Raising Pigs

​​RAISING PIGS: ​Happy Pigs ​for ​Healthy Homegrown Pork on a Small Scale  

​​​​​Jump to the posts in this Series | ​Download ​the Series as a PDF

​In​troduction 

This Series currently covers the following topics:

  • Our experiences ​of mobile pig pens versus ​keeping pigs in one place, and why we are currently trialing a stationary pig pen
  • New piglets - why we buy them in rather than breeding our own; early care; and thoughts on breed selection
  • Feeding and fencing tips, including ​a step-by-step guide to ​teaching pigs to understand and respect electric fences
  • ​Ideas to help ​you make raising pigs ​a pleasure rather than ​a chore, even after those cute little piglets are no longer cute

​​This Series is a work in progress; these are some of the topics I expect to add to it as time goes by:

  • We're trialing ways of collecting and composting our pig manure to convert it into fruit tree food; I'll update this Series w​hen we have some results to share
  • Integrating pigs into your small farm ecosystem so that the pigs enrich ​​your system rather than ​turning sections of it into muddy, manure-filled moonscapes -- this is a challenge we're still working on and I'll continue to add to this Series as we learn more

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Read the posts in the Raising Pigs Series

Please scroll down to find the posts in the Series if you would like to read them one by one. This section will be updated with new links as each new post is added to the Series.

Raising Pigs – New Piglets

Why we buy piglets rather than breeding our own; preparing for their arrival and minimizing the stress of their transition; what to feed them; a few thoughts on choosing heritage breeds versus modern breeds.

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Raising Pigs – Can pigs learn table manners?

Feeding ​the pigs, as they grow bigger, ​can ​easily degenerate into a full body contact sport in which the pig ​wins and the amateur pig-raiser ​gets discouraged and gives up on homegrown pork. Is there a way to keep pig-raising ​enjoyable when those cute little piglets are no longer cute?

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Raising Pigs – Fence Training

Electric fencing works very effectively for pigs, but only if they get the right first impressions of it. Here are the steps we take to train our piglets to stay behind electric fences, without terrifying them in the process.

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What we have (so far) found to be the pros and cons of mobile versus stationary pig raising systems, and why we are currently trailing a stationary arrangement for our pigs.
Why we buy piglets rather than breeding our own; preparing for their arrival and minimizing the stress of their transition; what to feed them; a few thoughts on choosing heritage breeds versus modern breeds.
Feeding ​the pigs, as they grow bigger, ​can ​easily degenerate into a full body contact sport in which the pig ​wins and the amateur pig-raiser ​gets discouraged and gives up on homegrown pork. Is there a way to keep pig-raising ​enjoyable when those cute little piglets are no longer cute?
Electric fencing works very effectively for pigs, but only if they get the right first impressions of it. Here are the steps we take to train our piglets to stay behind electric fences, without terrifying them in the process.

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