Pork chops, bacon, and pork roasts oh my! There are so many delicious things you can have from pigs. If you’re looking for a farming experience you can try raising a backyard pig for meat. It comes with its own set of challenges but you’ll learn a lot. Then at the end of it all, you’ll have an entire freezer full of your choice of meats. If you want to raise your own backyard pig, here’s how.
How to Raise a Backyard Pig
Have Adequate Space
Unfortunately raising a backyard pig isn’t something anyone can do. You need to have enough space for the pig to live. You should have at least ¼ of an acre per pig if you plan on raising them from Spring to Fall. If you plan on raising them for a longer amount of time, you need to have more land for them. Pigs love rooting around and grazing grass. They need plenty of space to be able to do that. They won’t thrive if they don’t have enough space to do the things they love.
Have a Good Fence
Since pigs love exploring and looking for food, you’ll need a great fence. Make sure your fence is strong enough to be able to hold in great, big pigs. There are several different options you can look into. You can use an electric fence or a hog fence.
Have a Clean Bathroom Spot
Although it doesn’t seem it like, pigs are actually quite clean. They roll in mud to keep cool and keep bugs off, but they don’t like having a dirty pen. Your pigs won’t like it if their bathroom spot becomes too dirty. Shovel the manure regularly to keep the pig pen from becoming odorous. Make sure any bedding is kept clean as well.
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Let Them Play
Pigs are intelligent. Give them little things to play with in their pen. A wallowing pit is always great fun for a pig. Pigs need to be doing something because they are so active. Put balls in their pit to play with, or a scratching post for something to do. You can give them food that they have to really gnaw on like pumpkins or watermelons. When pigs are bored they find something to do and sometimes it’s not a good thing.
Have a Nice Shelter
If you’re raising a pig from Spring to Fall, you’ll need a shady spot for your pigs to cool down during the Summer. It doesn’t need to be fancy. A place that pigs can go to get out of the wind, rain, and sun will do just fine. They aren’t picky. Make sure that the shelter is in a good, safe location. The best place for a pig shelter is on a little hill, this way if it rains it won’t pool up inside their shelter.
Give Them Your Food Scraps
Pigs love food scraps. They’ll eat them all up! You can give pigs just about anything and they’ll eat it. Don’t give pigs expired meat. They love apple cores, corn cobs, and old baked goods. Give your pig fallen fruit from a fruit tree, they’ll love it! Pigs like hay and old garden scraps too. They’ll eat the weeds from your garden or overripe pumpkins and zucchinis. Seriously, pigs love it all. Just be sure that what you’re giving them won’t make them sick.
Give Them Clean Water
Pigs usually have dirty snouts since they’re always sniffing around in the mud. This will make their water dirty very quickly. You might have to clean their water trough several times a day. Get an appropriate sized trough for drinking because if it’s too big the pig will lay in it. You can get a different, bigger container for the pigs to lay in. Pigs need to wallow in mud so make sure they have mud somewhere.
Raising your own backyard pig isn’t for everybody. You need to be have enough land to be able to put a pig on and you need to be able to detach yourself if you’re raising it for meat. Sometimes it’s hard to send a pig to the butcher if you’ve raised it since it was a piglet. This is probably the hardest part about raising a backyard pig. If this doesn’t sound like something you could do, raising a backyard pig isn’t for you. But if you want a lot of great pig meat for the Winter, you can raise a pig by following these guidelines.
Image Source: Pixabay