Yes, Yes, Yes, You Should Have Pigs!
By Candi Johns
I know not everyone has the space to raise their own animals.
I know how blessed I am to have the choice to raise my own meat.
If you live on a little piece of land without a HOA bringing you down — you should go get yourself a couple feeder pigs to raise.
Spring is in the air and that means that there are spring piglets for sale if you know where to look.
The pig is often overlooked as a homestead animal because of their smell and lack of tidiness. We have raised pigs for years and I can tell you that pigs are great. To avoid the smell just be sure they have enough room to spread out and put the pig area downwind from your house. The mess can be a blessing if you plan it right. Just put those piggies on your future garden spot and you’ll love them for prepping the land for you!
One of the best features of raising piglets is how quickly they grow. We turn 20-pound piglets into 300-pound feeder pigs over the summer each year. It takes about 4-5 months here in Kentucky to raise a pig to slaughter weight.
If you’ve never thought about keeping pigs, here’s some reasons you may want to consider making this the year of the pig!
First: Let me tell you that pigs are fun to keep. They have personality. They have appetites. When they are wittle baby piggies they are adorable.
Second: Pigs are easy to raise. We have had many different animals on our homestead. The pigs are probably the easiest animal to raise. They need food and water and a little place to get out of the weather and that’s about it.
Third: Have you ever considered gardening with pigs? I am here to tell you that a couple pigs can clear a plot of land better than any tractor. Not only will they clear it for you, they will get all the roots, till it and fertilize it for you. If you have a garden spot picked out for next year, put the pigs on it this year and they’ll get it ready for you.
Fourth: Pigs are super smart. They are easy to train to drink from a nipple. They are easy to keep fenced in. They will know “pig mommy” (that’s me) when they see you and will happily follow you any where you carry a bucket.
Fifth: You don’t need 10 acres of land to keep pigs. They don’t need much space. We keep ours on a bigger area than is really necessary so they can enjoy pasture, but they can be kept in smaller spaces. Just be sure there’s enough room to make a “bathroom” in one corner. Pigs will always make their own bathroom and use it all season.
Sixth: The sixth reason you should get some pigs comes in the form of deliciousness! Bacon, pork chops, pork tenderloin, ribs, ham, pork steaks, sausage, bratwurst, ham steaks, pork loin, and more!!! Yes please!
Seventh: The last reason to keep pigs is the “garbage disposal” factor. Nothing on your homestead will ever go to waste again. We feed our pigs leftover milk from the cows, scraps from the garden, hay, grass, kitchen scraps and more. They will turn all that waste into pork chops for you! Be sure not to feed them meat or avocados. We were advised against this years ago and have lived by it. All the pigs who have lived on our farm have been happy vegetarians (who don’t eat avocado).
We look forward to getting piglets every spring. I am ready to see them go in fall but enjoy the freezer full of meat year round.
If you’ve never considered keeping pigs, you might try it. If you hate it, it will be over by Halloween and you don’t have to do it again.
If you love pigs — here’s more:
Keeping Pigs in Winter
How to Move Pigs
Raising Pigs Update: Water, Fencing, Escaping, Hot Tubs, Swimming Pools and More Water
Raising Feeder Pigs – Concrete or Pasture?
The Problem with Potbelly Piglets
Potbelly Piglets!!!!! The first 4 Days….2015/09/29
Potbelly Piglets – Waking the Dead
Era of the Southern Hog
Guinea hogs are a rare heritage livestock breed, smaller than commercial pigs, and a landrace, native to the southern United Stated
Natural Land Management: The Power of Pigs
Convert woods to pastureland naturally through rotational grazing with pigs.
The Healthy Pig
Follow these tips to keep your pigs in good health and to be able to recognize signs that something is wrong.