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Author Topic: Woodland Pigs  (Read 9583 times)

ruperthargreaves

  • Joined Jun 2012
Woodland Pigs
« on: June 05, 2012, 10:12:57 pm »
Hi Accidental Small Holder,

We have two acres of woodland, its not doing anything right now, it was inherited by from my father who thought it a good investment, in amongst others land it will need fencing, the woods are fairly dense.  As an investment its not worth much to us right now.

We have been considering buying some pigs but arent sure about a number of things..

- What type of fencing? [no escapes allowed!] how much would it cost to fence around the area? Would it need to be electric?
- How much damage will the pigs do to the land? Is this dependant on how many we have?  We were thinking of about 14 a year ideally for meat....
- Would there be enough growth for the pigs to live and thrive? What supplentation would we need to provide?
- If we wanted to keep some sheep would they live in harmony with the pigs? Would the pigs eat all the goodness?
- Roughly what yield would we get from the pigs realistically?
- If we wanted to breed them would they do it themselves or would we need to introduce new pigs / temporary males?

Sorry for the amount of questions, hopefully you can help..

Rob & Antonia

Beewyched

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
    • tunkeyherd.co.uk
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2012, 11:01:33 pm »
Hi & welcome from West Scotland  :wave:
Wow - sounds like you've inherited a brilliant piece of land & glad that you are asking a lot of good questions here ...
The cost of fencing would depend on the terrain - get several quotes & references from other folks.  For most breeds of pigs post & rail, with stock-fencing & either barbed wire run at the bottom (to prevent up-rooting) or a line of electric wire/tape along the inside.  You could seperate areas by electric fencing internally.
I would recommend accquiring a few good pig-keeping books - some of their authors post on here frequently ( commission please folks  ;) ;D  ) & try to attend a pig-keeping course.  See as many breeds as you can - up close & personal - to help you choose a breed/s that suit you.
Don't forget - lots of helpful folks on TAS too  ;D there will be a few piggy folk near you somewhere on here.
Lots to consider ...
 :love: :pig: :love:
 
Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry - www.tunkeyherdkunekune.com

Mammyshaz

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 11:12:54 pm »
Hello, welcome to the forum  :wave: from Durham


ambriel

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Kinlochbervie, NW Sutherland, Scotland
  • Mad, bad, and dangerous to know!
    • Harbour Cottage
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2012, 01:14:14 am »



Woodland must surely be pig heaven.


Two acres? I guess a lot depends on what the undergrowth is like but I'd have thought eight to a dozen would be comfy on that, assuming you'll also be feeding rolls.


Fencing will be expensive if you're going to pay someone else to do it, but it ain't rocket science so doing it yourself will save a fortune.




HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2012, 08:12:02 am »
Hiya and welcome to TAS  :wave:
 
I'd echo the 8-10, possibly 12 on 2 acres - if you're raising them spring to autumn that leaves time for the ground to recover for the next batch. If you wanted sheep too, I'd recommend halving the area and number of pigs - pigs would trash any grass and the sheep would need it  ;)  If your ground is very wet you might even need to cut back a bit on numbers too - as it will get churned up all the quicker.
Fence posts are about 2 each (you'd need them every 2 meters) strainer posts are around 10-15 pounds (unless you have larch in your woodland - then they are free cos you just cut down and strip a couple of trunks  :thumbsup: ) you'll need a strainer say, every 50 meters. Stock fencing costs between 30 and 50 for a 50m roll - all of this assumes you want to fence it yourself  ;)  If you're paying someone else to fence it you can pay anything from 3 per meter to 10 plus per meter (post & rail)
Pigs eat 1lb of hard feeding per month of age, per day - so 12, 3 month old weaners would be getting through 36lbs a day (most pig food comes in 20 or 25 Kg bags and costs anything from 7 to 10 per bag) buy the time they are reaching pork weight you'd be looking at double that. They need feeding and checking at least twice daily and constant access to fresh water (but not streams or rivers)
For an 85Kg liveweight pig you'd expect around 45Kg of cuts, joints and sausages. Slaughter and butchery charges vary around the country, but you're probably looking at around 60 to kill and cut each pig.
I would definately advise raising a few batches of weaners to slaughter first, before even thinking about breeding. There's lots of learning to do, to be sure that you're able to handle, inject and know what to look for when spotting problems not to mention that you're committed enough to spend nights with your pigs making sure everything is okay with farrowing or making the twice daily visit in rain, hail or snow  ;) . If you were to go down the breeding route in the future I'd think your maximum breeding stock with only 2 acres would be 2 sows and a boar (or visiting boar - so much easier  ;) ) to allow for paddock rotation and to stop overstocking and the land getting pig sick.
HTH
Karen  :wave:
 

