Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Pigs for clearing pasture  (Read 5355 times)

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Pigs for clearing pasture
« on: November 06, 2012, 04:21:44 pm »
Hi :wave:
   I am thinking of buying in a couple of pigs to clear come pastrure prior to re seeding. This seems like an effective way of preparing the ground as well as a way of filling the freezer full of bacon :thumbsup:
Can you give me your thoughts on,
What breeds I should concider, where I should get them from, how much I would expect to pay, how much space they would require, when to purchace them and how long would I need to keep them to fatten them up?
 
 :pig: ;D
 
 
 
   
   

MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: Pigs for clearing pasture
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 04:58:48 pm »
My guess is that you want to re-seed the pasture in the Spring so that would mean getting pigs now. Weaners may be cheap at this time of year but looking after pigs , purchased to clear pasture over winter, is a big ask. Shelter, fencing and a fresh water supply may be a lot to sort out. If you are up for this challenge then you will get some good advice here about type or breed of pig, feed etc etc and thus the probable weight gain before slaughter after x months.
I only flag up the need to consider over wintering pigs because I found it very difficult despite them having a stye within the barn attached to our house. Water was an issue when we had frozen mains water for 3 weeks. The pigs would not go out in the deep snow to search for grass or roots. By december thad eaten all the chestnuts that I had collected.Every day I would try to cook up spuds etc to add to their pig nuts - even their apple store ( I gathered masses for them) was frozen.
Hard work.
www.cadeauxdelaforge.fr
Gifts and crafts made by us.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Pigs for clearing pasture
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 05:05:22 pm »
Yes, pigs will do all that for you!

You've a couple or three TAS members in your vicinity, so probably a good plan to see what they have available when you want them, and decide which you like best of those.  There are certainly Gloucester Old Spot and Lops nearby to you.

Karen's a whizz on the space requirements so I'll leave her to answer that one with figures.

I expect to pay 50-ish for rare breed pure bred weaners, a little less for crossbreeds.  The ones I've had so far have wanted to be 7 months old for pork, a few months longer for bacon (but it takes a bit of management to keep the fat down to a reasonable level as you grow them on bigger for larger and more bacon.)  Weaners are usually ready to leave mum at around 8 weeks, so plan to have them for about 5 months.

If your part of the world is as 'orrible and muddy as it is here now, you would probably be best to wait until February/March, say, to get little ones.  They can't cope very easily with wet mud when they're small, so it'd be best to defer getting them until the ground is drying up and the air warming up.

Plus, of course, you will be wanting to spend lots of time with them and observing them, gathering material for your new bestseller 'Talking Pigs'  ;) :-J :D
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Pigs for clearing pasture
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 05:31:01 pm »
Thanks for the advice you two and although we dont ever suffer from mud here as the land is so sandy the point about feeding them through periods of heavy snow fall is worth concidering  :-\
I have no apples this year due to all the rain and altough the padocks are all surrounded by post and pig netting and I have some electric sheep netting, I would need to purchase a pig arc, feed and water troughs etc.
But as you say, I would need to get them now in order to have the land cleared for seeding in spring.
I will see who's who in the world of pigs in my neck of the woods and find out a little more.
Talking pigs eh.......now there's an idea :thinking:
(at the risk of mixing my threads...I have just been sent some proofs of the front cover for Talking Chickens! Its so exciting :excited: )

colliewoman

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Pigs for clearing pasture
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 06:27:46 pm »
Or perhaps let someone else use your patch til spring for their pigs and have a share in the pork in lieu of rent? :idea:  or  :huff: ??


 ;D
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Pigs for clearing pasture
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 09:13:40 pm »
I tried this and the problem I had was that all the dock seed that had been in the soil got turned over by the pigs and fertilised and I now have a strip of my field that is almost entirely docks  ::)
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: Pigs for clearing pasture
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 10:13:33 pm »
True - we had a strip of dock but we harvest their leaves for the rabbits. they love it. If i dif the dock roots up after rain then te ducks eat the worms and grubs before I throw the root for the pigs to eat.
All together now - " Always look on the bright side of life de de, de de"
www.cadeauxdelaforge.fr
Gifts and crafts made by us.

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Pigs for clearing pasture
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 10:38:20 pm »
We find our pigs eat all the dock roots but there are millions of seeds in the ground just waiting for an opportunity. Let them get started then spray them with weedkiller before sowing whatever you want to grow.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Pigs for clearing pasture
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 08:13:08 am »
Humn,
                 I think you are managing to talk me out of the idea. We do have some docks ( at the moment the sheep are wearing whats left of them) so I would definatly have to spray. :-\
             I like the idea of borrowing someone elses but I would still end up having to feed and water them through the very bad weather as Mak points out.
            There doesn't seem to be any pig keeping members near me on the members map so I will have a look through the small holder directory.
            I also have a fear that OH may find sending them to market really difficult. I will be fine with it of course....tough as old boots me :-J ;)
 

MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: Pigs for clearing pasture
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 08:23:29 am »
Just a taste of "winter pigs" this morning. It rained all day yesterday and I did not cook up any beetroot and spuds for the pigs. We had pasta and did not make soup for lunch. So no veg waste and no chestnuts for the pigs. They had trashed their stye so I had to climb over and move their trough and upturn their buckets before I could give them nuts and water. The frost has now melted back and we have a blue sky so I am off with my bucket for chestnuts and will light a fire to cook up 3 days worth of pig food. Imagine doing this when it's -20 !!
www.cadeauxdelaforge.fr
Gifts and crafts made by us.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Pigs for clearing pasture
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 08:48:43 am »
Point made Mak ;D
                          we have had the heavy frosts and wintery rain for the past few days though today is mild. I would have to feed them nuts rather than prepairing lots of fresh food. But having just read Victorian Farmers prediction for the weather in the sheep threads I think Jan might be a better time to aquire them than right now.
 
 

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Pigs for clearing pasture
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2012, 09:54:15 am »
Buffy
i know you pm'd me but wasn't sure if you were enquiring about pigs or telling me where to get some ???  all i can say is that i have a GOS litter due mid jan for weaners mid march and a litter due early march for weaners end April if you are interested.
Like the others i wouldn't advise keeping them thro winter see my pictures on topic 'A tea-time conundrum', they'll explain why!
They are great at land clearance but as the others say do seem to stir up a lot of wed seedlings but i suppose that equates with the time of year they're in the pasture.
All the best
mandy :pig:

 

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