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3 Little Piggies Coming in 3 days. HELP!

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Pigs' started by Healthy Skeptic, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Aug 2, 2018
    Healthy Skeptic

    Healthy Skeptic Ridin' The Range

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    So my sister talked me into getting 3 eight week old cross breeds to raise for our own meat. Well we are now locked in and I start asking her questions to which she has no answers. Argh!!! lol

    So I remembered this forum. And your experience and expertise.

    First what do I feed them and in what? Do I need a trough? If so how do I make one? And how much do they eat?

    Second how do we water them? My hubby says he thinks they need a special tube water thingy! I’m sure that’s the professional term.

    We have a very nice place for them to sleep in and we will build a small fence for outside. But how much room is acceptable and do they eat grass?

    Do I need a pool for them to bathe in?

    Do I need to give minerals and vitamins?

    I want these to be as healthy as can be for our family.

    What are things I should look out for? They will be in a poll barn with caged chickens and free roaming cats. Also next to meat chickens in a month.

    Thanks. I will no go searching on This forum for many of my questions. But just wanted to get this out first.

    Thanks all!!
     
  2. Aug 2, 2018
    BlessedWithGoats

    BlessedWithGoats True BYH Addict

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    Hello from Michigan!

    Tagging some people that may be able to help, among others.

    @Baymule @luvmypets
     
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  3. Aug 2, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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  4. Aug 3, 2018
    mysunwolf

    mysunwolf Herd Master

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of pigs!

    I'm sorry they have to be in your nice pole barn for shelter, please consider putting up metal roofing over the sides so they can't destroy it immediately. When pigs reach about 100lbs they become very destructive just because they have so much strength.

    We feed piglets a complete pig chow, basically a "mash" that is loose ground corn/wheat/soy/vitamins/minerals. Lysine is going to be the main thing you don't want to miss out on in whatever you feed, as lacking it can limit their growth as piglets. If you haven't studied much animal nutrition, I would just find a complete pig feed of some sort and feed that. Economically, as they get bigger, you'll want to find other things to feed them. They love kitchen scraps, garden scraps, and if you want to give them some they like treats (marshmallows, cookies, crackers, fruit, etc). We feed our pigs on the ground after having given up the trough. It wastes a little more, but they do get some minerals, including the necessary iron, from eating in the dirt. You can also buy metal pans or very sturdy rubber or plastic to feed in to reduce waste. In the following years, feeding on the ground can cause worminess, but this first year you should be fine. They will eat about 2lbs/day at 8 weeks to 4lbs/day at 12+ weeks. I don't feed more than this because usually conversion tapers off, but if they are pink pigs, blue butts, etc (Yorkshire/commercial crosses) you can feed more and they will gain faster.

    We water ours with a rubber bowl (5 gallons) set inside a tire so they can't tip it over. Nothing fancy and cheap. They need clean water to drink that they don't tip during the heat of the day, that's about it. You can make PVC tubes, pig nipples, etc. but pigs love to destroy things.

    Pigs also need a wallow of mud to stay clean, keep flies and lice off, etc, so we provide a mud pit and a large tub of water they can tip over if they get hot. Some folks use kiddie pools doubled up for their pigs, this works great when they're little and have trouble forming their own wallow.

    We provide 32'x32' for 4 pigs, and it gets crowded by the end of their stay. Plus they will turn this into very deep mud very quickly. They do eat grass, weeds, roots, and bugs. More space is always better because it means less destruction.

    Make sure they don't actually have access to any poultry as pigs have been known to eat poultry. My pigs have eaten their fair share. They tend to go for sleeping birds, but will also hunt live birds.

    Honestly pigs have been our favorite meat animal to raise and are super easy to raise once you get their basics down. Good luck!
     
  5. Aug 3, 2018
    Healthy Skeptic

    Healthy Skeptic Ridin' The Range

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    Extremely interesting! I can tell you I’m a bit stressed out and could hardly sleep. We’ve raised meet Goats, meat Lambs, turkeys, ducks, geese, and meat birds. But never pigs. Yikes!!

    The mother is Landrace/York and the father is Berkshire.
     
  6. Aug 3, 2018
    Healthy Skeptic

    Healthy Skeptic Ridin' The Range

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    I’m curious how many pounds of food to start with? Three pigs 8 weeks old? I want enough to last a month.
     
  7. Aug 3, 2018
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses True BYH Addict

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    ABSOLUTELY will root and wallow. Not only for bug & cooling but they cnnot sweat, so heat is a factor. This is not like any of the other livestock you mention. I have been there & tell you, NO PASTURE is safe.

    I had AGHs, small ones in the scheme of "pigland" and super friendly/docile. Still, they could root up an huge section in no time at all -- we are talking a couple hours. :D Know to be good grazers, they were. But, also like roots! I used to mow, catch into the attached mower tubs and dump freshly cut grass to them. They loved it.

