Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Thinking of pigs  (Read 1457 times)

suzi

  • Joined Jul 2022
Thinking of pigs
« on: December 13, 2022, 05:02:46 am »
Iím after advise if possible please

I currently keep sheep, goats and hens only as my livestock.

Iím toying with having a few pigs after lambing next month.

I donít have outdoor space that I could spare for them so they would have to be stable reared (15x20 box) I can electrify and 40x40 year where they can get outside time everyday. But itís concrete. I have no where else thatís not taken over by sheep and goats.

Iíve started doing some reading and read that as long as pigs are stimulated they do really well in that kind of environment.

Id love to know if anyone has done this and what they thought of it.

The last thing id want to do is add animals to my small holding I canít care for properly. Iím trying to gather as much of peoples first hand experience so I donít end up in the situation I canít look after 2 possibly 3 piglets.

I also want food security now more than ever. We all know how tough the supermarkets are now. I need to make sure my kids (and dogs and cat for that matter) always have access to good quality food.

Id be greatful for any help anyone can give as this is very very different and tbh Iím very nervous because itís so new.

Iíve handled pigs and feel confident that way.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2022, 08:15:18 am »
I know someone who rears pigs for meat in a couple of "bays" within a barn. They have gilts one side and boars the other. They are very well cared for, with lots of clean straw and a trough full of soil to rootle through. They are attended to several times a day with daily mucking out of the latrine area.  The weaners I saw when I visited looked very content. But it is very labour intensive to keep pigs this way. You would be looking at around 4 months of "intensive care" from the point of purchase (around 8 weeks) to point of slaughter (around 26 weeks). So, to answer your question yes it's possible, but there will be a lot of labour involved on your part if you want to keep your pigs clean, stimulated and happy.



harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2022, 09:49:54 am »
Given plenty of space pigs are very clean. I'm not sure what Richmond's friends are doing that is so labour intensive  :thinking:  It is very unusual that pigs soil their beds so a daily "muck out" would involve lifting just poo and with 2/3 finishers that really shouldn't be more than a five minute job. And if you missed a day it wouldn't kill you.


They will play with old tyres and branches and with a large concrete area you could scatter feed rather than giving them easy piles.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2022, 10:39:58 am »
Pigs are *much* happier indoors with lots of hay or straw to play and rootle in, some soil for minerals, and goings on to watch, than they would be outside in deep, wet, cold mud.  And yes, for 2 or 3 weaners in a large stable with plenty of straw, and access to some outside space - and some soil, however delivered - some of the time, it shouldn't be too much hard work.  (Sows and piglets would be more work, but weaners aren't massive for a couple of months and then go off after a couple or three more!)

Feed is eye-wateringly expensive though, and feeding kitchen scraps mostly illegal, so check your plans / sums... 
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

PipKelpy

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cow and sheep!
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2022, 01:15:02 pm »
Iím after advise if possible please

I currently keep sheep, goats and hens only as my livestock.

Iím toying with having a few pigs after lambing next month.

I donít have outdoor space that I could spare for them so they would have to be stable reared (15x20 box) I can electrify and 40x40 year where they can get outside time everyday. But itís concrete. I have no where else thatís not taken over by sheep and goats.



That's actually similar to what I used to do. I did start off with a couple of sows, pigging twice a year for a few years, but when they went, we didn't replace them due to issues flogging piglets (not everyone wants squealers) and prices kept going up/down etc and this was in the early 2000's.

With lambing December/January, by March, the looseboxes would be free so I would get weaners in. I had them in day/night but let them loose twice a day, often taking them for walks around the place. Pigs sleep lots, mine did, the loose boxes have cameras as I lamb in them.

Totally understand food security. I haven't reared pigs for a couple of years due to the cost of the feed and I didn't get any new hens in due to Avian Flu lurking in February. We buy 6/12 eggs a week off my dad who has now decided because of avian flu BUT MAINLY feed costs, will not replace his birds.

Pig age for the dirty deed, I would buy them in at 8 wks but they went at 20 week max. The last batch I had actually went younger as they were spiteful little blighters! They ganged up on a sheep who was defending the others. Never happened before. They even went for the cattle.
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

suzi

  • Joined Jul 2022
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2022, 08:53:25 pm »
Thank you all so much for your advise.
Iím going to give it a go after the lambs are born and all sheep are out again (roll on that time!)

The stable I have in mind for the pigs will have been deep littered with the sheep for 4 months (these are soft Friesians who come in at night even in the summer!)
Plan I kind of thought is to add wood chip about 1 foot on top. Then keep adding straw to play in.

