Absolute Newbie!

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by eross230, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. eross230

    eross230 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    942
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    Napoleon, MO
    My friend and I have decided to get a few pigs to raise for meat. I have only been around pigs at my Grandmother's farm, and since I was young, never got involved in the raising aspect, except for dumping a metal bucketful of slop into the pen and touching the electric fence with the bucket at the same time. I learned never to do that trick again.

    The reason we are contemplating this adventure is the government's insistance on radiating, spraying our food with viral "protections", and just because of the terrible meat that is available at the stores today.

    As "Wanna Be" homesteaders, I need to know where to start. I currently have a huge flock of chickens both for meat and for eggs (some of which we sell) and I grow most of our vegetables.

    We have lots of room for them, but how much do they actually need? ie:how much square footage per piglet?

    Any websites, information, or opinions will be happily accepted! Or, if you think I am getting in over my head with this enterprise, please let me know now!
     
  2. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,386
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    Keene-Green-Bratt Triangle
    I'm a single woman in my 50's. I just raised two with no experience other than having chickens since November, so if I can do it anyone can! There are lots of very smart helpful people here; I probably couldn't have done it without their advice and encouragement. A good book is Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs, but honestly it's even easier than they make it out to be. Pigs like being outdoors and they like to run around, so I'd say a minimum area for two would be 30x30'. A pasture would be even better. In summer they need shade and mud, and in winter, shelter from snow and cold wind; but for example mine never went under the tarp shelter I made them all summer unless it rained very hard. I made them a fence out of electric tape, put nipple waterers on a big barrel, made sure they were cool and well fed and got nice ear scratches several times a day, and they were perfectly content. They destroy the spot they're in so you can't put them anywhere that the vegetation is important to you, but OTOH they'll clear a future garden spot for you in no time. The only hard part was butchering time--pigs are very endearing. I kept one and hope to breed her if I can overcome the lack of a boar. She's lonesome, though; definitely get at least two, but definitely get some! :D
     

  3. eross230

    eross230 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    942
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    Napoleon, MO
    Thank you for the input and encouragement! What do you feed yours? I have seen bags of feed at TSC for pigs, but as I learned from the poultry forum, sometimes feed isn't the whole story!

    I wonder what my chickens will think about sharing their kitchen scraps with the pigs? Probably about what the dogs thought when I split the kitchen scraps with the chickens!
     
  4. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,484
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    I would do as Firefly has suggested, and buy a couple of feeder pigs at about 50 pounds. Start them with a 16% pig starter/grower for a couple of months, drop down to 14% for the next month or so, and finish them off to around 240-250 with a 12% hog finisher. Check your pig starters/growers carefully as most of them are medicated. This doesn't matter to some, and it may not to you, and that's fine. I just think it's unnecessary. I grind and mix my own feed for this reason.

    And yes, hogs are great dispose-alls for scraps, cracked eggs, sour milk, etc.
     
  5. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

    Messages:
    847
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    River Valley, Arkansas
    We raise a few each season and we are going to raise one or two over this winter. (Mild).

    We put t-post every 4' for strength, use 16' cattle panels, at the bottom around the panels we put barn siding so the hogs can't see outside until they get full grown. We wire or clip all the panels extra for safety.
    We have a small wallow pit for them to lay in in warm weather,(pigs can't sweat and this wet pit helps them stay cool and also helps keep bugs off them.)

    We don't feed ours any meat or meat by-products, but that is just our choice, other do feed them meat scraps so it is just a choice.

    We make friends with our hogs being ever reminded that pigs can take a finger off in a flash and they don't know that hands aren't food.

    We feed our hogs their GOODIES at the exit gate on wood so they are familier with stepping up tp get GOODIES, that way when it comes time for them to go they just basically walk on to the trailer to get their goodies.

    We feed them using a two drawer feed container and always have feed in it 24/7 so they eat when they want.

    Water barrel is 55 gal drum with a bowl type waterer wher the hog has to push their nose on a paddel to get the water.
    Nipple type waterers are just as good.

    Most of all, if the hogs are well fed, pampered and well watered they won' t want to run out of their pen as much.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]