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Author Topic: New to pigs!  (Read 5004 times)

Loqueris

  • Joined May 2008
  • Caithness, Highlands of Scotland.
New to pigs!
« on: May 10, 2008, 08:59:53 am »
We're looking into getting pigs for the purpose of meat. We only want enough for ourselves and are not looking for anything commercial.
What type of pig is best? We'd also like a breed that is able to turn over quite rough land.
What are the laws on feeding swill now? What type of housing is best and is electric fence better as we would need to move them about?
What books would anyone recommend for a complete novice and / or websites?

Finally, what's the secret to not getting attached to them?  :-\ :pig: 

Thanks in advance.
Happiness belongs to the self sufficient!

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: New to pigs!
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2008, 09:58:47 am »
IMHO...
Tamworths, for meat and ground clearance.
No feeding of swill or any catering waste - that includes food waste from your own kitchen.
We bought a pig ark from pig paradise - I think wood is best - stays warmer in winter and cooler in summer - with a wooden floor off the ground for insulation and dryness. And lots of straw as pigs are natural nesters.
We've got post and rail with netting - never tried electric - seems to work for some and not for others.
Carol Harris - A Guide to Traditional Pig Keeping

Now go get your pigs!!

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: New to pigs!
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2008, 09:59:53 am »
Oh, and you will get attached to them. We find not giving them names helps but you will get attached - so tears and snotters at the end.

carole

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: New to pigs!
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2008, 12:36:13 pm »
I agree with all Rosemary has said, but for hard ground clearance I have to say the Magalitza wins hands down.

Good luck- keep us posted

Carole

Malc

  • Joined Oct 2007
    • The Edge of Nowhere
Re: New to pigs!
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2008, 10:01:22 pm »
Every breeder will tell you his/her breed is the best. I have Saddlebacks - a good multi-purpose pig - while I also like Large Blacks. If you're just getting a couple of weaners at a time and are just starting out it is only important that they are healthy and from a good source, so don't rule out crosses (our first two weaners were a mixture of Tamworth/Oxford and Sandy/Duroc). Having someone close by who knows what they are talking about is just as important. Ginger pigs tend to be rooters while other breeds are grazers, but don't expect them to do the full job for you as the callouses on my hands and aches in my back from today's digging will testify.

You can make your own housing reasonably easily, but with the price of timber now it's worth looking at Bidgiemire's self-assembly arcs for just over £200.

Electric fencing, preferably off the mains, but battery is OK as long as you have a spare on charge at all times.

Starting With Pigs by Andy Case is as good a book as you can get and has the advantage over others that it will fit in a pocket. This website is always good, even if its just for moral support, but try the websites of the various breed societies and the British Pig Association.

And you will get attached whether you name them or not. Pigs are terrific animals and it's impossible not to like them. Give them as good a life as you can, shed a tear when they go and make the most of every bit that comes back from the abattoir.

Have fun and let us know how you get on. Good luck!


 

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