Why not keep pigs?

| 4/5/2013 9:12:00 AM

Tags: pig, farrow, hog, farm, homestead, raising pig, piglet, The Homestead Redhead,

Dogs look up to us.  Cats look down on us.  Pigs treat us as equals.” -Sir Winston Churchill, UK Prime Minister (1874-1965) 

Before I was shoulder deep into homesteading, as I am now, I was very misinformed about pigs.  The extent of what I knew about these snorting, mud loving creatures was that as piglets they were one of the cutest things ever and as adults they tasted delicious. 

However, with lots of research and experience I have learned a thing or two.  I now want to share this with you.

A few general terms in reference to pigs:

  • Sow-female pig
  • Gilt-young female that not farrowed
  • Farrowing-giving birth (a litter of piglets is called a farrow)
  • Boar-male pig
  • Barrow-castrated male

First of all, pigs are an interesting species.  In terms of the animal world, they are quite brilliant.  They are the fourth smartest animal in all of the animal kingdom.  They can actually put thoughts together and problem solve.  Domesticated pigs can actually learn all kinds of tricks-faster than most dogs.  Check out this video HERE Surprising right?   

This is one thing that can make owning pigs tricky.  Their excellent problem solving skills make them incredible escape artists-hence the reason our male is named Houidini.  Any fencing you plan on putting up to contain pigs need to be electric.  This is my recommendation after many failed attempts at any other type of containment.  We currently have cattle wire fencing with a string of hot wire around the base.  Pigs love to snuffle in the dirt and are excellent diggers with their snouts.

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