Piggy Tips & Hints

 I feed my pigs twice a day morning & evening – mainly so if they do get out from their paddocks they will come home by “tea time”. Pigs like a regular feed schedule, they have excellent body clocks.

 1)      Pigs need shade.

2)      Water (for drinking & wallows).

3)      Like to have tree trunks/stumps or other solid (heavy) object to rub/scratch against.

4)      Feed troughs that are easy for you to move around, or fixed so the pigs can’t move them around.

5)      Pigs are naturally omnivorous, but meat products are not allowed.

6)      Grass, tree branches, grain, hay, fruit & vegetables are all good, they also like bread.

7)      Milk if available is great to fatten them when younger.

8)      At approx 20+ weeks of age they should weigh approx 60+ kilos.

9)      That would cut out to approx 40+ kilos of meat.

10)  Wessex Saddlebacks tend to put on slightly more fat after this age till approx 11 – 12 months of age.

11)  To gauge fat press your thumb firmly into the top of the back leg near the backbone, if soft (fatty) if solid (then not too fatty).

12)  Gauge their fattiness 2 – 4 weeks prior to slaughter (if necessary put them an a slight diet to burn off excess fat).

13)  Pigs will dig, they eat the roots of grasses etc & will dig under fences.

14)  Nose rings can be applied to prevent this.

15)  Fencing – 2 electric wires one approx 4-6 inches from ground & the other approx 4-6 inches higher, raise the wires as the pigs grow.

16)  Start with a small area eg- 5m x 5m then extend the hot wires as they grow to a larger area.

17)  Pigs will wander if permitted, but they usually don’t stray too far.

18)  They will eat eggs (if they can get into a chook shed)!

19)  They will eat up a vegie patch in no time!

20)  They need shade from the summer sun – shade cloth, tarp tied up between 2 trees etc.

21)  Need shelter from rain & wind, they don’t like wind, so they will dig holes deep enough to lay in & be sheltered from wind.

22)  Shelter should have a raised floor, so when wet, they aren’t lying in the damp.

23)  Straw for bedding especially when small, pigs like to sleep together or on top of each other

24)  Pigs can catch colds etc.

25)  Pigs are social creatures & like company, they like other animals too, (we have dogs, chooks, cattle & sheep as well as a pony, they all get along with the pigs).

26)  Pigs will use an area for their “toilet” usually well away from their food.

27)  Pigs make a variety of “noises” they also like to play & love any scratching you are prepared to give.

28)  They can be trained to “sit” raise one foot, lay down etc (just like a dog).

29)  They have excellent memories; if they learn a way to get out of their enclosure, they will keep trying again & again, they remember that the fence is electric so can be loathe to cross where it was. Also if mistreated they do remember!

30)  Our pigs are wormed at approx 6 – 8 weeks old & no other drugs are given to them unless necessary (Vets advice etc). We use a chook & pig wormer that is put into their drinking water. Do again about 2 weeks prior to slaughter.

 

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