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pig enclosure and management Options
Mare Owner
#1 Posted : Saturday, February 03, 2007 1:37:28 AM
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My step daughter raised a couple pigs every year for 4-h and did well with them. Fed commercial feed and also any tidbits that were edible, including chicken bowels during butchering time. Apparently the pigs loved it.

I don''t know about housing them, my husband has told me that the pigs will ruin our pastures for horses if we put pigs on pasture (I''d like to get a few to feed and butcher also). I would guess that they would happily stay in woven wire fencing if they had plenty of food.
#2 Posted : Saturday, February 03, 2007 9:08:33 PM
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Yes, pigs can be trained to ''come when called''. It is a wonderful sight to see ears a floppin'' as they gallop across a pasture when they hear a familiar feed call!

It is more sanitary to keep hogs on concrete as they will not need near the de-worming schedule that pasture hogs need. Free range hogs do get rid of moles, ''plow'' pastures, eat grubs etc., but they do considerable damage to grazing land. If you don''t have grazing animals or have a pasture to devote to hogs only for a season your feed costs will certainly be less.

Many people feed scraps and supplement commercial feeds with all sorts of edibles. I would be careful with the feed 30 days prior to slaughter. Your pork can have ''off'' tastes. Commercial feeds are so nutritionally complete you will have better gains with them than a hodge-podge of table droppings. The goal is to have meat on the table in the fall, not fat on the slaughterhouse floor.

Good luck with your endeavor...it will be fun and educational!!
#3 Posted : Saturday, February 10, 2007 6:24:37 PM
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hi i have raised pigs for two years now and kept a female patchs and a male arnold and had ten babies this last spring. i have them in a run in and behind electric which they learn real quick to stay away from. i had the male arnold get loose he was loose for a weekend just hung around the barn and all and when i got his grain he followed me right in the stall of the barn he was in at the time. we live near a major highway and they do not keep the gate closed and have not lost anything yet. i had 5 of the babies get loose that was alot of chasing to get them to run back through the electric but we did. i feed my pig grain hay and veg''s, bread from a day old bakery no meat of any kind have i ever fed them. when i was looking to purchase mypigs last year talked to a hog farmer in my area and he said he feeds his all the guts etc from other pigs he slautered i didn''t by any from him as my first thought is your eating them and your eating what they have digested etc to grow and all. they are a neat animal to raise arnold is about 650lbs and patchs about 550lbs i need to measure them to be sure and arnold is my farms most loved animal when all my customers come they don''t want to see the alpaca''s or horses they want to see and pet arnold he is a ham no pun intended. they will do a job on the land in no time my husband says they do more damage then our back hoe but will rut up and clear an area for sure but to be put in a nice horse pasture you will have nothing left but dirt or md. hope this helps a bit have a blast and get the pigs/ barb
#4 Posted : Wednesday, February 21, 2007 4:59:38 AM
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hi there,

I have found that temporary yellow black wire suspended with temporary posts/sticks placed a foot above and inside your picket fence perimeter will provide adequate containment for your livestock.

Walk your fences every day if possible, as your animals will bury the wire (rendering the fence dead up to where it is grounded). A picket fence will reduce stress as they are unable to see beyond the fence line anyway.

Wearing rubber boots in the pen will help to avoid shock while unearthing the buried wire.

Avoid overcrowding.

When it comes time to load your hogs I have found that taking them off feed the night before loading will help a great deal to motivate your animals onto your ramp/truck. Place a feed ration on the truck and they will follow their noses as opposed to one developing cardiac issues chasing them... But I digress...
#5 Posted : Friday, March 30, 2007 5:12:52 AM
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We did the 4-H pig project last year. It was our first ever farming/livestock experience!  We did it with the sole intention of raising the hogs for consumption and doing it for as little cost as possible.

We used pallets to form 3 sides of fencing and the other end was a barn stall. They(Pork & Chop or #11 & #12) never escaped, as in dug out. They did charge the gate when you opened it and got out once. THey didnt go far. My 12 yr hopped on rode around the yard.

We fed them commercial grain and LOTS of scraps. NEVER ANY MEAT OR PROTEIN BI PRODUCTS. It is against the law in SC to give a pig meat/protien bi products. At least that is what our 4-h leader told us.  My husband is a manager for a food service company that feeds inmates in prison. He would bring home large tubs of cabbage and carrot peelings. They liked the cabbage and not the carrots.We gave them all of the dinner scraps and spent vegies from the garden. They loved cereal milk. Another farmer told us to give them milk. He said to go to the local dairy farm or dairy factory and get the spoiled or expired milk. We didnt do this.