I didnít think of tyre's or branches for them to play with.
I have food orientated toys already. They are horse proof (my idiot pony plays hard and itís survived him ).

Food scraps wise. Am I right in thinking as long as itís not entered a kitchen itís fine to give them?

Iím planting 2 acres of veg next year. To feed the county it feels like 😂😂
Iím hoping to feed more of the animal myself next year. Iíll have produce from that as well as milk from our own sheep and goats. Iíll have more than we can ever use. I was thinking of giving the pigs that as well. They would obviously have concentrated feeds as well.
Am I wrong thinking thatís legal?
Thank you again

Suzi

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2022, 07:53:17 am »
You may find as your pigs get bigger they just dig up your deep litter bed. I know people who have turned pigs into deep littered pens to actually loosen it for mucking out. Some people might be concerned that there is the chance for infection from this but I don't know of any issues.


Absolutely nothing that been through the kitchen but veggie plot waste from the plot and milk straight from the dairy is fine. You have to be very clean with milk or it gets smelly quickly.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2022, 11:54:29 am »
Introduce milk or milky waste products soon as you get the weaners, but slowly, building up the quantities.

If you will be feeding all fresh or all post-processing and soured waste, that's fine, but if some of each, then make sure you introduce *all* those types, not just fresh, or whey, or sour.

(We weren't milking when our weaners arrived last year, and didn't give them any dairy at all for a couple of months.  Then we had one seemed to be lactose (or cow milk) intolerant.  I suspect we would have been okay if we'd started them with some milk and other dairy waste in their diet from the get-go.)
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

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2022, 07:59:36 pm »
Pigs will do very well - actually usually too well - on goatsmilk and/or whey (if your dairy is not your kitchen obviously...), so milk in moderation or reduce pellets.


More of a problem may be a local abattoir and butcher - we had to stop doing pigs as the local abattoir closed and the nearest ones are all at least 2 hour drive away... and then it was impossible to find a local butcher to do the cutting for us.




suzi

  • Joined Jul 2022
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2022, 12:57:55 am »
Thank you again for the advise.

My local slaughter house for pigs is 45 mins away. Iím lucky.

I ran the idea past my vet yesterday and she didnít seem to think it was a great idea. She said legally itís fine, but the space I have is limited.
She said itís fine for 5 large ewes to be in there to lamb over winter though.
I have ample toys already. I need to sort feeders and waters out for them.
And what breed is best.
I know I want a rare breed of I can. Everything I seem to have is a rare breed now 😊

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2022, 12:44:59 pm »
One of the best rare breeds for a good carcase shape at a younger age, which might be a good target for your situation, is the British Lop.  Lovely pigs too, usually friendly and docile.

Saddlebacks also grow well by 6 months but are likely to be larger-framed, so not perhaps the best choice for limited space.

My personal experience is that Large Blacks need time to mature slowly, so I would not recommend them for your situation.

I have also had Oxford Sandy & Blacks, fab pigs which make fab meat, but I think also will need more like 8 months, especially if you are wanting to do it on waste veg and dairy as far as possible to reduce costs.
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

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2022, 01:14:37 am »
And did your vet say how much space they need?  :thinking: 


Just get two and you can decide next time if an extra one will work. I think they will be fine.


I keep lops and I take them to 100kg lw. I'd do the same with saddles. GOS and LB 80kg. BK and MW 65kg.


Get something you like. You have to look at them daily. All home reared pork will taste better than supermarket stuff.

suzi

  • Joined Jul 2022
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2022, 05:33:53 pm »
Sooo development from my landlord.
Iím allowed 2 pigs outside in a trial time.
Basiclly the previous tenant is being horrific to me (I dare to rent the land I have).

I have 1/4 acre I can allocate to  give to 2 pigs.
Iíve done all my reading on keeping them inside. Iím clueless on outdoor keeping .
Iím wanting to buy them in feb. So have the month to get the fencing right and get educated 😊

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2022, 08:49:34 am »
Good fencing ie well driven in posts, properly tensioned netting, barbed wire along the bottom an absolute must. Or train to electric. A shelter on a dry spot, ventilated but not draughty. Access for trailer or train to move and have somewhere to load them from.


Whereabouts are you?

suzi

  • Joined Jul 2022
Re: Thinking of pigs
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2022, 01:48:03 pm »
i have electric livestock netting available to me right now. pallet fencing along the back fence ( i was putting electric infront of it).

i was thinking of a pallet shelter (they seem to be the theme of the holding lol).

i have barbed wire i could run it along as well.

im in hastings. seems no where near any other small holders here. there must be more of us here. just havent found any

 

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