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 08:23:12 am »
everything you have asked has been debated on this forum already it is just searching for it  but anyway here goes again
2 acres and you want 14 pigs on it  they will trash it  and the trees as well especially if you have this woolly idea of pigs getting everything from the environment even well fed pigs will strip the bark from trees
fencing to make it pig proof unless you can erect fencing to contractor standards forget DIY and get a contractor to do it and it has to be backed up with an electric scare wire do get several quotes for the fencing and go and see other jobs they have done
you don't mention water this is essential for there wellbeing and fresh running water  not stored
as to the yield of meat    from not much to nearly a ton and a half depends on the breed how long you keep them how they are fed  and your management
breeding forget about it totally 14 will become 114 then 228 and we will be reading about you in the news  and if you get pigs get either males that have been castrated or just get gilts
anything else just ask  :farmer:

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2012, 10:11:33 am »
Would agree with all thats gone before. don't run before you can walk especially if you have no prior experienc of keeping livestock.
Get a good pig keeping book, Carol Harris or Liz Shankland or go on one of Oakland Pigs courses! Or read the Getting started articles on the GOS website http://www.oldspots.org.uk/getting_started.asp
Keep 3 fatteners to see how you get on with those first and then you can gain experience go from there. There are quite a few surplus weaners around so you should have no problem picking up a trio at the moment. Just choose your breed. You will be amzed at how much land 3 little 'uns can turn over! As mentioned before they need to be fed watered and checked twice a day and need a dry draught free shelter for sleeping/wet weather.
Lots of info on here just need to go thro the topics.
HTH
mandy  :pig:
« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 12:15:12 pm by Fowgill Farm »

deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2012, 01:48:00 pm »
hi, you mention the wood is quite dense, in the first instance you may get a reasonable return from harvesting the crowded timber, it may at least pay for, or contribute to, the piggy fencing.

Tudful Tamworths

  • Joined Aug 2009
    • Liz's website
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 10:26:26 pm »
Excellent advice from Karen (Happy Hippy) - do take it slowly and don't overstock until you know what impact a small number of pigs will have on your ground.
Thanks, Mandy (Fowgill Farm) for the recommendation for my Haynes Pig Manual - much appreciated.
 
Do try and visit some pig keepers in your area if you can, talk to them about what they do. If you share the same kind of weather and terrain, it will give you a steer as to what is manageable.
 
Good luck with the pig keeping!
Liz
www.lizshankland.com www.biggingerpigs.com
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: www.humblebynature.com

Blonde

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 05:14:17 am »
Hi Accidental Small Holder,

We have two acres of woodland, its not doing anything right now, it was inherited by from my father who thought it a good investment, in amongst others land it will need fencing, the woods are fairly dense.  As an investment its not worth much to us right now.

We have been considering buying some pigs but arent sure about a number of things..

- What type of fencing? [no escapes allowed!] how much would it cost to fence around the area? Would it need to be electric?
- How much damage will the pigs do to the land? Is this dependant on how many we have?  We were thinking of about 14 a year ideally for meat....
- Would there be enough growth for the pigs to live and thrive? What supplentation would we need to provide?
- If we wanted to keep some sheep would they live in harmony with the pigs? Would the pigs eat all the goodness?
- Roughly what yield would we get from the pigs realistically?
- If we wanted to breed them would they do it themselves or would we need to introduce new pigs / temporary males?

Sorry for the amount of questions, hopefully you can help..

Rob & Antonia
Little pigs might be a better option rather than mature pigs, they do less damage cause they are small.

Break the land up in to several parcels rather than run all 2 acres.  A little fencing involved.  fence off the really good trees as  they will ring bark and dig up the roots and make them die.   By fencing them off they then still have shade, but cannot get up close to the trees to destroy them.

Feed them some grain to minimize the damage they will do and still allow them to graze. When the small area they have has been some what decimated move them to another area to give the previous patch time to recover.  You dont want a bare desert......

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 09:30:02 pm »
unless u are working the pigs to get rid of the weeds, id let them have the 2 acres and enjoy it. mine are in a 15 acre wood and go off exploring all the time. they r fit and they love it. they havent damaged trees tho our sheep and ponies have. its lovely to call them and hear them running thru the woods to find u.

arl

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2012, 01:01:53 am »
just listen to robert he says it as it is and gives me a chuckle at the same time.seriously everyone has put forth good info but its mostly trial and error and how much you love pigs.
Have fun i would love your land
Arl

oaklandspigs

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: Woodland Pigs
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2012, 08:37:07 am »
Yes you can keep pigs in woodland - we keep our fatteners in woodland - but there are some things think about.
 
PP has a system that clearly works, but you might also consider a rotation system - ie not giving the pigs all the area. This allows areas to recover and you to maintain the woodland. Depend on what you woods are like.   If trained to the electric fence, you can create a base area with ark and water, and then use electric to contain them within a smaller area, with just the outside fenced to prevent ultimate escape.
 
You mention 14 pigs over a year, and if you stared with 2, and added a new pig each month (pigs of different ages mix very well) or two every other month, you would have around 6 as a peak number growing through the system, which would work well on a 4 sub area division.
 
And thanks everyone for mentioning that we do courses and a book, see our website for 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

 

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