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Author Topic: Advice for first timers - breed & dry stone walls  (Read 1621 times)


  • Joined May 2009
  • Gwynedd
Advice for first timers - breed & dry stone walls
« on: April 01, 2010, 02:16:10 pm »

We are fast approaching our first year on our very own small holding & we'd like celebrate by getting our first ever weaners  ;D

We just want 2 to fatten for the freezer this year & see how we get on. We live quite high up in the North Wales mountains, overlooking the coast, so weather can be a bit extreme.

I have done research into various breeds & had thought that OSBs would be a good first breed for us, until we get the hang of things & then maybe move to Tamworths, but it's just not meant to be. There don't appear to be any OSB breeders in the area at all. However, I have found some Saddlebacks & British Lops. Lops available now, Saddleback weaners won't be ready for another 8/10 weeks or so. I'm concerned about sunburn (assuming we get a summer this year). We have built an ark & will provide a wallow, there is a lot of gorse in the field (one of the reasons for the pigs as we want it rooted out) for shade. Should I be concerned about a white pig? I don't mind putting a bit of sun screen on their ears on really sunny days (I have to do the horses noses anyway), but I don't want them to suffer. Which would you go for?

We aren't worried about how much mess they make as the field is really badly poached & full of gorse & stones.

Also the field is about 2 1/2 acres with dry stone wall boundaries on 3 sides. Are the pigs likely to push their noses through the wall & bring it down? Would we be better running electric fencing round anyway? It's not too much of a problem as the 4th side is mains electric fencing, so we can just run it off there.


  • Joined Nov 2008
  • axminster
Re: Advice for first timers - breed & dry stone walls
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2010, 05:23:46 pm »
I wouldnt be too worried about a white pig as long as you have a shaded area they can retreat to when really sunny, I'd advise electric fencing and I would section your field off letting them have a section at a time that way they will dig the ground over really well.


  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Advice for first timers - breed & dry stone walls
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2010, 07:43:58 pm »
Our lop came to us with bad sunburn, she responded really well to E45 cream.  Normally I apply liberal amounts of Factor 50 to the pigs.  Lops are great fun.  Second all Gary has said.


  • Joined Oct 2007
    • The Edge of Nowhere
Re: Advice for first timers - breed & dry stone walls
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2010, 08:48:45 pm »
Don't get too hung up on which breed to have. We have Saddlebacks for the sole reason it was the only rare breed available in the north of Scotland when we moved here (there are Berkshires and GOS up here now). Cross-bred pigs would be fine too. What would be handy is if you can get them locally from a breeder friendly enough to be on hand for advice and reassurance - that is worth a lot.


  • Joined May 2009
  • Gwynedd
Re: Advice for first timers - breed & dry stone walls
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2010, 07:54:33 am »
Thanks for your advise.

We've decided to go with the Lops as we know the breeder (already get our pork from him) & he is very local. He is going to drop them off for us over the weekend.

Must get busy putting up the rest of the electric fencing today & also find a way to stop the Shetlands getting into that field (they are great at mountaineering!). I'll be glad once we finish putting up all the internal fencing on our land, only managed to get the boundary done so far.

There's so much to think about & do with this smallholding lark! I'm the sort of person that likes everything finished & sorted before moving on to something else, but if we did that we wouldn't have any animals at all yet & there'd be no fun, so we are trying to muddle through, as long as they are safe. Our sheep can go anywhere they like on our land at the moment, but always coming running back at feed times.

Thanks again.


  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Advice for first timers - breed & dry stone walls
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2010, 02:02:52 pm »
Wouldnt worry too much about the shetland getting in with the pigs.  Whilst normally friendly one of ours has been known to chase next doors cows out of the field.


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