Old fashoned farm

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Rob30, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I want to raise a diversity of livestock. Cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, etc. I also want to put them in the same pasture. Is that possible? My cattle and goats get along, but I am worried about the pigs. They are omnivores. Will they become agressive with the other critters? They will have plenty of room, about 35 acres devided into 3-4 padocks.
    Anyone have problems with agressive pigs?
     
  2. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    Pigs MAY bite other animals. The main problem I find is they root. If you have a piece of land you want turned under fence the pigs in there.

    The other problem is grain and salt. Cows and goats can have the same but not sheep. You must be carefull of how much copper they get. Pigs will eat it all and not let the others get any. Cows will bully the goats for grain also.

    Chickens and turkeys are not suppose to be together because of black leg I think. It is deadly. Also if you let chickens , turkeys and ducks roam 35 a they will be free food to owls, hawks,coy dogs,fox,coons,cats and dogs to mention a few.
     

  3. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have cattle and goats now. I made a hay feeder that allows the goats to eat on one side and the cattle to eat on the other. The cattle do bully a bit but they along better then I thought they would. I feed grain in the evening to get them back in the barn. Cattle are seperated in the barn. I live on the edge of a provincial park made famous by its timber wolves, so all critters are locked up at night. I am thinking of keeping the pigs on a pasture with cattle, my billy and a ram. The ewes and does on another pasture. I suppose the minerals would have to be given seperatly in the evening.
     
  4. thequeensblessing

    thequeensblessing Well-Known Member

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    We keep our horses, cattle, goats, and sheep all together in one pasture. This is actually a VERY good practice for maintaining a good pasture balance. It can get a bit tricky at times keeping everything fed properly if you supplement the pasture, as we do. We solved the problem by feeding everything separately. The horses know where they get fed, and they head straight for their stalls in the run-in. The cattle know their place as well. So do the sheep. The sheep are especially good about it because they don't like to compete with the larger animals for feed, so they stick to their own spots. The goats are the most opportunistic critters we have. They will eat anything and everything. The horses don't really let them muscle in on their feed, so that's not a problem. They do like to eat the sheep feed though. That's actually alright too. Sheep cannot eat goat feed, but goats can eat sheep feed. We use loose salt and offer it to all our livestock. The cattle get the mineral salt and the lambs and goats get the plain salt due to the sheeps inability to eat copper. This may seem labor intensive, but we are used to it and find it works well for us. If you are running only cattle and goats, you really have no problem if they eat one together. Especially if you feed an all-stock type of feed.
    We pasture our pigs too, and find that they only do serious rooting damage when the pasture gets overgrazed, or if the area is too small for the number of pigs we have there. We actually turn our pigs out on a smaller plot of land and let them have at it when we want to enlarge our fruit or vegetable beds.
    I hope this makes some kind of sense and helps you out a bit.
     
  5. rwood

    rwood Well-Known Member

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    Mixed Farmers...

    This is also my plan. How many of each animal could you (do you) run on 35 acres? (Assume average soil and pasture conditions).

    Cattle
    Pigs
    Sheep
    Chickens

    what if i wanted to feed 100% pasture (excluding mineral / salt), ie no extra feed? I will also have ten acres of grain/feed/fodder (on rotation) for selective grazing and fattening.

    What do you do? What have you seen done?

    Thanks
    Raphael
     
  6. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    I've read that hair sheep can tolerate copper?
     
  7. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    We have pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, guineas, dogs and children all on the same pastures.

    I have heard that turkeys and chickens should not be raised on the same pasture and that turkeys shouldn't follow chickens because of a disease (black head?) the turkeys can get from the chickens. I would suggest investigating this carefully.

    Our pigs are out with the other animals on pasture and in the garden corrals. Make sure they get enough to eat. They may go for poultry if they get hungry (late Fall season) or during feeding frenzies (chicken with bread in its mouth looks like a sandwich - oops!) when you're feeding a bunch of pigs and the chickens come over.

    My solution to truly agressive animals is the stew pot. Works wonders on attitude adjustment. :) I've never met someone I didn't like ... to eat.

    Keep an eye on things. It matters a lot on how the pigs, and other animals, are raised. We feed no meat or meat byproducts to our pigs. I don't want them getting a taste for it and it is part of our market pitch. Besides, the dogs need all the meat they can get so there is no waste left from kitchen or slaughter.

