times not spent sleeping.
Carrots and apples or similar, cut up small and scattered around their pen keeps them happy and occupied for hours.
I went to a veg shop today and plucked up the courage to ask if they had a box of anything going cheap for pigs and was given a box full of peaches and nectarines and told to come weekly for anything else.
My three will think they are in heaven------have you ever watched a pig eating a peach?!!
I never have any trouble with pigs trying to burrow out under the fence(yet!!)
It doesn't take much to keep a pig happy, I find!

Unicorn

  • Guest
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2009, 03:19:56 pm »
Unicorn, I am starting my research here, so asking basic questions generates answers from different points of views which then leads you on to further research. So dont be too surprised that people use this medium as their first port of call. ::)

Your other post about pigs getting a large part of their feed from grass was partly what prompted me to put this thread here.

The problem with asking such questions on here is that people answer it, but leave large gaps of other information out, you can read threads, and different people pick up on certain points, leaving out others, that are seen as not relevant to them - but maybe to you. 

I would not advise anyone to use any forum as their "first port of call" regarding keeping AND breeding Animals. Thorough reasearch into basics should be taken before taking on another life of any sort, that will be totally dependant on you.

We would not need establishments like the RSPCA and other animal welfare places if it was not a fact of life that people take on animals that they are not prepared to look after - because they didn't KNOW which questions to ask.

Padge - if you took this post as hostile - you are far too sensitive- and I am far too protective of animals too.

Take it as you will, I will always speak up for the welfare of the pigs, and expect people to look harder than just posting here - thats the lazy way in my opinion.

You can never know everything, we have kept pigs for a number of years, we have at least 10 books on rare breed pig keeping, we run courses for new pig keepers, but there is always new problems to encounter, and sows that behave differently when giving birth or raising piglets to your other ones, we had a boar die within a week of purchasing him.  We did not know why he died, the vet did not know, so we paid for a post mortem, and the District Vetinery Office wrote a full report on the death.

It was the first young pig to die of Liver Disease in 40 years that they knew of - they learned something too from our loss, and asked to have permission to publish it, and information on our farm, for other vets to learn from.  There was nothing we, or the breeder, did wrong, it would have been born with the problem.  The kind people who sold us him were also devastated, and they gave us a replacement pig, which was a very nice gesture and not expected.  Unfortunately the breeders are no longer in pigs, it was a hobby of theirs and not their main business, but they were excellent at looking after all of their animals, and were very nice people.

What I am saying is - no one knows everything, read a good book, then ask questions and make your decisions from there.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 03:29:11 pm by Unicorn »

Padge

  • Joined Aug 2009
    • Facebook
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2009, 03:59:03 pm »
Sensible maybe..............sensitive not.

In my opinion you can never take your animals welfare too seriously BUT I would still say the vain in which you posted
came across as intolerant.

It is by suggestion of your latest post that not every question can be answered and not every situation pre empted
in order to avoid disaster but I would imagine those joining forums such as this and asking all manner of advice
are not about to enter into keeping livestock lightly and exhibit responsibility from the onset

Hopefully the forum can continue to be a friendly happy advisory place taking us all through the highs and lows of livestock rearing
whether as hobby farmers or otherwise ???

Farmer

  • Joined May 2009
  • Sidway, Staffordshire
    • Farmeats.com
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2009, 05:50:32 pm »
Now, now children....play nicely...other people are watching!  :-*

Farmer
 :farmer:

MiriMaran

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Keeping Rare Breed Pigs
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2009, 06:01:39 pm »
I have to admit I read Traditional Pig Keeping By Carol Harris cover to cover before having the courage to go on a forum as I was so nervous of getting laughed at for asking a really dumb question!  Now I have my pigs and I still ask dumb questions!  ;D ;D ;D

 

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