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field renovation with pigs

 
pollinator
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Location: Eastern Ontario
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Hey everyone, I thought I would post about a project I am undertaking to renovate a roughly 3 acre field with pigs.  The goal is to  grow my own pig food, eradicate undesirable plant species (especially sedge grass) , add biomass to the soil then either after one season or two seed the field into a good pasture mix for my cattle.

I have 2 batches of 10 pigs, one is older and larger and will be ready for the summer BBQ season.  They will the pioneers pigs who will do the initial rooting and ripping up of the sod.  They will get store bought food in addition to what they root up.  They will live behind an electric fence and have an old livestock trailer as their home and will be moved every day.  Once they have moved I will broadcast mangel-wurzel, turnip and cow peas where they were.

The second batch of pigs are currently weaners and wont go to freezer camp until November.  Once they are older and ready to go out on the field they will be pioneer pigs too for a while until the root crops are ready to eat then they will go and gorge on mangels, turnips and peas.  Im looking into getting a Jersey cow and fattening the pigs with her milk throughout the season.  

Last year I planted a cider orchard, this year's pigs wont be finished on pomace but in a few years I will have some of the best pork going.

What Y'all think?  I'll keep this thread posted with updates and photos.

Cheers
 
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Location: Elk Grove, CA
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Hey Jeff,

I highly recommend you go over to YouTube and watch as much video on pigs as you can. There is some good content there that I think might help you out quite a bit.

A couple quick tips/things to look for...

Smaller pigs are far more efficient at turning grass into meat.

Pigs can very quickly turn ground into concrete.

Pigs per acre/amount of time per rotation/land recovery time/signs of too much or too little impact/disturbance.

Fencing

Water management (nipples v troughs) and techniques for keeping pigs from making mud holes.

And by all means, look for videos that highlight problems that people are willing to share. Learning from the mistakes of others if friggin awesome and can really save yer bacon (sorry, had to work in a bad joke somewhere).

Anyway, there is a ton of other stuff you can pick up on as well. Way too many videos for me to link and some are by very well known celebrity farmers. I have spent many a rainy evening enjoying those videos and learning the easy way.

Good Luck!

 
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