TAlk to me about pigs...

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by kanpope, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. kanpope

    kanpope Livin' the Dream

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    Dh and I are considering purchasing one or two Blue Butt weaner pigs to raise for slaughter. We have a horse barn and covered riding arena and we thought that we could put them in there with toys. But do they need to forage for food (like goats)? I read some of the posts about them escaping. Would they dig deep enough to go under the metal arena walls? I also read in a thread that commerical feed is not the best choice...what is?

    I guess the bottom line question is...how high maintenance are they? Can we just stick a pig back there, feed it, water it, and let it grow big enough o slaughter?
     
  2. myrandaandkids

    myrandaandkids Well-Known Member

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    they dont NEED forage for food, but they do enjoy it, and they do love to root, but im not sure about escaping, mostly cause i dont know how deep your fence goes,usually though, i find i have less of a problem with escape artists if they have friends, and if they have everything they want right in their yard, they dont have much of a reason to escape, but thats just my experiance.good luck:)
     

  3. kanpope

    kanpope Livin' the Dream

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    LIke food, water, friends, and something like a bowling ball? We had a potbelly pig that loved having a bowling ball!
     
  4. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Pigs are low maintenance livestock imo, but not maintenance free. Weanlings will be the most prone to escape. They can squeeze through holes (and they find those holes quickly!). As they get bigger, if they are provided with the essentials and treated well, in my experience they will not try to escape unless they are gilts entering heat. Gilts in heat can jump what you never considered they could jump. I also had a sow go into heat and dig into the boar's pen, then come back out after breeding and closing up the hole :rolleyes: Never have raised a barrow since I've always been in it for the love of pigs and breeding, but everything I've read indicates that barrows are the most calm. Moderate temps, neither too hot nor too cold, wallow areas, plenty of drinking water and appropriate food is all you need. They make toys out of everything, mine have had old tires in the past. Commercial food has junk in it. Some have known carcinogens (ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT) , many are medicated, and the roughage changes per batch. My son's first 4H pig nearly died and she was being fed the premium pig feed. If you can't give them forage, give them grass clippings. They realy like them and it is a "free" treat. As for food mix your own with corn as a base. I've been feeding coen, my leftovers, veggie peelings, egg shells, souring milk andthey have forage all over. They are doing very well on their variety.
     
  5. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Personally I view hogs as being low maintance, and feeder pigs raised for slaughter a fairly easy and straightforward venture.
    Pigs like to rut in dirt and get their minerals by doing so. However, If you choose to pen them and feed them well nothing wrong with that either.
    My concern with your plan is that in a metal building in Texas, too much heat for an animal that can only cool itself by wallowing in mud or lying in cool dirt. Also, if you want to keep your arena floor level and hole-free, don't let pigs roam it!!!!!!!
    If you want hogs to live in metal buildings in your climate, best to raise them out from November - March. If you want pigs right away, they would be best off under large shade trees or running a creek bottom in a simple pen. Nothing wrong with good hog feed grain, but you can cut your feed costs dramatically by letting them graze some grass or feeding them high quality hay as a portion of diet.
    Just some things for you to consider.....
     
  6. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    I love my pigs so much that I am keeping the gilt to breed. I'm worried about her being alone, though; they are much happier with a buddy. Mine escaped simply because they could and the world was there! The best solution for me has been electric tape.

    I don't have much land so they are eating commercial feed and are extremely healthy. For the last month I'm going to try to feed the barrow other foods, but that's to make him taste better. I think they're much better off outdoors than in a barn. They need minerals from the soil and they just plain have fun rooting. Like Up North said, they make a huge mess doing it! And if close enough to trees they'll kill them by killing the roots. An ideal spot for them would be an area of tree(s) or brush you want to get rid of.