Pigs are a great animal for homesteaders for many reasons, the most important of which is that they literally turn vegetables into bacon! For the amount of money you spend on feed, you’ll get a huge return on your investment in the form of bacon, ham, pork chops, and more.
Of course, there are other advantages to owning pigs. They grow very fast, they are fairly easy to raise, they don’t require a lot of space, and they’re very prolific breeders.
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However, before you dive in and get a bunch of piglets, you should take some time to research pigs and learn from the mistakes of others. Lumnah Acres, for example, made a list of 7 helpful tips for new pig owners. Here’s what he came up with:
1. Use hog panels, not cattle panels – Piglets can squeeze through the openings in cattle panels.
2. Use an automatic pig waterer – They will play in and knock over buckets or troughs of water.
3. If you’re pasture-raising pigs, you can feed them regular feed, not pig feed – The nutrients they normally get from pig feed are in the grass and soil. This will save you money.
4. See if your local feed store has any special offers – Some places will do a bulk buy discount. Buy as many bags as you need to finish raising your pigs.
5. Make sure you have good flat access to your gate – This will make it easier to load your pigs onto a trailer.
6. Make you have a good, solid gate that isn’t electrified – If it is electrified, then even when you open the gate, they won’t want to walk through it because you’ve created a mental barrier for them.
7. Try to figure out how fast your pigs will grow and when you’ll take them to the butcher – Work it out so you can bring them to the butcher when they’re not busy cutting up wild game. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait and fatten your pigs up more than necessary.
Watch the video below for more info on these tips.