Tuesday, December 2, 2008
So you're thinking about keeping a few pigs . . .
The very first thing I would recommend is to choose an area that has really good drainage of water, even a hilly location will work wonderfully. While pigs love mud, they can only stand to be in it for so long, then they need dry ground to sleep and be on. That is not an easy task considering that they have a knack for creating a mud pit wherever they are kept (penned). Obviously if your pigs have the good fortune of being able to free range this is not a problem.
Last night the kids were in the school play and we were late feeding the pigs, imagine our surprise when they greeted at our car, lol. Pigs are IMO smarter than dogs and about as daring as a toddler. They will attempt to get through any barrier you put in front of them and in some of the most surprising ways. While it is expected they will dig, it is always a surprise to see them lift gates or work together to lift the fence.
Luckily, since we have had these pigs for several months now they are used to us and associate us and even our voice with food. They come when called and tend to be very interested in everything around, clothing and shoes are great to taste. While they are fairly easy to keep it is very easy to loose them if you are not prepared. Most people only talk about how easy they are and forget that there is a basic knowledge that most new homesteaders will not have from day 1.
I wish you all the best of luck with your pig endeavor and even though we lost most of ours this year, we go into next year with new knowledge and an eagerness to get it right the next time. They have been very pleasant animals.