    I would suggest more smaller paddocks. A generally recommended system of rotation is three days to one week on and 20 to 30 days off. Even more than timing it is to watch the length of the plants. You don't want the animals eating the crowns or last 1/2" of grass. On the flip side, most grasses are most tender and nutricious at 6" to 8". This varies with season and species. You want the animals dense enough that they eat the whole paddock down and don't leave 'weeds'. On the other hand you don't want them poisoning themselves by eathing nasty things if they're starving.

    I would suggest fencing the outside line with permanent High Tensile electric and then doing temp electric polywire or 17 guage wire on step in posts while you get a feel for how you want to have things setup. You might even have some HT electric subdividing the 35 acres in 4 sections which are then further subdivided into paddocks by temp wire. That way it is easier to change as you learn. It may take time to fence the entire 35 acres, years perhaps.

    I've never had a problem with it but I have heard of it. I spoke with one gentleman who's boar gave him a cut on the arm requiring 17 stitches. It grabbed him by the arm and shook him. Huge boar, well over 1,000 lbs. He was still using the boar a year later. I would have eaten it. Don't mess around - make sure the animals know who is the boss and eat any who challenge the rules too agressively. Good dogs are a big help with managing all animals.

    Don't hand feed animals that may bite, throw the food to the ground - fingers are not to be considered treats.

    Beware that chickens like to peck small shiney moving targets - like eyes. Don't hold them up to your face. This is especially an issue for small children.

    Large animals are heavy and can step on your feet. Beware. They can also crush you against things like fences, trees, walls, stall sides, etc. Again, this is an even bigger problem for children.

    When you walk amoung the pigs, or any other animal that nibbles fingers, walk with your hands in your pockets or rolled into fists. Fingers that are in your hand stay on your hand and are not as tempting to taste.

    Don't let pigs play with your boots, sleeves or trousers. It is cute when they are piglets. It is very serious when they are 200 lbs and up.

    If an animal gets a little agressive, be quick to slap it down. Carry a slap stick or small club if necessary for the larger animals.

    Don't go in a confined space with an unknown or untrustworthy animal. Remember, you want to keep your limbs until you die, and you don't want that to be any day soon.

    Teach children to behave safely around the animals. Be kind to animals and be firm. You must be the Alpha.

    All that said, give pats and rubs when you can. Gentle the animals and treat them. Pigs love donuts. :) Weeds from the garden are another treat.

    We follow these rules and haven't had any problem. I'm not trying to scare you, must make sure you're aware. Don't have a disaster. Same sort of rules apply for power equipment. :)

    Cheers,

    -Walter
    Sugar Mtn Farm
    Livestock Dog Pups Available: http://SugarMtnFarm.com/pups/
    Vermont Cape House & Land: http://hollygraphicart.com/vermontcape/
     
  8. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    I've wondered if the tolerance varies a lot within all sheep. We have Cheviot and Montedale sheep. Our soil is very high in copper according to the soil tests. They used to mine copper in this area and we are right on a vein of copper that comes to the surface - makes for great lightning shows on the mountain above us. But our sheep are fine. These lines of sheep have been on this soil for well over 40 years - we got our starter ewes from a neighbor down the valley. Perhaps with time and selective breeding they can develope a tolerance - the ones that didn't died.
    Cheers,

    -Walter
    Sugar Mtn Farm
    Livestock Dog Pups Available: http://SugarMtnFarm.com/pups/
    Vermont Cape House & Land: http://hollygraphicart.com/vermontcape/
     
  9. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    All of my chickens and turkeys will be kept in chicken tractors except when I am there to watch them. The muscovy duck are 'free range' but they stay close to the house where the dogs keep preditors away. I know alot of people keep sheep and goats together, don't know how they deal with the copper issue.

    I am picking up two piglets in the morning. I will be a female, just in case we decide to start breeding them. The other a casterated male, for meat. The guy I bought them off says the females will fight from different litters. This throws a crimp in my plans because I was planning to get more females and a male in the fall, if I deside that I like the pigs. Has anyone added pigs to their herd? Did they fight?

    Anyone know what is involved in ringing a pig?
     
  10. SmokedCow

    SmokedCow Well-Known Member

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    Pigs + Chickens = No more Chickens!
    They will eat your birds...you'de be better off making a run off ur barn for they birds....But i guess it depends on how happy your hogs are! Best of luck!
    AJ
     
  11. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

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    I gather that turkeys must also be separate from pigs, as well as chickens.

    I have had some chickens which I would love to have fed to a pig, but I'd rather have pigs which will enjoy the company of the chickens, because the chickens are so good at getting rid of FLIES. (I despise flies!)
     
