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Author Topic: Keeping pigs  (Read 5034 times)

Cattyniccy

  • Joined May 2014
Keeping pigs
« on: May 05, 2014, 06:26:35 pm »
Hi all. I have a 2 acre paddock I keep horses in but also a courtyard with a real dead space behind a barn, it's around 1/4 acre and is sheltered with hedging and trees on rocky and grassy ground. Would I be able to keep pigs in this kind of environment? It would be as a pet. As the space is on the small side I'd be looking at smaller pigs, I imagine the micro pigs are a bit of a fashion thing so not necessarily these but maybe the smallest pit belly you can have? What would this be? Also is it cruel to have 1? I'm guessing they're happier in pairs? Finally do you muck them out like a horse?! If so what do you do with their muck and how often does this need doing?

Any help appreciated!

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 10:18:05 pm »
A 1/4 acre isn't enough to keep pigs long term unfortunately, you'd really be best with an acre for them (if not more)
The best breed for reliable temperament and ease of keeping is Kunekune, but they would need an acre as they graze and the ground would need to be rotated to keep it good.
Yes to keeping in pairs and castrated boars make the easiest to manage 'pet' pigs (no piggy PMT to worry about) but until you have more space I'm afraid I wouldn't advise it  :( Sorry
There's more advice on the Kunekune society website http://www.britishkunekunesociety.org.uk
HTH
Karen

devonlad

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 10:48:28 pm »
sorry to pour more cold water on your plans. not sure i'd agree with happyhippy about the space being inadequate as long as they're fed properly. my concern would be most def re the one pig. pretty much all animals need company of their own- anything else is cruel.
much controversy on here over many threads re the "micro pig" saga so wont go there.

oaklandspigs

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 07:29:40 am »
The space would depend on a) whereabouts you are in the country, and b) whether you want to maintain grass.

HH is in Scotand where it is wet and cold for much of the year (and beautiful!).  Also HH uses her Kune Kune's as grazing. So her recommendation of an acre is perfectly valid for her.

Depending on what sort of weather you have, if you are happy with them turning it to earth, and to some mud in the winter, then a pair of kune Kunes in 1/4 acre should be ok. 

and yes it would be a pair, and they need company of their own kind.

DON'T go near micro pigs - get Kune Kune's they are cute, pretty, and hardy, and great as pets.
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

Cattyniccy

  • Joined May 2014
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2014, 08:01:35 am »
Oohhh confusing lol, but thanks all. I am really not sure about it as I was concerned my land would be on the small side and that is need 2 which would make the land issue more of a problem!
I live in Oxfordshire so not too cold and there is half grass half rubble so I'd not be grazing them and wouldn't worry about the mud, but am concerned that they wouldn't be happy in just mud, limited space and rubble?
My gut instinct was to steer clear of micro pigs so thanks for that...I am very doggy and it's similar in the dog world with these silly designer things so thought that would be this of pigs too!
Please keep your comments coming and be honest, I'm only going to consider it if it's a happy environment for them otherwise it can stay as waste land.
Kune pigs would be my first choice actually but assumed they'd grow too big on my limited space? Hence why I mentioned pot bellied pigs, any comments?

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2014, 10:27:55 am »
I would agree with the others that KK's are the way forward, but would be still very concerned at the lack of available space/ground to rotate becoz even KK's will get bored and destructive if they've nothing to graze or dig up. Also with no activity they'll soon become overweight and incredibly sad creatures leading sad confined lives. Could you not roratate them with some horse paddock?
Stay clear of pot bellies same scenario as Micro's IMHO.
Sorry to sound so negative.
Mandy :pig:

Cattyniccy

  • Joined May 2014
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2014, 10:45:21 am »
No honestly don't apologise, I have no idea so want to pick the brains of those who do! I'm thinking no....I can't use any horse paddock as it's already being rotated by the ponies lots and don't want to own a unhappy pig! I did assume no tbh but like I say have no idea!

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2014, 12:24:57 pm »
I'm afraid that even with dry weather and better ground conditions 1/4 still isn't big enough long term for Kunekunes - they are grazing pigs (overcompensate with extra feed and you get fat, unhappy pigs  ;)) so they actually need more space than traditional breeds - sounds bizarre since they're smaller, I know, but it's true.
Your 1/4 acre would be fine for the first year, probably the second too - but by the time they were fully grown it would be looking a bit tired and worse for wear and would need rested for at least a year.
You sound like you'd be a great pig owner - but you do need to try and get more space for them to be able to use in the future, to keep them happy & healthy.
Where in the country are you? I can put you in touch with Kunekune owners near you so you can go and visit some and see what you think  ;)
Karen (BKKPS secretary  ;D)

Cattyniccy

  • Joined May 2014
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2014, 10:41:29 am »
Thanks HH but I think you're right and it's just not enough land, I don't want to make pigs live in a area where they'll be unhappy so it can just stay as wasteland, I'll get the ponies to graze the bit of grass for half a day of so, they'll be happy with that!

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2014, 11:03:16 am »
A neighbour of mine has KK's that have several acres to roam but is having problems as the two younger females are attacking the elderly one and all have gone well down on their pasterns due to age.

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2014, 12:25:26 pm »
you could fatten weaners on a quarter acre in the spring/summer, after 4 months they will be away. is eating them not an option?

Cattyniccy

  • Joined May 2014
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2014, 01:32:58 pm »
No...I'm too much of a softy lol

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Keeping pigs
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2014, 01:38:47 pm »
Thanks HH but I think you're right and it's just not enough land, I don't want to make pigs live in a area where they'll be unhappy so it can just stay as wasteland, I'll get the ponies to graze the bit of grass for half a day of so, they'll be happy with that!
They wouldn't be unhappy until 2 or 3 years down the line (and it would be the land which suffered, not the pigs  ;)) - they'd do fine to begin with.
Ditto Shygirl above - why not think about some weaners for the freezer ? I'm a softy too, but if you just keep telling yourself not to get attached you'll be fine and you'll never buy shop pork again  ;) Short term commitment which would have the benefit of improving the rough ground and give you plenty of pork/sausages to fill your freezer and let you see if keeping pigs is for you (cos I'm sure if you really loved them, you could pinch a bit of grazing from the ponies  :innocent:)

 

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