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Hogs to mix cobb  RSS feed

 
Connor Ireland
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We're working on a cobb house. We have about the first two feet all the way around, but had to stop for the winter. We're set to get two hogs in early April, they'll be younguns, only about 45 LB. We have discussed using them to tread the cobb, which would work something like the old-time pug mills that mountain potters used.

I wonder if they would need much incentive to move constantly and tread the clay down. Our soil is pretty nearly the right ratio, once the top layer is gone, we've been working with it in its whole state. I would be willing to throw them cracked corn to make them move and root, I would also be willing to flog them to make them work. I think they would enjoy the work, its very dry in my area and pigs don't always get to wallow.

Would cracked corn in the cobb mix be a bad thing? I imagine not, but I'm asking anyway.

Would pig manure have the kind of benefits that cow manure does in cobb?

Can I lead a hundred pound hog by a leash? I have a field of turnips I want to keep them in, so I would have to take them a few hundred yards from the turnips (which they are tilling) to the home site every couple days.
 
Jim schalles
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Ha. I love this post. I think it would work as long as they didn't wallow with feces and urine much. The reason cow and horse manure work so well is because they are from grazers. Pigs eat a lot of stuff that will not make a good manure additive to your cob, and could even cause your straw to rot from the bacterial activity.
 
Connor Ireland
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For a time I heard a lot of talk about big manure waterproofing the bottom of a pond. Supposedly that bacterial activity creates an anaerobic slime that becomes impermiable. They were calling it 'gley' I think.

THREE SCENARIOS:

I fence in an enclosure and throw cracked corn and water into it. The pigs tread and root at their own pace and I toss in straw. Then I shovel it out and bring it to the site.

I fence in a circle with a steel post (rebar or rock bar) driven into the center. I use two lengths of straight fencing, attached to the post, to restrict the pigs to one half or quarter of the circular enclosure, while I shovel out the other side. This arrangement would work like the hands of a clock, I use cracked corn as the incentive in this model, just like the first.

I have also been thinking of using tethering collars, or a harness (http://www.pigs4ever.com/pot_bellied_pig_products/harnesses_and_leads.php) arrangement to get two pigs to pull a disc or harrow (http://brinly.com/DD_55BH.html). I would drive a stake into the ground in the center of a circle and hook one end of the disc to that stake, so now the harrow move like the hand of a clock. I will use corn as bait, or a stick, to get these pigs to walk forward in a circle, constantly walking with them, constantly tossing corn, constantly whacking their butts with a stick.

OBVIOUSLY these are in the order of their mud-mixing power, and keeping the blend even. They are in reverse order of realistic-ness, since I have never heard of pigs used as draft animals. My neighbiors say it can't be done, well I intend to get pigs in a month or two anyway. What do you think, Jim?
 
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