well I was thinking we would start out with 4 bcuz I know they like to socialize. And once we see how that goes maybe get more, but 10 would be the max if we liked how they work the ground. But since you mentioned the boar being pretty self sufficient predator wise, would having four boars together cause issues?
elle sagenev wrote:10 pigs is a whole lot. What fencing do you have around your acreage? What fencing are you planning to use to keep these animals in? If you just let them loose they'll graze the same area until it's flat. They don't wander around willy nilly in my experience. My pigs graze the sainfoin for months and it's only 4 acres. They don't even wander to other parts until the sainfoin is done. So you'll need to fence them into specific areas you want them to handle and then move them or they aren't going to do what you want them to do, mow everything down.
My pigs hate my pyr and my pyr is scared of my pigs. I have American Guinea Hogs. I've found it depends on what line you get them from as to the size. Our boar is 350lbs but we got some girls from a different place that were around 180 full grown. Just small. I know Ballerina Farm in Utah uses a donkey for her mountain pigs. We have a big ol' boar and nothing has ever tried to attack him or the barn so we don't have a guard. You could say he is the guard. We've never had a pig that appreciated having a dog around and we did get them as babies. They know a predator when they see one and they bite them. That's why our pyr is so scared, he's been bit.
You're going to have to worm your pigs. I'm the laziest pig owner there could possibly be but you have to care for them. Spring-fall I let them out to roam our 40 acres. We don't have a fence that will keep our pigs in but we also don't have anything around for them to wander off and eat. When they do start roaming off the property it's late fall and it's my indicator that they must now be locked up and fed. I feed all winter. I have a pond that I keep full of water all spring-fall. In the winter I have rubber dishes I use because they're easy to break ice out of. I have water in the barn that I can't use when the temp is below 20. Then I bring gallons of water out from the house twice a day for them. They have a warm barn that they choose to go into year round. I also have a little pig house inside the barn for cold winter nights which has bedding in it. They do go in there when it's cold. If it's not cold they don't. Pigs are smart, they know how to care for themselves but they must be given the proper resources to do so. I personally couldn't see just releasing them into the forest with nothing. Mine walk home every single night to go to bed in the barn. There are a few occasions when someone knocked the gate closed and the pigs broke through the fence to get into the barn. I can't see them happily sleeping out in the open no matter what time of year it is.
10 pigs will cost a lot to feed during the winter. I had 15 last winter and I was spending at least 5-600 a month in feed. Plus I had to bring out absolute buckets of water. It can be a lot. I suppose you could butcher all the hogs in the fall every year and sell them. Then you have no winter feed needs.
I know nothing about sheep but imagine most of the same would apply.
I think you may be feeding your pigs too much and "spoiling" them to the feed instead of your land, if you want them to till for you anyway. But like I said I've never raised pigs. but it only makes sense that if you want them to root around and "till" they have to be hungry which means 40lbs of feed a day and they ain't gonna dig for it when they know you'll give it to them, no work involved. But you also are trying to fatten them up for the kill, I assume, so that means feed them. And when you said 40lbs per day, how many pigs is that for?
elle sagenev wrote:
"I was going through about 40lbs of food per day in the depths of winter. They require more food in the winter as their metabolism is part of what keeps them warm."
I haven't found my pigs to be super useful in preparing ground. I think you'd have to lock them in a small area for some time for them to do what you want them to do. They'll dig around here and there but I tried to get them to till my garden and it wasn't very satisfactory.