Pigs

Wannabefree

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What do you have to do to raise pigs for slaughter over the winter? I can get pigs cheap, and another post today reminded me I need to be figuring out how to do this because I want some homegrown pork! I still have several questions though. How long does it take to raise a weaned pig up to market weight? Will they really forage and eat hickory nuts and acorns to a large degree? We will supplement with scraps and such, but really how cheap is it to feed them, how much would they eat per day per pig? I know they are harder to contain and I could build a Piggy Fort Knox to house them. I just really wanted to know how difficult it is over the winter, as it seems they'd be less smelly during the colder months, and we want to slaughter them ourselves, sooooo DO NOT want it to be too warm outside when that time comes :lol: Anyway...looking to get a couple. Any suggestions or tips are WELCOME! Thanks in advance!!!
 

freemotion

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I'm not sure what your climate is like, but I won't raise any in the winter here because the ground will be frozen, there will be no foraging, and there will be very little free food. My goal is pastured pork, though, so that may not be what you are going for. Do you have a source of free stuff...a restaurant, deli, grocery store, etc, for veggies, bread, milk? If I had a source of veggies, I would go for the winter pigs, but I just can't locate a good source around here. I asked the produce guys at several stores, and they are not allowed to give produce scraps away. Apologetic, but they don't make the rules. They don't agree with them, either. I think if I knew someone personally, there could be an arrangement to leave a big bag or two next to the dumpster that I could pick up behind the store, but alas.....
 

Wannabefree

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I have access to several acres of acorns. I may wait till Spring and have a lot dried for them to start on, as my goal is free meat. Also have access to farmer's market goodies. Climate...in winter the ground is a mud pit, so I'm thinking that is likely a good thing. We occassionally get some ice, but way into January or early February. We still wear short sleeves at Thanksgiving :D So I guess I could call it "Northern Fall" in comparison. BTW, I just read COMPLETELY your 24 page thread! That's awesome you documented all that helpful info! I like going on REAL experience, not just random internet opinion. I may be goin pig shoppin! :lol: Well.....after I get the set up FIRST ;) Nice A frame...think I'll take all my free pallets and frame up something similar. I want to see if I can raise a couple for free, minus some nails, and electric fence supplies. Wish me luck!
 

freemotion

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Can you pasture them right where the oak trees are? I bet they'd eat up all the ones on the ground, and find the ones the squirrels buried. I noticed, when in Florida walking in the woods, that the wild pigs spend a lot of time rooting around under the oak trees, looking for acorns.
 

Wannabefree

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freemotion said:
Can you pasture them right where the oak trees are? I bet they'd eat up all the ones on the ground, and find the ones the squirrels buried. I noticed, when in Florida walking in the woods, that the wild pigs spend a lot of time rooting around under the oak trees, looking for acorns.
Yep. I have a line of 4 Red Oaks and a massive Hickory right where I am thinking of setting up. I have huge White Oaks and 5 or so Hickories around the house, and several more in the woods. I have some of the Pig Nut Hickories..I do believe their nickname comes from the nuts being used as hog feed. I try to save the Shagbark to sell and eat. I also have berries and loads of saplings they could forage too. We have an underground spring that keeps the ground wet on one end of where they would be. Funny thing...this house sits on the site of an old hog farm :lol: I think it's appropriate eh? Should have garden scraps for several more months as well. I just need to know how long they should take to grow out so I can time it right to butcher. Needed to know if I SHOULD wait until Spring or get some started ASAP.
 

freemotion

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I can't quite remember what the "recommedations" are, but count on another month or two for pasture raised pigs. They get more exercise and if they are not fed a commercial diet and confined with little to no movement, they won't grow as fast. Not a problem, as far as I am concerned. I am planning on something like 8 or 9 months, but I really want a fat pig with lots of fatty bacon and lots of lard.
 

justusnak

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Our pigs are always raised in a "lot" Its about 30 x 30. They are under a big pin oak willow...and with lots of veggy scraps along with hog feed and corn..raise out in about 5 months to just over 300 pounds. You just cant beat fresh pork!
 

freemotion

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Is that five months from their birth or five months from when you get them....at what age?
 

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