• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Permaculture Pigs

 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
20
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbMrLbLMGho&feature=youtu.be



Don't miss the upcoming Farmscale Permaculture workshop October 1-4 2015 at Versaland in Iowa.

Edited by moderator to fix embed link
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 699
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
great video - thanks for posting!

can i ask what kind of pigs you run?
a few nearby farms have tried a variety of pigs raised on pasture and are having a hard time getting them to gain on pasture alone.
it certainly isnt and edge system like you have and i wonder how much is the breed and how much is the environment? most of the pigs i refer to were raised on grain rations of some sort - is that a bigger thing to overcome than breed?
any input is appreciated.

all to often "pastured pigs" just means pigs fed grain in the pasture. while better than a confinement operation, i think it can be better.
thank you for raising pigs the right way. wish i was closer i would be buying whole hogs from you quarterly
 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
20
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
These pigs are Kunekune x Ossabaw Island Hog. They are unringed and graze happily with little soil disturbance. I think the key to no-grain pigs is a simple matter of giving them ample access to forage and moving them often enough to keep it fresh. A 'farmer' can't lock a pig in a pen of bare dirt and expect it to survive without grain. Pigs expressing their pigness can roam and graze to find the food they like.
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 699
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks grant.

i am a bit surprised this isnt getting more attention.

 
neil mock
Posts: 67
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thank you for the video. it is great to see other operations in action.

i am wondering what do you use for feed in winter months? also, what is you size of the paddock you are using, how many animals/time is you rotation. have you tried to introduce the "weeds" into your pasture, save time from collecting/feeding and let the pigs do all the work?

thanks
 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's a follow-up video. One of our momma pigs made her bed before giving birth, and we caught it on video.

https://www.facebook.com/organicgrant/videos/10101159859813813/?pnref=story

 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If the YouTube video won't play, here it is on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/organicgrant/videos/10101158088822893/?pnref=story
 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
20
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
neil mock wrote:thank you for the video. it is great to see other operations in action.

i am wondering what do you use for feed in winter months? also, what is you size of the paddock you are using, how many animals/time is you rotation. have you tried to introduce the "weeds" into your pasture, save time from collecting/feeding and let the pigs do all the work?

thanks


Hi Neil

weeds/self feeding - The vast majority of our pastures were seeded from row-crop ground, so the only seeds were the ones we introduced. Margins and disturbed areas pick up pioneers like giant ragweed and giant foxtail (GIANT FTW!), and the pigs self-harvest those. The ragweed in the video was cut from a newer orchard planting that we're excluding livestock from for the first year. It's certainly not always efficient to hand-harvest fodder, but it has it's place. Yes, in a mature system i'd shoot for animals to self-harvest 100% of their forage. Not sure we'll ever get there in our meso-intensive management, but it's a possibility.

Winter Feed: Round-bale hay (of the same pastures), ideally some self-foraged groundnut and sunchoke, stockpiled forage (snow forage), and some random veg waste and compost once a week or so. If an animal can't survive on the farm with some minimal shelter and unlimited natural forage, I don't want it on the farm. Grain is a drain!

Paddock size - Mainly use Premier1 Pig Quikfence http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?mode=detail&fence_id=133 Paddocks range in size from 2,500 sq ft and up depending on size of group and age. When young, it's a real breeze to use two 100' lengths of fence for moving paddocks. Here's a good video showing the system:

https://www.facebook.com/organicgrant/videos/vb.38203417/10100810868385433/?type=3&theater

Grant
 
siu-yu man
Posts: 99
Location: zone 6a, north america
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hi Grant, cool videos, love the dubstep at the end...

2 Qs:

1) i saw the 1/2 cut 55 gal barrel that you used for a water trough...does that suffice for when the pigs get larger?

2) do you know if pigs like autumn olive, mugwort, thistles, honeysuckle or mullein?

p.s. got some chinese chestnuts from your stock this spring. they're growing nicely...thanks...
 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
siu-yu man wrote:hi Grant, cool videos, love the dubstep at the end...

2 Qs:

1) i saw the 1/2 cut 55 gal barrel that you used for a water trough...does that suffice for when the pigs get larger?

2) do you know if pigs like autumn olive, mugwort, thistles, honeysuckle or mullein?

p.s. got some chinese chestnuts from your stock this spring. they're growing nicely...thanks...


