Rootbusters!

farmerjan

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There are lots of "crossed up" "wild hogs" now. The ferals will breed with anything that is running out. And formerly "tame" hogs that get loose, learn fast and easy to fend for themselves. Next thing you know, there is a formerly tame sow that comes into heat, gets bred by a feral boar, has 6-12 pigs, and then they really make a mess. The longer they run loose, the less likely you are to get them to accept being penned again.

NO NO NO to any type of "e - collar" ... A hog does not do well at all with electric shocks.... it can kill them. You have to be careful with using an electric prod on them sometimes. You would never keep it on a hogs neck anyway.

Yes, "free Bacon" is a great thing.... you need to make a trip to hunt wild pigs in Tx @Alaskan .... if you get the 100 lb size they do make good eating... have lots of friends that will eat them. Big boars no.... alot of taint.... bigger sows are okay too, but the real big ones often are tougher.... and pork is not a "tough" meat...
It would be fairly lean though....
 

Ridgetop

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Hogs are one of the species that will become feral very quickly. When young they will return to the pen to eat but as soon as they find they can root enough food for themselves they will be gone. Neighbors will shoot them as a nuisance. Remember Old Yeller when the boy had to go mark his hogs. Those were free range hogs. They quickly become very wild and very dangerous.

You need to read up about "free range" rules too. Are you calling it free range to turn it out in the goat pen? In which case you will eventually have a rooted up goat pen. Or free range allowing it to range anywhere it wants? In which case you are looking at neighbor problems.

When I lived in Europe farmers would pasture their hogs with cattle. But that was on large acreage. Yo can also use hogs to uproot brush and stumps in fields as farmers used to do before planting a newly cut forest pasture to turn it into a field for planting.

Hogs root. Keep yours in its pen. It will enjoy coming over to have its back scratched. It will enjoy being hosed off in the hot summer.

Personally I would join 4-H and combine your Boy Scout Animal Science Patch project with a Fair Market Hog 4-H project. Raise it to Fair weight, show it and auction it off for $$$. Win, win.
 

MiniGoatsRule

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Hogs are one of the species that will become feral very quickly. When young they will return to the pen to eat but as soon as they find they can root enough food for themselves they will be gone. Neighbors will shoot them as a nuisance. Remember Old Yeller when the boy had to go mark his hogs. Those were free range hogs. They quickly become very wild and very dangerous.

You need to read up about "free range" rules too. Are you calling it free range to turn it out in the goat pen? In which case you will eventually have a rooted up goat pen. Or free range allowing it to range anywhere it wants? In which case you are looking at neighbor problems.

When I lived in Europe farmers would pasture their hogs with cattle. But that was on large acreage. Yo can also use hogs to uproot brush and stumps in fields as farmers used to do before planting a newly cut forest pasture to turn it into a field for planting.

Hogs root. Keep yours in its pen. It will enjoy coming over to have its back scratched. It will enjoy being hosed off in the hot summer.

Personally I would join 4-H and combine your Boy Scout Animal Science Patch project with a Fair Market Hog 4-H project. Raise it to Fair weight, show it and auction it off for $$$. Win, win.
I'm in 4H, but I get attached to my animals very easily. I might feel better if the pig was sent somewhere nice where it could live its life, but in 4H auctions you can't control where they go. That's why I'd be keeping it
 

MiniGoatsRule

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Another thing:

I just read the sheep option. I can do the same thing with a sheep. I almost wonder if that might not be better, since we have goats. Do you think that could work better? How would I deal with keeping the sheep away from my goats' minerals (the copper in it is toxic to sheep, isn't it? I don't know)?
 

CLSranch

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Around here if people do both they do rotational grazing which would require for you to have another sheep pasture, then switch pastures later. You could easily separate the minerals that way, but you need the other pasture.
 

CLSranch

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NO NO NO to any type of "e - collar" ... A hog does not do well at all with electric shocks.... it can kill them. You have to be careful with using an electric prod on them sometimes. You would never keep it on a hogs neck anyway.
I've heard of people used to cattle helping someone move load hogs and killing them with a cattle hot shot.
 