  12. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    pigs have to be kept seperate from other animals. turkeys away from chickens and sheep can carry a deadly herpes virus that can kill a calf in hours!we have arcott sheep and cheviot crosses as well as polypay cross they pasture with the horses and donkeys .ducks used to follow them but the eastern red wolf(coyote)made a meal of 30 over the summer.used to have goats(minis)and they would push the full grown rams around.chickens we have coop raised but looking at poultry arks as well as tracters for them as well as the rabbits.we used to buy in piglets in the spring and raised them in a tractor .the occasional duck or chicken would try and get some of their mash or the greens and would become dinner !! they don't care where their meat comes from!
     
  13. thequeensblessing

    thequeensblessing Well-Known Member

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    We raise our narragansett turkeys in the same coop as our chickens. They're separated only by chicken wire. We've never lost a turkey, or had any get sick. What is it that sickens turkeys that are raised with chickens? I'm very curious now. I mean, have I just been lucky so far??
    Maybe I need to post this question on the poultry board instead of here?
     
  14. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Ah, I see your pigs have not met my leetl freen d'electric chicken! :)

    Pigs can quite easily be trained not to eat poultry, puppies, children, lambs, etc.

    First of all, we don't feed them any meat.

    Secondly, as piglets they get introduced to the electric chicken. One bite and they quickly learn why they don't like to eat chicken.

    Thirdly, we raise them along side chickens, ducks, etc. Our gander lives with the piglets and sleeps right on top of the pig pile. I think he thinks he's a pig. I say piglets but these babies are about 180 lbs. Their mothers are about 400 to 500 lbs. The chickens are often found sitting on the pigs, cleaning their skin, etc.

    I know of someone who keeps pigs, chickens and rabbits all free ranging together. He says the pigs never bother the rabbits or poultry.

    The two things I find I do need to watch out for is:
    1) In a feeding frenzy a chicken with a piece of bread can look like a sandwich. I have seen this happen. I don't think the pig didn't actually mean to get the chicken, but once it was in it's mouth it was gone. The pig always says it was just reaching for the bread. Solution is not to have feeding frenzies when both chickens and pigs are too densely together. Creating a creep helps.

    2) In the Fall when the pasture was getting sparse I had a pig who did snarf a chicken very much on purpose. I ate her. But that was later. If they have enough to eat they don't get that hungry. I view that time as my fault. I should have started putting out hay sooner. Mia cupla.

    Likewise, the electric chicken works very effectively on overly playful puppies and cats to train them that chickens are not toys. Our dogs guard our flocks and herd them. Eating the birds without my permission isn't acceptable. Same issue as with the pigs.

    So what is the electric chicken you ask? Simple, take a dead chick or chicken and wrap some electric twine around it under the feathers. Make it look natural. Be artistic. Hang it near the ground like a chicken doing ballet from a stick off of the electric fence hot wire. (This is why you use a dead one.) Any animal foolish enough to bite it gets a swift and harmless correction. It is highly effective. Basic principles of behavior mod.
     
  15. SmokedCow

    SmokedCow Well-Known Member

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    I guess that depends on the person...I've had some snotty show barrows and some snotty show gilts...They are there...you just have to look...BUT...WE have also had some really sweet ones...
    AJ
     
  16. jlxian

    jlxian Also known as Jean Supporter

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    No doubt you are right, SmokedCow. Altogether we fed out 8 feeder pigs so my experience is not large and I shouldn't generalize.

    It occurs to me now that our most pleasant pigs were sibling groups, and the cantankerous ones were not. I wonder if that could have been a factor?
     
  17. SmokedCow

    SmokedCow Well-Known Member

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    Yes..My 1st bunch of show hogs (about 8 years ago) Where the nicest...But then...i spent every wakeing moment with them! :haha: I think its in the blood...Some of my pigs from the same blood lines have been total opposites! Its one weird world!
    AJ
     
  18. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well I let them out together.
    For the last week the weather has been great, so decided to let everyone out. I have around 1/2 an acre fenced for wintering cows and goats, training for electric fence. I let out the pigs. They ran, jumped, squeeled, rooted through the snow. Even Rosanne our 500lb preg sow. Everyone is getting along fine. The pigs are the bosses out side, but they get along. I even fed some treats today, a small old goat kept steeling it from the pigs. Rosy shoved her several times, and snaped at her, but nothing serious. Basically trying to get rid of her.
    Pigs really like to play. The cattle and goats don't. The pigs even got loose in the barn a couple times. All rabits, chickens and ducks were not threatened at all. Hope this is a sign of good times this summer.
    Now I have a preg lrg black/ tamworth coming on April 2. She lives with goats and chickens, so hopefully she will fit in. And is suposed to be very friendly.