1) 1/2 barrel - Yep, works for when older too. Pretty indestructible. A board along one edge (screwed through plastic) stabilizes it. We'll be migrating towards portable nipple waterers because they're lighter to move, though the tubs make nice porta-wallows when it's hot out.

Farm Hack - Portable Pig Waterer: http://farmhack.org/tools/tough-inexpensive-pastured-pig-waterer

2) All you can do is try it out!

Chestnuts - Awesome! We have more available for next year, but I think I'll sell out even sooner this year. http://newfarmsupply.com/collections/nut-trees/products/chinese-chestnut-trees

 
Stephen Thompson
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi. I am wondering if you use any kind of supplements. I ask because we have also tried to feed a combination of pasture, vegetables and fruit and always had a hard time with getting hogs to gain adequately no matter how much they had access to - until we added lysine in the form of dairy. If your critters find everything they need on pasture, where are they getting lysine and other necessary nutrition?
 
Stephen Thompson
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
By the way, the portable pig waterer is awesome. Why didn't I think of that?
 
Cordell duToit
Posts: 8
Location: Ontario, Canada
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Grant,
Great video.
Do you know if pigs can / will eat that horrible plant staghorn sumac? Also, where / how do you find out the protein levels / nutritional value in plants such as the mulberry leaves etc?
Is there a website you visit?
Regards
Cordell
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1252
Location: Maine (zone 5)
65
forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
siu-yu man wrote:
2) do you know if pigs like autumn olive, mugwort, thistles, honeysuckle or mullein?



I've had really good luck feeding autumn olive to pigs on pasture. They like the leaves and the berries. I chop it down and throw it to the pigs and chickens. Once the branch is cleaned off, I dry them off in a pile and use them for kindling wood.

 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
siu-yu man wrote:hi Grant, cool videos, love the dubstep at the end...

2 Qs:

1) i saw the 1/2 cut 55 gal barrel that you used for a water trough...does that suffice for when the pigs get larger?

2) do you know if pigs like autumn olive, mugwort, thistles, honeysuckle or mullein?

p.s. got some chinese chestnuts from your stock this spring. they're growing nicely...thanks...


Here's a Pakistani study (great silvopasture systems!) putting autumn olive at a almost 15% crude protein, I imagine this varies over the year. black locust is 24% during spring growth! http://www.ajas.info/upload/pdf/15_7.pdf
 
Bob Burkinshaw
Posts: 4
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada zone 6a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Grant,

I am delighted to have come across this. Do you supplement the pasture/hay diet with any dairy products? Some argue it isn't possible to raise pigs profitably on pasture alone without some supplemental protein such as waste dairy products but others say that it is at least possible, if somewhat slower.

Do you have any thoughts to add on that debate?

Thank you
 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bob Burkinshaw wrote:Grant,

I am delighted to have come across this. Do you supplement the pasture/hay diet with any dairy products? Some argue it isn't possible to raise pigs profitably on pasture alone without some supplemental protein such as waste dairy products but others say that it is at least possible, if somewhat slower.

Do you have any thoughts to add on that debate?

Thank you


No dairy supplement, but yes they take longer to finish without it. Red clover is almost 20% crude protein and they harvest it themselves.
 
Stephen Dobek
Posts: 48
Location: Rutledge, GA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Grant,

Have you had any issues with your pigs obeying the fence? I've raised pastured hogs a couple of different places and they've always been generally disinterested in getting outside the poly wire because they got their daily ration of grain plus unlimited access to nuts and acorns from the trees that were in their paddocks as well as the forage we planted for them. Does relying on them to feed themselves also make them more prone to wandering?


 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Stephen Dobek wrote:Grant,

Have you had any issues with your pigs obeying the fence? I've raised pastured hogs a couple of different places and they've always been generally disinterested in getting outside the poly wire because they got their daily ration of grain plus unlimited access to nuts and acorns from the trees that were in their paddocks as well as the forage we planted for them. Does relying on them to feed themselves also make them more prone to wandering?




Our pigs are very well trained to the fence. Every now and then there is an opportunity to slip out, and there is usually one creative personality in every group of pigs. The funny thing is...they slip out for some interesting clover but hang right near the perimeter to stay with their friends. Lift the fence up and they run back in. Social bonds are strong. Might be due to a family unit thing.
 
Come have lunch with me Arthur. Adventure will follow. This tiny ad:
The stocking stuffer game for all your Permaculture companions
http://www.FoodForestCardGame.com
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic