We have a paddock that we raise 4 pigs in every year, from spring to fall. My question is... what can I plant in the dirt they have left behind, that will yield something of value for the new pigs we get in spring to eat? They live in this paddock full time once we get them in spring. The paddock gets completely tilled by them every year, but we have just let it sit until the following spring and it seems to me we could be doing something better. We live in southern BC, Canada for climate reference. Thanks for your input.
It's my second time doing pigs, and I'm trying to grow a lot more of their food, but my current arrangement has them living on someone else's land until about the halfway mark; this gave me time to sow a variety of root-crops for them in the spring.
Will see if there is a meaningful amount of food generated, as broadcast and raking was about all the time I could spare for the experiment...
How late do you butcher?
'Theoretically this level of creeping Orwellian dynamics should ramp up our awareness, but what happens instead is that each alert becomes less and less effective because we're incredibly stupid.' - Jerry Holkins
Hi Jennifer; Big Welcome to Permies!
I raise wieners to slaughter each spring and summer.
I have 4 smaller pens that I rotate thru. The pigs do a great job of tilling and fertilizing in each pen.
As I move them to a new pen I replant the pen behind them.
Some years I bring them back and start again in pen #1.
I have used many different things to replant, all good although rye and barley are always included. Oddly clover does not seem to be a piggy favorite. But the deer seem to love it.
The pigs really don't care what I plant... its all new, all green and its in a new pen! Man how good can a piggy have it!
They terrorize it within a few days... looks like a bomb went off in there. (In the spring when they are babies it takes a bit longer)
So in answer to your question. Try a mix of rye /barley /winter wheat.
Your pigs will not care. It has been my observation that what a piggy does not like ... they eat last...
Since the pen is probably rich in nitrogen, would planting willow stakes, mulberry trees and grape vines outside the perimeter be useful?
My chickens love willow.
They are less fond of grape and mulberry leaves but they will pick at them.
I imagine pigs will eat any and all of that.
Any fruit would be just a bonus.
As long as your fence is good. Things planted beyond do well.
Given a choice pigs will poop along a fence line.
My Comfrey thrives just beyond their reach. The new apple tree seems to like it as well.
Unfortunately doggy's like to hunt fence lines for "special" treats...
Second on the mulberries, mature mulberries drop alot of fruit and pigs love them, but consider your time an money reseeding annuals as it may not be the best way to go about it, a perennial perimeter with quicker moves keeps native veg growing in your pasture.
Our plum tree is dropping lots of fruit these days, very tasty, no care needed, so they could be a good source of food for pigs.
A dwarf chinkapin oak hedge should begin to produce acorns in just a few years.
Acorn fed pork is a gold standard, it's probably pretty good food for pigs.
Sorry i missed that you said they stay full time in 1 paddock but you could try favas the grow fast and like cooler weather not sure if they will over winter but could plant early in spring as well. Even maybe fence little blocks of them then open them up and let the piggies at em!