pointers for a soon to be newbie pig tender?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by arley, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. arley

    arley Member

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    I just called on an ad is out local shopper for 40-50#feeder pigs for $35 each. I was curious, so I called. Up until this point I have been tending a small flock of sheep, laying hens and meat chickens. I am thinking that a couple of pigs may not be too much to add... I have a pen in a large barn that is 5x10 feet. There is water and electricity in the barn. The floor is concrete. I have plenty of hay and have access to feed. What I need is words of wisdom. Am I going to regret this? THe person selling them says they should be ready to butcher around March. I do not forsee difficulty selling them, and would be thrilled to have a half a hog in my own freezer. PLEASE-input would be appreciated before tomorrow, as they will be calling back. Thanks for the time. This is such a great wource of info! Oh yeah-We live in northern Wisconsin-land of cold and snow. Happy solstice.
     
  2. mizattitude

    mizattitude Well-Known Member

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    Nah..you won't regret it..but they do get big fast..and cleaning concrete and the pen is a stinky stinky pain!.

    Do make sure the males (if you get any) are castrated. Watch your hands at feeding time..they will bite you if any part of you is in the pen and they are hungry..and it will NOT be pretty.
    Keep the chickens away..they will eat every bit of them..feathers and all....

    Other than that..I know they are very smart animals..VERY smart. They are probably one of the easiest animals to keep on a farm. They don't require alot of fussing, IMHO. They just want to eat, eat eat.

    If you can tame them for handling it would be really nice. Easier to weigh them and get in and out of the pen if you must (and you will!!)
    Just don't get attached..and make sure when they get big you watch they don't step on your feet. They are DEAD WEIGHT..and it feels as if a full size truck ran over your foot..NO kidding

    I am sure someone else here as much to add..Good Luck!
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    You will, of course, need to feed rations other than hay - although pigs will make good use of free choice alfalfa hay (and only alfalfa hay). I wouldn't do more than two in a 5'x10' pen and make sure your sidewalls are strong. Likely your biggest problem will be in keeping fresh water available. The pigs will choose one corner of the pen for their potty area.

    Why not forgo it now and do this in the spring or summer when you can also supplement with garden trimmings. Feeder pigs are always available in most areas.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  4. renee o'neill

    renee o'neill Well-Known Member

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    Ours pigs never grow right in the winter so we slaughter in fall and get new ones in the spring.I would worry more if they are confined indoors about sickness,worms and lack of good old minerals from soil.They love to lay in sunshine in the spring and in my opion the happier they are the better the meat.Once a pig gets bored they look for something to do and that means freedom!You will shocked how fast they can run.
     
  5. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    We are getting a couple of feeder pigs in the spring so I have been really interested in all of the threads for newbies. Mizattitude, you said that they eat chickens? Ours will have a pen and a pasture that is about 1/2 acre. I was going to put some muscovies in to keep the fly and worm population under control. Will they eat my ducks? Muscovies fly well, but I don't really know how fast a pig can run. Renee, best of luck. Keep us posted on your progress!
     
  6. renee o'neill

    renee o'neill Well-Known Member

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    Yes they will eat ducks.Pigs will eat just about anything they can,we lost a bunch of 2 month old chicks when they went for a short cut across the pig field.It was gross!those pigs just ran up and started to chomp the chicks I tried to get in there but with 5 pigs all over 100lbs in a frenzy you dont have much luck.They will bite you if they are worked up,and once they get going they act crazy!
     
  7. arley

    arley Member

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    Thanks for the input people! As of today, the folks selling the feeders haven't returned my call. Maybe they are all sold. Just as well, as I had initial hesitations about raising them completely inside, as was mentioned in at least two replies. So if I wait until spring and gwt a couple then, what kind of fencing, shelter and space do I need? I recently saw a huge hog in an area roughly the size of 4 cattle pannels, with a little plastic livestock hut in one corner. The hog was just standing around, appearing to be quite content. I have always been told that you need to dig the fence down at least a foot or two so they dont't burrow/root under neath and free themselves. What do you guys do?
     
  8. jessandcody

    jessandcody Well-Known Member

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    The bigger the pen the happier the pig! Pigs do get very board so we always gave them things to play with like bowling balls or an empty bucket. Cattle panals are good for adult pigs but hog/combo panals are best. We have used horse stakes pushed into the ground about a foot appart all around the pen to discourage excaping but every once in awhile they do get out. We have never had our pigs kill anything and our chickens do wander into the pig pen from time to time. But if you think it might be a problem for you, I would back the panals with chicken wire. It is always best to tame your pigs alittle. This makes it much easier to handle them if they do get out. Diet, I belive, has alot to do with a pigs temperment. Ive noticed that alot of the "mean" pigs you find are either mistreted or pumped full of hormones. I hope this helps.

    Cody