The ups and downs of raising homesteading pigs can be a quite the adventure in providing year meat supply for your family. Taking care of pigs is no easy task, you need to provide them with a lot of things and they will require your attention.
Certainly, you would want to have more than one just pig because they are incredibly social animals. If there are more of them then they are healthier mentally and emotionally as well as thriving physically when there is another of their own with them.
How to start? What anyone knows, they cannot be simply let out to go wherever they please, and proper fencing is a must. There are a few options, the cheapest and simplest are hog panels if you plan to keep them in a small to medium sized pen.
Make sure they have plenty of space and nowhere to fit through, piglets can sometimes squeeze through holes and space on the fence. During summer, a basic shelter is enough, as long as there is shade, adding a pool of mud is helpful, the pigs love to cool down in mud, not just play.
Having a large group of pigs requires less space for the pen. That is because pigs tend to stay in a group. At any given moment a large group of pigs in a medium sized pen will use a smaller percentage of the pen than a small group of pigs in a small pen.
Group Size: Square Feet Per Pig:
1-5 ……… 50
For food, you will need to provide them with plenty, they are big and don’t grow big out of nowhere, they live for eating. They require a protein rich diet with a little fiber on the side.
When in doubt, give them good ground or pelletized hog ration.
They are totally fine with leftovers as a snack. With a balanced ration, an average pig will consume about 900 pounds. Water is needed in a huge amounts as well, make sure they always have access to water.
Concerned about compost? The amount of food that enters a pig, also has to leave, but pig compost is a very good fertilizer for vegetable gardens and flower beds. Plan ahead where you will store the compost and use later.
There is a good percentage of you not having issues with pigs’ health. They do have the tendency to get internal parasites from the mud. Find a local vet and ask him for more information.
Pigs grow really fast, in just twenty-two weeks they can reach up to 242 pounds (110 kg).
An average mama pig is pregnant for 144 days more or less.
Raising pigs has a few benefits, they do sell for good money, some families make a living by having a farm with pigs and selling them, or they can be kept for meat production, that bacon really is tasty. The Prairie Homestead shares all of this really good info on raising pigs.
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