Denise Garretson wrote:I'm working on a design for a friend. They have a round paddock that was used for horse by previous owners. It has a packed gravel base. someone told them to run pigs in it to till it and loosen the gravel. Just wondering how well it would work. I know pigs are good tillers, but thinking packed gravel might be a bit rough on them. All advice welcome.
They don't work for free - They probably can till up gravel like that, but they won't do it just to do it. If you were to seed it with corn and put some large pigs on there you might have some success.
That depends to some extent on what you mean by 'packed gravel'.
A pig's natural instinct is not to destroy - it's to graze and decompact in spots distributed throughout an area then move on.
I've certainly had them till up paddocks, but they'd rather be doing this...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vbPhMeRXuk&feature=youtu.be
Clearly I don't know the spot, but I'm thinking you might have better success by feeding cows on a round bale in there for a bit, then planting some deep taproot stuff in that, then cycling pigs and cattle through it alternating. The pigs are going to be a lot more likely to dig up some daikon radish than they are just randomly to dig up the gravel.
I would add that if you can get burdock to grow, it will make them almost as happy as daikon. I only mention this because at my house burdock is free, abundant and stronger than daikon. Also, I love daikon so much that I tend to eat it all. Love the cattle suggestion if you have time. The hay might even have all the seeds you need.