I agree with the above poster. I accepted what pigs are and what they naturally do long before I got pigs. so when they have their big mudholes, I just think its smelly and ugly but I'm happy cause they are so very much enjoying it
Only thing that sucks is when they root their way out of their pen and go running around....mucking about....and you come outside to find one saying "oh there's mom! lets go stampede her!" HAHAHA. I just toss some grain into their pen and back in they go - on their own. I wish my goats were that easy to catch. LOL.
I have the same problem and have decided my pig will fly before she stops digging holes in her pen! She dug under her fence last week, but I just put her back and keep filling in the holes with big rocks. It is working for now.....
I have found that HeritagePigs is correct. Give them enough room with food above ground and you will see very little rooting. Watch them in the fall, that is when I have found that they root the most. Pasture rotation is your friend.
=== Give them enough room with food above ground and you will see very little rooting. ==
I said 'most' pigs naturally root 'cause mine haven't. They roam free on the desert acreage. The only plant life is what nature has grown. I keep hay always available for the pigs. I throw excess eggs on the ground to break for them to eat. They also get other stuff.
The only place they somewhat root is their sleeping spot. Reminds me of how dogs go in circles to get their sleeping spots just right even though it was their ancestors who had to knock down the tall grasses for a spot to sleep.
My hogs have 140 acres to roam, including 20 acres of corn, lots of pasture grass and alfalfa, ponds, and everything a hog could hope for. They still root. Sometimes they just eat "their greens" as I call it, other times they root and the ducks gather round to nibble on what they can grab that the hog tosses out of the hole.
Put a ring in it's nose. It works everytime. Has worked for decades and decades. Looooooong before there was an internet.. if you can believe that.
" Give them enough room with food above ground and you will see very little rooting."
I disagree heartily with the above statement in bold. Every year I've ran pigs on pasture, beit in NC or Pa. I've had hogs root. It's their nature. Hogs have an olfactory system surpassing most of the dogs on your average farm, and most hogs are smarter than those same canines. So, if that hog smells something worth rooting up, it's gonna do it. I don't care how lush your pasture is. Even a hog gets bored with the same-old-same-old and will tear up ground for subterrenian yummies.
Some hogs just need a little extra reminder when it becomes habitual or destructive to the pasture or pen itself.
Regardless of your technique, I wish you best of luck.
Last edited by triple divide; 08/23/10 at 05:23 PM.
I've found that pastured pigs are the happiest and root the least. My two cents may not count for too much, though, as I don't raise them year 'round. I generally get three or four weaners in April, and they're off to the butcher by the end of August. They're on a three-acre pasture, and it's in fine shape once the pigs are gone.
I guess I don't understand what is so wrong with rooting, at least on pasture. Rooting improves your pasture by bringing up seeds from plants that grow naturally and taking nutrients down. I guess I can understand if their rooting causes soil erosion or if you need the pasture to be nice and clean for hay.
My solution has been to compromise. I use half of my pasture for hogs and half for hay.
I've tried rings, both normal and humane, and they just aren't worth it. Hogs need to root. Let them be hogs.
As for rooting in pens, well, most folks know that I just don't support pigs in pens.
I'm sorry, weren't you implying here in your experienced opinion per the OP ("How do u stop a pig from digging"?) that the answer was more pasture?
If the answer cannot be found with more pasture now (I'm guessing your hogs do root after all?), and the poster wishes to control destructive rooting (outside your feelings that there is nothing wrong with the behavior), how then, can he curb the behavior that is a nuisance to his operation?
Not trying to be snotty here, but it kinda-sorta sounds like you might not really had any advise to offer the OP given your admitted objections to light confinement of livestock.
I apologize in advance if I misread your posts. They just seem..well, contradictory, I guess... Maybe some clarification is all I need, given the ambiguity of your origional post to this thread.
Last edited by triple divide; 08/23/10 at 07:24 PM.
triple divide: You read me wrong. My advice to the OP meant that if he has to raise pigs in a pen make it as large as he can. Make it where there is some vegetation. The more room a pig has, and more grass she has to eat, the less she will tend to root. Once the vegetation has become sparse she will root more.
My objection to pens is that the ones I see are often very unhealthy because they are very small. A pig living in its own filth means a lazy farmer owns the pig.