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Discussion Starter #1
So, here is our plan-
We have a hutch and steel panel fencing. Fresh water. And we are going to feed our leftover goats milk, buckets of food scraps brought home from dh's kitchen job, and a mix of corn and oats.
With this plan, probably a five gallon bucket of food scraps each everyday, how much feed will they go thru?
Generally speaking, is there anything else we should be doing/preparing before they come?
Is there a need like with other animals to gradually switch over feed from the hog pellets/feed they are on?

We have had a terrible draught this year and our garden has suffered. We considered just putting the pigs in the garden space but its just woven wire. If its a large space will that contain them or would they be happy staying in there or would we have to run a line of electric fence along the bottom?
any other newbie advice would be great.
 

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spellcheck is my freind!
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The more space you give them the less likely they will be to try to escape. We originally built our large pen with livestock wire and an electric wire along the bottom. We found that the electric wire was not necessary, they seem quite happy with the space they have. Not one have ever gotten out or even tried to. Of course we only raise 2-3 pigs at a time.
The feed depends on how many pigs you are getting. With 5 gallons of scraps a day 2 or 3 pigs wouldn't need much feed at all.
Another tip would be to use hay for their bedding. They'll not only sleep in it but they will eat it too. Pigs don't poop where they sleep so the hay will stay pretty clean.
Good luck! :)
 

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KS dairy farmers
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Birch you don't reflect your location, but suffice to say it's hot enough most places in the Country right now that pigs will require shade, and a mudhole formed by running a garden hose on the dirt. Pigs don't sweat. They need a wallow to cool themselves.
Pigs are versatile in what they can eat. Weeds and grass from around the yard and home are appreciated and readily consumed. The garden fence *might* hold them, but a low electric wire would be prudent, and give you peace of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tips- I am in Michigan. I did not know they need a mud hole, I will go run the hose out there now. They have shade and seem to be doing okay except for one thing- the male pig seems like its legs are giving out or something today. It will just be standing there and sort of collapse and get back up? its weird! Any insight?
Also, can they get sunburnt? because they look like they are....they were confined in a barn until coming here so I am sure its an adjustment? they are nine weeks old, York/Hampshire mix.....
 

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KS dairy farmers
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Acute exhaustion and overheating can cause pigs to lose use of legs momentarily and then get up again and go as you have described. But these symptoms fit different things. Young pigs can run and play so hard in their exhuberance that they will do this, and no harm done. On the same token, these can also be the symptoms exhibited by sunburned pigs, which can become quite ill and suffer greatly. You will have to make a judgement call based on the supporting evidence.
White pigs by and large are more prone to sunburn, but most pigs can be affected by it.
We farmed in WI until recently, on a par with the UP of Michigan. Even that far North, the Heat and Humidity can really take a toll on pigs. If the thermometer exceeds 82F I would make the effort to run water into a wallow hole for the pigs. The Pigs will thank you.
Good Luck with those guys.
PS, feed should not exceed 1% salt content. If feeding cafe plate scrapings, pigs will sort off the lemon wedges, orange garnishes and stomp them into the dirt. This is normal, as pigs do not eat Citrus :shrug: . I don't know the why, only that it is so.
 

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They can get pretty rambunctious and once they start rooting they can easily destroy or go under any fence. I have wood staked inside the hog panels and then ran an electric fence wire around the wood, the electric is the only sure methods and they are quick learners. Once trained to the wire you could probably put them in your garden with a dummy wire as they repect electricity. 1- 5gallon bucket wouldn't be enough for 2 hogs unless supplemented with commercial feed, at least not for my 2. You mention boys, are they whole males or castrated? Keeping clean drinking water is a chore as they will get in whatever you use for water especially if it's hot. I've got a cut off plastic barrell and they will get as far in as they can to cool off and make more mud.
 

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usually the feed meat conversion rate is 3lbs feed 1lbs weight gain.

as far as the other I don't feed scraps in big bunches, just as treats so I can't help you there.

Happy pigs/hogs don't seem to want to break out.
we have ours in cattle panels with sheet metal at the bottom to limit their view.
 
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