Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I came across websites that say that pigs' hooves need to be trimmed unless they are kept on concrete. Frankly, this is the first time I have seen this (and really, I tried to do my homework, reading bunch of books and online resources before we got our pigs).

Do pasture raised pigs need their hooves trimmed for real? We definitely do not have any concrete available for them.

Please pardon my ignorance on the subject.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,852 Posts
My trick with trimming is I put stones around waterers and feeders as well as on trails. The animals (sheep and pigs) walk on the stones and self-trim their hooves. Much easier than trimming the hooves of hundreds of animals. In the winter their hooves get slightly longer as they're up on snow pack and that is when the stones around the waterers and such are important.

Cheers,

-Walter
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
727 Posts
what a great question; and again; thanks Walter for you suggestion of stones. We have sandy soil around our water trough but some stones are totally doable. We have hard pan chunks that come up that would work great for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
My trick with trimming is I put stones around waterers and feeders as well as on trails. The animals (sheep and pigs) walk on the stones and self-trim their hooves. Much easier than trimming the hooves of hundreds of animals. In the winter their hooves get slightly longer as they're up on snow pack and that is when the stones around the waterers and such are important.

Cheers,

-Walter
Awesome, thanks Walter! We do not have the rock down yet but we are actually having some delivered in a few days. One of the things we plan to do with it was to place it around waterers, feeders and other high traffic areas so that the goats would get their hooves trimmed (we do not have the goats yet, just getting ready for them). So it is great to know that it will work for pigs as well.

I wonder if the reason why I have not come across much info on hoof trimming for pigs until now is that most of the time the focus is on feeding a pig for slaughter in 6 months and their hooves do not get long enough in that time frame.

Either way, thank you very much!!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
To be honest I just do not think it is that big of a problem in pigs, which is why you do not hear about it much. Probably due in large part to some of the things you mentioned, 6 month to processing, commercial operations are all raising on concrete. In a pasture or grazing type set up they will be moving around daily, so they are always wearing to some extent. Unless a person had them penned up on really soft ground I do not think it would ever be a problem. Now if a person really knew what they were looking for, there may be some abnormal growth issues that could be fixed by proper trimming, but we are talking about a pig, not a high performance animal?

I am a farrier among other things and I have mules. I can tell you the same thing will be said about horses and mules. "They must be trimmed and/or shod every 6 to 8 weeks". Not entirely true. This all depends on the things mentioned above, what type of ground are they on and how much exercise are they getting. I have some horses who have not been trimmed in over 10 years in pasture, my mules usually get trimmed a few times a year. All perfectly sound. Where we live the ground is rocky and the hills are gravelly soil. So what I am saying is that as long as the animal has some places it goes that are hard and/or rocky they will trim down by use and not need any human intervention in most cases.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
To be honest I just do not think it is that big of a problem in pigs, which is why you do not hear about it much. Probably due in large part to some of the things you mentioned, 6 month to processing, commercial operations are all raising on concrete. In a pasture or grazing type set up they will be moving around daily, so they are always wearing to some extent. Unless a person had them penned up on really soft ground I do not think it would ever be a problem. Now if a person really knew what they were looking for, there may be some abnormal growth issues that could be fixed by proper trimming, but we are talking about a pig, not a high performance animal?

I am a farrier among other things and I have mules. I can tell you the same thing will be said about horses and mules. "They must be trimmed and/or shod every 6 to 8 weeks". Not entirely true. This all depends on the things mentioned above, what type of ground are they on and how much exercise are they getting. I have some horses who have not been trimmed in over 10 years in pasture, my mules usually get trimmed a few times a year. All perfectly sound. Where we live the ground is rocky and the hills are gravelly soil. So what I am saying is that as long as the animal has some places it goes that are hard and/or rocky they will trim down by use and not need any human intervention in most cases.
Muleman, thank you for your perspective. Our "pasture" is a mix. More than half of it is almost flat, grassy with soft, clay type soil. But if you dig a little, you find a lot of rocks. The rest of it is a hill, it has more rocks on surface, less grass and more brush & trees. The pigs run all over the place but they do spend more time on the bottom vs. the hill.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,201 Posts
I have been to farms all over Missouri and states close by in the past 3 years. And 4 big pig farms where the animals are outside. I have seen sows 1-7 years old. 10k sows or more. I have never seen a sow that needed the hoof trimmed. I did check on this years ago as someone told me about it. Just one Lady that had Pot Belly pigs East of here said she had a vet trim hoof on one older sow that someone had gave her.
I haven't owned a pig that is over 3 years old. No problem here with bad hoofs.

Years ago we did trim the horses and mules hoofs when shoeing them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,852 Posts
It can become a problem for sows. I've seen articles about trimming pig's hooves and I saw the excessive growth long ago before I figured out the trick of the rocks. For us the problem only happened in the winter which is what made me think of why and thus what to solve the issue - rocks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
I have one sow who would probably like a trim. She has very strong healthy bones and her hooves grow very nice and thick. alas, so strong and thick they don't chip down. i know the feeling...farmer/goldsmith with 1/4-1/2 inch long nails here!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,769 Posts
My husband belly rubs all of ours at one time or another just to watch them fall over and grunt happily. We recently bought a 9 mo old Berk boar from a big breeder. This guy had never been handled the way we do ours and DH scared him the first time he tried to pet him. Now you walk over to him and hold out your hand and he falls over.
I know we mess with ours like amateurs but we don't have a lot and enjoy being around them.
No one has ever tried to bite but we know the possibility is always there.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top