Proven pointers to take advantage of raising pigs

Pigs can be profitable as well as amusing animals to raise. Here are some helpful pointers to make sure you are getting the best from your animal.

Proven pointers to take advantage of raising pigs

Attributes of a good pig for your small farm

  • Buy a just-weaned pig, called a weaner, in the early spring and fatten it during the summer. An eight-week-old weaner weighs about 20 kilograms (45 pounds). In the fall it'll reach 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and be ready for butchering into 70 kilograms (155 pounds) of edible cuts.
  • Buy from a reliable breeder and make arrangements in advance so you can get first pick of the litter. Look for an animal that is long, lean and bright eyed.
  • Make sure your weaner has received an iron injection and been inoculated against pig cholera.

Make your own mudbrick pig pen

Your pig is going to need a proper shelter.  Here's how to make a proper pen:

  1. Lay a concrete slab as a floor for the yard and the shed — make sure the slab falls gently away from the shed so that it will drain properly after cleaning and hosing down.
  2. Have it face in a direction so the pen is dry and sunny.
  3. Lay two courses of conventional bricks on concrete footings.
  4. Build the mudbrick walls to between one and 1.5 metres (three and five feet), depending on the lowest point of the roof of the shelter.
  5. Once the walls are up you can render the inside with white clay.
  6. Waterproof with a commercial sealing compound or perhaps a mixture of linseed and mineral turps.
  7. Cover the top of the mudbrick walls with sloping tiling to protect them from erosion by the weather.
  8. Install a child and animal proof gate and you are ready to move your animals into their new quarters.

Keeping pigs will save you money in the long run because they will eat almost any type of food, including table scraps, an oversupply of milk, an unexpected bumper crop of vegetables or grain from the pasture.  In the fall the pig will supply you with meat that will last you through the winter.

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