Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tonight's Research - Basic Pig Care

During these cold winter months, my husband and I are stretching our brains and planning ahead for next spring and growing the homestead. While I dream of milk cows, my husband apparently dreams of pigs. I think he is addicted to bacon. :)



So, we are currently looking into the BASICS of pig care. Of course, as in all my research, I turn to google. I pride myself on finding everything I ever look for there. I know it is built for simpletons like me, and we work well together.

Google - "how to pig"

Yep. Easy as that.

I came across some great resources.

http://www.ehow.com/pigs/ - A collection of several articles ranging from basic care, basic butchering, and even some on breeding.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/1980-05-01/How-To-Raise-Healthy-Pigs.aspx - A great inclusive article on the basics of raising pigs and what you can expect from the whole process.

So far, as I understand it, caring for a pig is pretty simple. They eat ALOT, and produce copious ammounts of manure which is excellent for your garden. They don't sweat, so their biggest requirement in housing is that it needs to have a large shady area, and possibly a muddy pool. And, pigs are notoriously intelligent and strong. Just a fence will not do. Sturdy fencing, electric wire and even a trench filled with rocks and logs are required to keep in these rooting beasties. Add to this a three walled shelter (big enough for full grown girth) and you are set!

One particular suggestion I am considering to be priceless. "Grow russian comfrey."



In the past, in my research on herbal remedies, I came across comfrey again and again. It is marvelous used in salves and poultices. It is an extremely prolific plant. Practically impossible to kill, any cuttings 2" or more will grow a new plant. It grows very large and hardy, producing an excellent, balanced feed for your swine in great quantity. It also is an extremely nitrogen rich plant and when added to your compost will speed up the heating and breakdown of your pile.

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