Ridgetop

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Since it sounds like you don't have a lot of area to keep a pig or sheep separate from the goats, perhaps the Animal Science Badge would have other requirements that you could do. Could you volunteer at the local animal shelter, or the local vet? What other requirements are there to earn the Animal Science Badge than to raise a hog or sheep.

Most kids in 4-H raise hogs to sell and make some money at the auction. Same with lambs, beef, goats, etc. All these animals require varying amounts of pen space, feed (which can add up to a large bill depending on how long you plan to keep them as pets), vet care, etc. If you want an easier and smaller scale animal project, consider breeding rabbits. The space required is minimal, the feed is affordable, the initial investment in a pair of breeding does and 1 buck (a trio) is much cheaper than buying a hog, show lamb, etc. You can breed several litters a year from one doe, and sell the 8 week old rabbits as either meat or pets. After obtaining your Animal Science Badge, you can sell them or give them away, or just keep them as pets.

Since your idea about keeping your hog as a pet is because you don't want to sell it for meat, there are other options but they require a lot more time, money, space and dedication to a long term project. For instance, you could buy a gilt (young female), show her at the Fair, buy her back, and then breed her. You would need to find someone who would allow you to breed your hog to his/her boar. You would have to have the space and equipment to raise a litter of piglets. Breeding is a much larger responsibility and chore than just raising a single hog for the Fair, exhibiting it, and then selling it at the Youth Auction. It is a project that you will devote many years to.

Lambs can live with goats easily. While goats do need more copper, you can find ways to give them their minerals separately. Do you have milk goats? If so they can get their minerals in the milking stanchion. However, the same thing applies to keeping a sheep as a pet as it does to a hog. Buy a ewe lamb, show her, buy her back and breed her. Again the same issues arise. A lot more time, money, space and dedication to a long term project are required. You would need to find someone who would allow you to breed your ewe to his/her ram. Breeding is a a project to which you will devote many years and a lot of money.

Do your parents know that you are planning to buy, and keep a hog as a pet forever ? Even if you keep a neutered hog have you figured out how much money it will take to feed and house it? What will you do with it when it reaches 600-700 lbs.? The hogs you see at the 4-H Auction are only about 200 lbs. You will need a strong concrete or block wall enclosure to hold in an adult hog with concrete and iron rebar footings gong into the ground 2' deep so it cannot root out. The fences you use for your mini goats will not hold a hog. Not even a piglet.

Adult sheep can reach 150 lbs. for smaller breed ewes to 350 lbs for larger breed rams. Wethers will grow larger than ewes but smaller that rams although they can get quite large too. Same cautions apply to long term care of a pet sheep - space, money, vet.

Raising a hog or lamb for the auction might be easier if you name it Lamb Chop or Ham Hocks to keep in mind where it will end up. Then once the animal has gone on the auction truck, you will have the fun of planning for next year's project.

I don't want to dismiss your aspirations, but keeping a pet pig or sheep is something that needs careful consideration. Your Animal Science Badge might be accomplished without this sort of long term project.
 

MiniGoatsRule

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Around here if people do both they do rotational grazing which would require for you to have another sheep pasture, then switch pastures later. You could easily separate the minerals that way, but you need the other pasture.
We free roam our goats. They know to stay around and don't wander off. Jimmy, the brown one in my profile pic, went into the neighborhood once, but the other in my profile, Snickerdoodle, was still adjusting to not being the only goat and chased him off. If I got a sheep it would stay with the goats. Plus, they'd probably be more accepting as they are both used to being with other animals.

I'd probably be able to keep them in separate stalls if I got 2 sheep (they only go in their stalls to sleep or if we have visitors whose horses don't like goats bugging them for treats and attention). Would I be able to keep the sheep in the sheep stall and the goats in the goat stall, along with their own loose mineral, and then free roam them together?
 
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