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Author Topic: Pigs in young woodland  (Read 2892 times)


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Pigs in young woodland
« on: November 21, 2016, 12:12:31 pm »
Following on from a post about sheep in woodland -
Now just wondering about pigs, maybe weaners over summer ?
Woodland is about 4 acres, native trees, alder, willow, hawthorn, holly etc. about 4 - 5 years old, some trees have spirals, others tubes.
It would need electric fence down a long length, along top of steep banking, down through a muddy area to beck, fencing the beck off.
Would they damage Trees?  Presume they would need shelter, would just posts and a roof suffice ?
I was thinking 2 or 3.
I Have trouble with flies on the sheep down there, any similar problems to think about with pigs?
Dad always had pigs, Large white, Landrace etc, i helped him, but i just did as I was told, left decisions to him
Any thoughts please ?
Just been thinking, i seem to remember they liked a good rub/scratch against things, would they flatten the trees ?


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Pigs in young woodland
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2016, 12:25:08 pm »
Pigs can bother young trees.  If they have enough ground you may find they don't. 4 acres way too big an area though for weaners. They need a proper shelter but you could make something quite adequate if you are diy minded but open sides would not be good enough. Weaners are not going to flatten trees.  Pigs aren't affected by flies like sheep. They need a wallow to protect from flies and sun.


  • Joined Nov 2010
Re: Pigs in young woodland
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2016, 03:11:58 pm »
sometimes, there comes a point, where you just have to suck it and see... find half or quarter of an acre of this area and electic fence it off, and include plenty of water and a shelter. pigs drink a lot. Get some weaners in there, and throw some food at them twice a day. book your abattoir appt well in advance, probably once the weaners reach 6 months old ish. it's roughly 1lb of food, per pig, per day, per month it's been alive btw... split over the 2 feeds per day.

you wont go far wrong if you've done a bit of research and have animal-keeping neighbours to help out.

training the pigs to the electric fence can take a couple of days, but once they've got it, they wont dare cross the line of the fence.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Pigs in young woodland
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 10:59:40 am »
I suggest getting a copy of Pig Keeping by Richard Lutwyche (published by the National Trust).  Succinct and practical.  Pigs are inquisitive and will probably consider spirals and tubes the human equivalent of a toyshop. 


  • Joined Dec 2015
Re: Pigs in young woodland
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2016, 09:03:32 pm »
I had my first 2 weaners in a woodland entance last summer, the trees were 5/10 years + so not a problem.  Keeping fresh water and water for wallows was hard work as there was no mains near, 10 gallons / day on average.  You will need trailer access which luckly I had.  The first 3 weeks my saddlebacks would rather forest forage to pig nuts and hardly munched any!!! This is a worry if they ever got out (mine didnt) is they wont follow the bucket.  They loved pig nuts as they got older but never munched any treats at all??   Stock fencing a wood is harder than a field. Thorns in trotters is a real possibility you need blue spray!  The biggest plus is the taste it makes a massive difference.


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Pigs in young woodland
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2016, 11:23:25 am »
Thanks, interesting info,  I have until late next year, I can reduce the acreage, top side is stock fence, bottom is a steep drop to a large beck in some areas, further down stream it drops to stream level, obviously I'd have to keep them away from there. I have ever some books of my dad's,  but old and more Q&A type. Ideas have probably changed since then 

Tudful Tamworths

  • Joined Aug 2009
    • Liz's website
Re: Pigs in young woodland
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2017, 06:51:12 pm »
Don't do it! Not unless you can fence the trees off. I moved to a new smallholding just over a year ago and a lot of my land was planted up around 12 years ago under a woodland regeneration scheme. The pigs are gradually uprooting anything that isn't sufficiently deep-rooted, and stripping off the bark. I'll get some pictures when I get the chance.
Author of the Haynes Pig Manual, Haynes Smallholding Manual, and the Haynes Sheep Manual. Three times winner of the Tamworth Champion of Champions. Teaching smallholding courses at Kate Humble's farm:


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