    Your barn will be a mass of holes. I urge you to make a little pig hut and strong fence with hot wire. Mine really respected hot wire. Most do, once touched. Very smart animals.

    Enjoying grass....

    image.jpg


    Same two, enjoyed a WALK, looking for more...
    They were easy to find, follow the trail :D

    10291601.jpg
    10291602.jpg
     
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  8. Aug 3, 2018
    Healthy Skeptic

    Healthy Skeptic Ridin' The Range

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    0F06EA54-3A3D-4ED5-9414-C00D4A697B0B.jpeg DA8685D0-EE63-40BB-A6D1-85E67771E1D9.jpeg So here are some pictures. The first one is outside of our pole barn. We made 4 sections a while ago thinking we were going to continue to do the fair. But we stopped. The pigs will be in the second to the last stall.

    I also took an inside picture so that you could see where we’re going to put them in the evening. You think they will destroy these walls?

    Today is the cleaning day to move things out!
     
  9. Aug 3, 2018
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    Mysunwolf and Minihorses have it right.

    Your pigs might not tear up the walls, but as they get larger and heavier they could crack the plywood, The floor is concrete so they can't root. BUT your entire barn will stink big time with no drainage, and they need access to fresh air and sunlight. They will also be happier if they can root for bugs and roots. How wide are the sections? They look like 8' x 12'? That is small for even one pig. Each one will grow to 235 lbs. or more by slaughter. Pigs will poo in one area usually, and if they are on dirt, the liquid will soak in leaving semi dry poop to shovel up each day. Our pigs used to dump their water to make a mud hole when the water got hot. Once the poop is wet, it smells a lot more. :sick

    In what area of the country are you located? You can keep them inside for a week or so, especially if you have coyotes or other predators and do not have Livestock Guardian Dogs. Then I would fence in an area outside for them. Give them a shady spot to get away from sun since pigs sunburn. Your hogs are Yorkshire, Landrace, Berkshire. York and Berks crossed is a Blue Butt, which is a white pig with a gray splash across the butt. Light colored pigs sunburn badly. :somad My favorite fencing for hogs is metal corral panels lined with livestock panels about 3' up from the ground. Then put large timbers - either pole butts, or railroad ties around the bottom of the panels to prevent the pigs from rooting out. Pig are incredibly strong, and there are no handholds on a pig. Pick up your little piglets by the hind legs, otherwise they will scream. Later you will not be able to pick them up at all. Fair kids use long horse crops or lightweight canes to guide their pigs around the ring which is fine when the kids train their pigs! But to move home pigs more easily, you can make pig boards out of plywood, look on line for dimensions. Keep your knee bracing the board and push down when the pigs tries to get under the edge. Pigs turn away from solid fencing which is why you can herd them with the solid looking boards. Do NOT keep the pigs with poultry of any kind. Pigs are omnivores which means they will eat EVERYTHING! Our pigs ate our gander when he mistakenly got into their pen. He was a mean gander too!

    If you are keeping all the pigs together, you can built J feeders out of plywood. There are plans in pig books and on line. :caf You don't need to make a water barrel/lixit waterer. You can use a nice deep rubber water pan from the feed store. They need lots of fresh water every day. You will need to dump and change the water because if the water tub is very large they will lay in it and the water gets very dirty. You will need to check and refill the water frequently because they will dump it to make a mud bath to keep cool in the heat.

    Use a good quality pig chow for your area - ask the feed store what they sell to Fair kids as a "grower" ration. The conversion rate for hogs is 4:2 depending on age. 4 lbs. of feed can convert into 2 lbs. of weight daily. Don't bother with a "finisher" ration since that is only for hogs going to Fair, and you want yours to grow as fast as possible so they can go too slaughter sooner. If you have any orchards or fruit trees, you can let the pigs eat all the dropped fruit. Rake it up and dump it into the pen. If it has bugs they will like it even more. :drool

    If you need to weigh the pigs, load them in the horse trailer and take them to the truck scales. Some people in our area used to use the dump scales. Weigh the trailer empty, load the pigs and go back. The difference will be what the pigs weigh. Divide by 3 and you have an approximate weight. Once all three weigh 1,000 lbs together, you can arrange to take them to slaughter.

    A word of warning! Pigs have a dress out of 70-75% of their body weight since you will make sausage from everything that would otherwise be tossed. That will be about 200 lbs.+ of meat from each pig - Have a large freezer ready! Or you can sell one of the pig to a neighbor, They pay you for the pig, you deliver to the butcher with our pigs, and they pay the slaughter, cut and wrap, and sausage making fee direct to the butcher when they pick up their meat.

    Hope this helps! Pigs are actually fun when you only have a couple. They are very smart and will greet you with soft grunts for treats and back scratches :love or with angry screams if they think you are late feeding them their supper! :rant

    Have fun and enjoy your new piggies.
     
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  10. Aug 3, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    IMHO your bigger problem is going to be them escaping past you when you open the door to go in or out... :ep
     
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