Big day for the piggys today! I opened up the first rotational pen for them!
Green stuff and lots of it ! Piggy heaven for sure... at least for a day or two.
I did not get the pens replanted last fall. So its all volunteer growth, but the piggy's don't seem to mind!
Two days and it will look like the main pen, with the only green left standing , being behind fences.
Hi Kate; Thank you! I'm very pleased with this years piggy's.
Yes , I have four pens that connect to their "house" pen. I only raise three piglets each season, no breeders. So my pens are smaller. But the piggys are SO happy each time they get a new spot to eat.
Each paddock can be opened without letting them into the others. The last pen has the old apple tree so they get to feast on mcantosh apples for their last month or so.
I am dreaming of a system where the pigs plough up each yard, I grow some crops for us and then sow it with pig food, for them to return to and eat later on, with fruittrees around the edges. There was a good design for something like this in one of Bill Mollison's books, but I don't think I can do a central pig pen like his because bits of flat-ish land here are not very wide. I might make a long strawyard, with gates coming off it every so often to open out into the yards.
How big are the rotational yards that you have for your 3 piglets?
Its Been one week that the piggys have been in the first pen. Work is almost completed! Unlike other's, these piggys are keeping a nice level tilled area. Some years it looks like the surface of the moon with huge holes to nap in and large piles of dirt that have been excavated.
First two pens are maybe 50'x50' (I did not measure), other two pens are more like 50' x 100'. From each rotational pen they have access to the main pen and the water hole. The two larger pens have shade available from the apple tree and a nice three sides shed I call the summer palace.
Just got off the phone with the butcher shop.
The Piggy's have their reservation in place.
September 11th is their big truck ride to meet the butcher!
An important thing to remember. Is make their reservation early !
Fall is a very busy time for them. With county fairs and the 4H animals coming in. Hunting season is generally open at the same time. Butchering slots are hard to come by.
One year I was forced to wait until December to get my pigs in... They were way overgrown and it cost much more to keep feeding them! I won't make that mistake again !
Work is done in pen #1. At least all the work they are allowed to do....
Seems miss Paprika, managed to root her way right under the small fence and in with the comfrey plants! Bad piggy!
She didn't do any damage to the young apple tree, but ate every leaf of comfrey there was! And then, I had to lift her over the fence, as she was to scared to find her way out on her own!
They were banned from pen #1 two days ago. They have been moping ever since!
Today I opened pen #2...
Happy piggys again!
Been out of state working lately , haven't taken time to post any updates on the piggys. They are definitely growing fast!
They finished work in pen #2 and were moved into pen#3 "the summer palace". They have quickly decimated that as well.
Pen #1 has greened back up nicely but... before I can let them back in. I need to dig in some horizontal metal roofing to protect the comfrey and the young apple tree, from miss Paprika!
Meanwhile in pen #4 there is a bumper crop of Macintosh apples coming on. They just are not quite ready for the piggys yet.
Luckily, the combo pond / porta potty is full and muddy and the grain bin is full ....AHHH piggy heaven!
So for the next week they will be in the summer palace until I can get back in town and repair Paprika's tunnel under the fence.