Thursday, February 17, 2011

Moving food - no lets move the pigs

Andrea was having trouble scooping up the last of one weeks produce delivery; the ground was soft, and the tractor was getting stuck now and then.  So instead of moving the food to the pigs, we moved the pigs to the food.  A quick loop of electric fence rope and a few push-in posts, and the pigs trotted right out to vacuum up the remaining food. 
The pig on the right in the picture above is one of our living room pigs
I wrote about her when she was half-grown here, about halfway down that blog post, and again
here when she was out messing with the sheep.    She's a sow in her own right now, with a couple of litters under her belt and still going strong. 
The pigs will form a skirmish line and advance across the wood chips; there's fruit and bread mixed into the wood chips, and they're carefully sorting it all out and eating their favorites.  They leave the oranges and onions, though.  Apparently pigs hate food that starts with O. 
The fence is pretty insubstantial, and I can do this because they've had long experience with it and take pains not to touch it from that experience.  I wouldn't do this sort of containment for pigs that weren't conditioned to the electric fence. 


Anonymous said...

Have you had to deal with foot issues on the pigs / sheep (foot rot etc) from them having to walk around and stand in mud so often. As per one of your previous posts you've had LOT of rain.

Also, how often, or what sort of dewormers do you utilize. Being that pigs are almost never eating out of a trough but rather from (composting?) piles of fruits/veggies or whatever you find. said...

those are some good lookin pigs there Bruce! Talk about some sweet compost too. you'll have the best farmland in the county before too long.

Bruce King said...

John, you're right about the compost. It's really nice; the wood chips and manure seem to provide the right balance. Looking forward to planting season; the pasture that the pigs are on will be my corn field.

Bruce King said...

A big percentage of my pigs are slaughtered on-farm, so I'm able to inspect for parasites pretty often. No incidence so far, which has been good. I do worm the breeding sows and boars twice a year, every six months as a precaution.

With respect to food health; while the pigs do spend time in the mud each day, there's drier areas that they can sleep in, and hang out in. No ill effects so far, but I do watch for it. A lame sow won't have a good time being pregnant, and I'm sensitive to that.