pigs in a pasturegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
we have 3 pigs, about 3 months old and a large field fenced in with livestock wire,the condition of the "grass" is poor and we need to reseed in the fall. the question is would hogs stay in and is it a good idea? i hate keeping them in such a small area when we have the whole field.
-- renee oneill (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 17, 2000
dear Renee, Hogs don't need a real big area, and they don't eat a lot of grass, they need corn and more grains. If u don't put rings in their noses, they will root up the ground with their noses, so that nothing is left but rocks. They need shade and a mudhole to get in or a small pond. They will be in pig heaven then. Hope this help some.ps. what I mean is all the grass gets rooted up, so the poor condition of the grass doesn't really matter,because when the pigs get done with it there won't be any grass left.
-- jean (email@example.com), June 17, 2000.
I disagree with jean. Check out grassfarmer.com (Pigs on pasture) I run my feeder pigs on pasture, and have for 30 years. I don't let them out until they are 2+/- month old, they always return to there pens, that is where their water supply, house and feeder is, they will graze, especially on good pasture but they also root which is why I do it, they get natural minerals and it cuts down on feed costs. I rotate them throuhg 2-4 sections and then light drag or disk to smooth the ground up. A hot wire on outriggers about 6 inches off the ground might be a good idea to keep them from lifting the bottom of the stock fence.
-- Hendo (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 17, 2000.
Jean does have a good point about stones and rocks, though. IF your ground has been cleaned up by having stones and rocks picked off it, then there's likely to be more of them just a foot or less under the surface, which pigs could/would bring up. If you know not, then OK. If you know yes, then that's what will happen. If you don't know, then check out what the ground is like along fencelines; or look at any nearby excavations that might give you a clue (like post holes or road cuttings).
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), June 18, 2000.
To follow-up on one of the postings above, pigs need access to water (not necessarily a wallow) and shade. They can become severly sunburned otherwise. Keep in mind how you are going to get them back into the pen when you are ready to do something with them. The additional hassles might not be worth the benefits when you are only talking about three. You can feed hogs hay with a high alfalfa content. Did you process the potbellied pigs. I have heard they are very, very fatty.
-- Ken Scharabok (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 18, 2000.
Hendo & ken are on the mark again. If you always grain them & provide drinking water & housing at the same place they will come in at dusk.They are real hard to get in during the day so we always shut the gate at night so they can't get out to the pasture if we need to load them or tend them in any way.
-- Okie-Dokie (email@example.com), June 18, 2000.
Turn those babies out!
I second the idea of a hot wire around the bottom of fence if possible. You can get a solar charger to power it but I don't know how expensive they are. Ours runs on a car battery.
We had some land that needed cleaning up around our garden and orchard. Last fall\winter\early spring, we made a portable pen and put the hogs in there. They ate every thing growing (we also fed some grain once a day) and rooted up the rocks so I could pick them up and put them in a wagon. It saved me from having to dig them up. The grass growing there now is some of the lushest I've ever seen. Good fertilizer I guess!
-- Mona (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 19, 2000.
We pasture our pigs in a wooded and grassy area about 4 to 5 acres. This is a boar, two sows (all very large) and babies not yet butcher size. There has been some rooting in damp areas and where they build their beds, but certainly not everywhere. Also, our pigs eat a LOT of grass! I think pasturing them has been good for them and us, they are healthy, happy, and grow well. It took a while to get them to frespect the fence, though. We use 2 strands electric.
-- Fran Ogren (email@example.com), August 11, 2000.