Raising pigs can be a wonderful experience for everyone in the family. From 4-H projects to filling your freezer, there are plenty of benefits that come along with feeding and caring for hogs on your property. However, as with any livestock, pigs require some work and planning. In the past few weeks we’ve covered What to Know about Raising Pigs for Meat, Picking the Right Breed of Pig, as well as Getting Started with Pigs. Today, we’re going to share ten things you should know before raising your own pigs.
- Don’t Get Attached. It’s easy to fall in love with an animal, especially pigs. They’re cute, full of personality, and work their way into your heart. But don’t forget, they will eventually become food for your family.
- Build a Sturdy Fence. Galvanized hog panels in 16-foot lengths can keep large pigs contained. They’re easy to put up and tough to knock down.
- Never Underestimate a Pig. They are intelligent animals, able to learn commands similar to a dog or even a young child. When you mix together a 250-pound creature that has the capacity to figure out your fencing, you have the makings of an escape.
- Provide Shelter. Be sure your pigs are able to escape the sun and wind. Anything from a barn to a 3-sided paddock that includes a roof will keep your pigs happy and protected from the elements. Add in some straw to give them a cozy, warm, and sheltered place to sleep.
- Pigs will Root. If you have a garden or pasture that needs to be dug up and tilled, pigs can do the job quickly. Just watch them close, because they can also damage areas that you want preserved.
- Plan Their Meals. A full-grown hog will need to be fed every 12 hours and will eat almost anything, including table scraps as well as day-old produce and dairy from the local store. Bags of balanced protein-rich hog food, grass, and other feed can keep your animals fed and encourage growth.
- Secure the Water. Pigs can get aggressive with food and water. Be sure their water trough and the fencing around it are sturdy.
- Constantly Clean. Pigs are relatively clean animals, but the manure will pile up if left too long. Plan to scoop out the manure every day. To keep their spot clean, add straw to the area, including up to 4-inches of straw where they sleep, eat, and drink.
- Give Them Room to Wallow. Pigs really do like to play and relax in shallow holes filled with water. In the summertime, it’s one of their favorite things to do. This is also a good way to give them drinking water.
- Plan Ahead for Slaughter. Long before it’s time, be sure you know who will be slaughtering your animals and where you will be taking the pig to be butchered. Check out our article Livestock Butchering Options, including USDA guidelines.
Ask Coastal Your Pig Questions
Your Northwest owned and operated Coastal has pig feed, fencing, advice, medications and a whole lot more. Stop by, share your questions, and we’ll point you in the right direction. We can even show you a thing or two about building a sturdy fence, installing an immovable water trough, and caring for your animals.