Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Preparing for Pigs

Well, we enjoy the pork so much that we decided to raise another pig.  This time, we plan on raising it at our house along with a pig for our neighbors (who raised ours at their house last year) and one or two more while we're at it (to sell).  To raise pigs, you need a pen.  And if you want to pasture your pigs, you need a pasture or, in our case, a very large pen.

We've been working on this project for weeks now- rerouting fencing, installing sturdier gates, protecting the neighbor's fence with stacked firewood, cleaning out the barn (the pigs' access to shelter), transplanting displaced red raspberries, and so on.

The kids helped me clean out the horse stall side of our larger barn.  We use the feeding troughs as recycling bins between trips to the recycling center. Two stalls will get a nice bedding of straw and leaves for the piggies to root around in (and random pieces of plywood will be put away).  They'll also have access to this-all the way back to the farthest tree line...

...a very large corner of our yard.  In fact, they will even have the run of our unfenced garden where we usually plant corn, potatoes and green beans.  Their yard will also cover a couple rows of our red raspberries.  This called for a little rearranging.

New red raspberry canes were transplanted at one end of our sunflower patch.  The unfenced garden has been moved up beside our house (the opposite side of the sunflower patch). Between the pig yard and the new garden, we are drastically reducing the amount of yard that needs mowing.  That right there is enough to cheer about.

We're hoping to get our pigs in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, there is a bit of fencing to finish, old posts to take down, more wood to stack, and a few more things to be cleared from their yard.  If our fencing proves insufficient, we'll buy some electric as needed.

I have really enjoyed getting outside already this spring.  Our strawberries are weeded, raspberries pruned and mulched, and flower beds cleared of debris.  Now, if only those asparagus would peek their little heads up it will really feel like spring.

For those of you who have raised pigs, do you have any advice for us?  We'd sure appreciate it!

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  1. I was pretty young when my parents decided we would raise a couple pigs on our hobby farm, so I don't think I have much advice beyond this: don't wait until they're 450 pounds before you slaughter them. It was kind of a nightmare trying to herd them into a truck to go to the packing facility. The other thing that was most memorable about our pig experience was that my little sister and I had named those cute little piglets "Spot-nose and Pinky," while my dad from the start called them "Jimmy Dean and Bobby Evans." It was helpful that my dad wasn't encouraging our Babe/Wilbur pet pig fantasies, and he was certainly right as they grew into monsters!

  2. I so want to do this, too! We're just at year 3 with our property or year 2 actually being able to work it. I so want 3 little piggies, 1 for a neighbor, 1 for us and 1 to split between our children's families (a very practical Christmas present). I have the area picked out to house the pigs since it's an area where we need to clear for a future straw field. Looking forward to hearing how things go for you. Love your blog!

  3. Good for you!! My only comments on raising pigs are #1 they can root around and get out of just about any pen you can put them in . . . #2 they STINK . . . #3 they sure do taste good :)! We haven't even plowed our garden yet . . . too cold and muddy. Blessings from Missouri!

  4. Check out Korean Natural Farming. You can raise pigs with NO SMELL. They do this method all over the world and extensively in Hawaii. Amazing for chickens too!


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