Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Recommended Pig Keeping Courses - Somerset / Gloucs??  (Read 4227 times)

SW3

  • Joined Apr 2010
Recommended Pig Keeping Courses - Somerset / Gloucs??
« on: April 23, 2010, 02:11:26 pm »
Hi there
My boyfriend and I are keen to learn about keeping pigs (as part of a long term plan to move towards the sort of lifestyle which enables us to keep animals on land at home) and the obvious plan is to attend one of the various pig keeping courses that are on offer. We were wondering if anyone has any particular recommendations for a good 'pig rearing for small holders' course in or near the South West? We have seen a variety on offer, with costs ranging from about 75 to about 130 (although were not quite clear as to what makes the 130 course so much better than the 75 one!)
Obviously we want to spend our money on the most thorough and well regarded tuition and we are hoping that some of you forum users may have been in a similar position in the past and have some recommendations you may be able to pass on.
Many thanks
Sarah

JulieS

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Devon - EX39 5RF
    • Ford Mill Farm
Re: Recommended Pig Keeping Courses - Somerset / Gloucs??
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2010, 02:49:58 pm »
Hi Sarah, I can't recommend any in the Somerset/Glos area, but if you don't mind travelling a little further I can highly recommend Sarah Thatcher at www.highlandshogs.co.uk

There is a list of things she covers over the day on her website, so you can compare it with others you have seen.

If you do choose Sarah say hello for me.  She sold me my very first weaners and later on a couple of in pig gilts too. 

Good luck with the pigs, have you decided what breed you like yet?   Please answer Gloucester Old Spots!! lol
 :love: :pig: :love:
Pedigree GOS Pigs and Butchery for Smallholders.

SW3

  • Joined Apr 2010
Re: Recommended Pig Keeping Courses - Somerset / Gloucs??
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2010, 03:07:09 pm »
Hi Julie, thanks for the tip and, yep, GOS's have got our vote so far!! This is from what we have read in terms of hardiness, docileness etc... plus the quality of the meat of course! I'm also rather smitten by Saddlebacks, but easy goes, one step at a time etc etc.!

Was just about to say that the Highlands might be a bit too far to go for a pig course but then checked out your link to find that Sarah T is Devon based (rather than Scotland as I had assumed!) - rather a different kettle of fish!! Going to get stuck in to the website now and thanks again for replying, S  ;D

JulieS

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Devon - EX39 5RF
    • Ford Mill Farm
Re: Recommended Pig Keeping Courses - Somerset / Gloucs??
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 03:27:24 pm »
Good luck with everything Sarah.......Welcome to the forum  :)
Pedigree GOS Pigs and Butchery for Smallholders.

oaklandspigs

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: Recommended Pig Keeping Courses - Somerset / Gloucs??
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2010, 06:46:34 pm »
We have had people on our course from all over the UK and abroad (South Africa the furthest so far - though they were on a Uk holiday as well!)

The course covers :-
How much space do I need, what about housing, what sort of fencing? What equipment do I need?
What can I feed, how much, what will it cost ?
Where do I buy stock from, what to buy, how much should I pay ?
What are the regulations I need to follow?
How easy is it to breed and what’s involved ?
How do I keep them fit and healthy ?
How do I find an abattoir and a butcher ?
What meat do I get, how much, what can I do with it?

The day will be a mixture of outdoor and indoor sessions. You will meet the main herd of friendly sows in their outdoor enclosures and spend time in the farrowing yard where there will be piglets of various ages, and sows due to give birth. Indoors we will get a chance to discuss what you have seen and cover this in more detail.

Visit our website for more details - www.oaklandspigs.co.uk




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

Sudanpan

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • West Cornwall
    • Movement is Life
Re: Recommended Pig Keeping Courses - Somerset / Gloucs??
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2010, 07:19:49 pm »
Having been on the Oaklands Pigs One Day course I can thoroughly recommend it - and the lunch was delicious as well (home grown sausies  ;D )
We have now embarked on having our own weaners (4 GOS) which we collected last 3 weeks ago and enjoying every minute - even if the first 3 days of having them were a little fraut (beginners nerves) but lots of help, advice and support from the Forum and Oaklands as well  :)
Tish

SW3

  • Joined Apr 2010
Re: Recommended Pig Keeping Courses - Somerset / Gloucs??
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2010, 08:47:06 pm »
Oaklandspigs - thanks for your response, and Sudanpan - thanks for the oaklands recommendation!... ;D ;D
To be honest, East Sussex is rather a long way from Bristol... although your courses do look like exactly the sort of thing we're after. Tricky.
I'll enjoy reading your website in detail (having only scanned it so far). The book is interesting too. Thanks all for your help and advice.... Sarah


Malc

  • Joined Oct 2007
    • The Edge of Nowhere
Re: Recommended Pig Keeping Courses - Somerset / Gloucs??
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2010, 10:55:25 am »
Ian and Maggie Todd at Smallicombe, near Honiton in Devon, do an excellent course. Try also any local agricultural colleges, many do good courses at a reasonable price.

Don't get too hung up on which breed to have. It's more important the pigs are in good condition and from a source you trust. And if the breeder is willing to provide after-sales help and advice that is more valuable than any course or book.

Good luck, I know you'll have fun.

oaklandspigs

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: Recommended Pig Keeping Courses - Somerset / Gloucs??
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2010, 06:48:32 pm »
SW3,

Thanks for the response - and your kind comments.

The book is self published so we print each copy, which means we can update and keep it current for regulations etc.

Good luck whatever root you choose, but maybe see you later this year  :)
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

honeypig

  • Joined Apr 2010
Re: Recommended Pig Keeping Courses - Somerset / Gloucs??
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 08:34:36 pm »
We don't run any courses and are new to pigs but we have a couple of girls that you welcome to come and play with and scratch.  We are just outside Bristol.
Joe

 

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