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Pigs For Clearing Land?

2521 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  cowgirlone
Does anyone have experience using pigs to clear land? I've seen a few brief references in literature but would like to know more before i try it. Thanks
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Yes, hogs will root out small underbrush if given a reason. My grandfather caught ferral hogs and put them in a hot wired patch, then he would throw in corn kernels, in and around palmettos and assorted weeds. When the hogs cleaned the small stuff, he would move them on to the next patch. The ground was clear of everything smaller than a mans upper arm.
Mostly they will root up the grass, even the rooty type grasses like nut grass, and small brush. They will trample soft wood trees, like myrtle, and make them easier to chop down but they won't clear the trees out. Like MooPups grandfather, I use my raorbacks to help me clean up. I am going to use some cleared sections for planting this spring. The help in preparing the soil given my pigs is wonderful.
Yes, I've seen that too- years ago a man we knew put hogs in an enclosed area, they rooted up every rock, small treestumps, roots and ate every bit of vegetation.He would then move the enclosure over and they'd do the next patch.Then he was able to bring a tractor in and level the ground and make it ready for seeding- and the bonus- fertilizer was free!
And when the job was finished- he had some hogs to butcher-win -win situation[ except for the hog, of course]
An old technique for directing the digging is to use a spud bar to punch holes under the roots or stumps you want rooted out and to fill the hole with whole kernel corn. As the pigs dig out for the corn, they will uproot as well.

Ken S. in WC TN
thank you all for taking time to reply. now if i may ask a further question on redirect.....

if i fence an area of, say, 5000 sq ft and place two young feeder pigs on it, are they likely to have done a thorough job on it by the time they reach butchering size in, say, around five months?

i'm trying to open some ozark land that's in fairly small trees (an old field the forest wants to reclaim) and while i love to dig, i don't expect to use any tractors anytime soon. i'd like to contrive a systematic approach where pigs and maybe goats would do most everything except the chainsaw work for me...
They will have done a pretty good job by the time they got to butchering size. For example, I moved two sows to a 1200 sq. ft. pen. In three weeks the majority of the grass is gone, except for their "bathroom area." they have a cluster of myrtles for shade but they have been thinned out considerably. These sows are on a commerical feed and do not depend on rooting for food. My razorbacks are in smaller pens, that are moved. One pen is about 50 sq. ft. with one young boar in it (about 30 lb.) I have to move the pen every 3 days because he has taken out all the grass and has begun to dig to China. He's also on comercial feed. The grass here is a mixture of bahia and nut grass. For me to do the same job would be back breaking. My small tiller can't break through it. Hope this helps.
We use ours to root up our garden area. Like Tango says, they will do a good job of it accept around their "bathroom area".
After the hogs, we place tractor scoops or wheelbarrels full of compost in the garden. We sprinkle cracked corn on top of the piles and turn the chickens in. They scratch and distribute the piles of compost all over the garden.
I then use the chickens to weed my garden walkways throughout the year using a tunnel made of chicken wire and pvc. I like having them do hte work for me. :haha:
could you describe the tunnel made of pvc? How does that work?
Sorry it took me so long to get back here!

My chicken coop/pen is right next to my garden, separated by a chickenwire fence.
I have little doorways cut into the fence at each garden walkway.
When I need a walkway weeded, I place my tunnel over the walkway and open the little chicken door, the hens go in and clean up the row in 10 to 15 minutes. I coax them back out with grain, move the tunnel to the next walkway, open the next door and so on til all the walkways are weeded.
I plant my garden in wide rows about 4 ft across. My walkways are smaller.

As for the tunnels, I made rectangle frames out of 3/4" pvc the width of my walkways and about 10 ft long. I attached garden "hoops" to the frames and covered them with chicken wire. (Garden hoops are those wire semi-circles used to hold up bug barriers/ etc. over your plants).

I made my tunnel in sections so I can easily pick a section up with one hand, they are really light weight. I place two or three in a line to do each walkway. Just remember that the last one has to have chicken wire covering the end.
The whole tunnel is about 2 ft tall, tall enough for my largest rooster to walk through with no trouble.

Hope this makes sense, If I ever get my scanner working, I'll post a picture! :)
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Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. You get the award for the best idea I've heard all year.
Wow Thanks Fin! :D
I made it about 10 years ago, aside from getting stepped on by a horse, it's still working great and I don't have to weed (YEAH)!
Please send the concept, with pictures, in to Countryside and Small Stock Journal. Let a couple of hundred thousand folks know about your neat idea.

Ken S. in WC TN
Ken, I've thought about doing that, now that I have a half decent camera, maybe I'll get it done. :)
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