They were fun. They are sweet and intellegent animals. Loved to have their backs, ears and butts scrubbed with a scrub brush.

Our 4-h leader told us to take our pigs for a walk to excercise them. Would some one please explain this one to me? It never happened at our house.  Our pigs didnt get to whopper size. But they sure were good eating!!!!!!!!!!We had both processed and sold one entire pig to my friends and what we charged them we covered our processing  and feed expenses. It was a good experience. We hope to do it again. Just not through 4-h.


Kim----Bringing my family home to mother one experience at a time........
#6 Posted : Friday, March 30, 2007 7:10:15 AM
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We had 2 pigs when I was 10 or 11... They were wonderful!  They did come when called, loved belly scratches, and my little brother (then 2 years old) rode them.  When they got loose, they always came up in the yard.  The downside?  After my dad butchered them, I cried for a week and it took me years to eat pork again!   If I ever raise pork for eating, I'll have to be careful not to name them, and perhaps get 5 or six that look alike so I can't tell them apart. 
#7 Posted : Sunday, April 08, 2007 7:18:30 PM
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Your best bet are "hog panels," 16-foot (in this area) lengths of woven wire.  If I remember right, the hog panels are around three foot high (there are taller ones referred to as "cattle panels").  Those by themselves will keep younger pigs in but as they grow (and I would do it from the beginning, anyway), you should run a hot wire around the inside of the panels to keep the pigs away from them.  They can and will root a metal t-post and attached fencing right out and up off the ground and make their escape.

The last two pigs I had were two big sows I had raised from babies and intended to use as brood sows (that's another story).  One of them I called "Big Pig."  Anyway, they got out (my fence charger had gone bad and I didn't have the money to replace it).  They got in with the pony and were doing a pretty good tilling job on that pasture.  Plus, I had to worry about them getting out on the highway.  Big Pig probably weighed close to 800 pounds and would have done some serious damage to a car.  Although they were very tame and would have followed me back into their pen, I had no way of making sure they stayed in.  I made the tough decision to call the butcher.  When he came out, he looked at the two sows down in the pony pasture and asked me how we were going to get them to come up to where he could take care of them.  I said, "Like this," and picked up a can of grain and called them.  They came at a run.  I loaded up the kids and left.  I almost went back to stop him but didn't.  I had had them for a while and even though I had raised other pigs for meat, these two sows had become more pets than anything.

Anyway, I couldn 't eat the meat and ended up selling it for $1.00 a pound (people paid their own cut and wrap).  Between the two, there was over 700 pounds of meat.

As far as housing, if they are only going to be short-timers (five or six months through the summer), you could build a three-sided shelter with pallets with a plywood roof.  Depending on where you live, that might not be enough of a shelter for the winter months, though.

Once again, the hot wire is going to be your best friend when it comes to fencing.  And, the panels are easily moved from place to place.  My plan was always to fence my garden area with them and over-winter pigs in there.  Great for tilling AND fertilizing!


(I would think if you were going to "pasture" pigs, you would have to be prepared for the damage they could do to that ground.  Those snouts are extremely powerful.)
#8 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 4:29:11 AM
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Hogrings in the nose will help w/the rooting.
#9 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 4:29:11 AM
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Our family is considering raising 3 pigs this spring and summer. I have concerns about the consequences of possible escapees and what constitutes appropriate housing.

Our son raised a pig for the local fair with a neighbor (pig in their set-up) so we have some experience with that. They keep their pig on concrete, so there is no opportunity for escape and to make clean-up easier.

I have read and observed how much pigs like to root as well as heard how useful they are to turn compost or clear land. I also care about the happiness of any animal in my care, and I would want to consider their needs. YET...I find it hard to see how one can be sure to contain the pig with any kind of portable fencing. They could root under anything! HOW IN THE WORLD DOES ONE GET A 300 POUND PIG OUT IN THE WIDE WORLD BACK WHERE YOU WANT HIM? Our home is not far from major roads where people zip by at 65 MPH. We do successfully keep two large dogs that have free range only when under our direct supervision. Do pigs come when called? Probably not unless they're really hungry?

Also, has anyone raised pigs for exhibition using primarily scraps instead of commercial rations? Again, we only have one neighbor's example as experience, and it always seemed illogical to me not to feed the pigs extra edibles from the garden or kitchen. The "notebook" process used by our fair assumes everyone feeds commercial feed as well.

Any comments are read and appreciated.
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