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An unexpected opportunity requiring urgent information

 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I have 15 ducks up for sale. Someone offered me 2 pigs for the ducks. An unexpected offer but one I am open to. We have a pen. All we would need to do is put a gate up between the 2 runs. Not a difficult task. He said he has Hampshire, york, blue butt and a spotted available. I don't know much about pigs. I always intended to get some but it was farther in the future. So would you make this trade and if you would what breed would you get. I'd want the calmest pig I could get. Anything to worry or watch out for?
 
Walter Jeffries
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Calm, aka temperament, is more of a line trait than a breed trait. There are calm and not calm pigs in every breed. Temperament is highly hereditary and taming is important.

I would go with the Yorkshire as they are strong growers but again, the line in any of those is important. Without seeing the pigs live it is hard to judge.

It's a good trade assuming good pigs.

-Walter
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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He sent me a pic of just what his set up is and a few of the pigs.



So more questions: I made a duck run ages ago but the ducks just hang with the other birds. I use the duck hut and such to grow out baby birds. I thought this is where the pigs would go. It's large. I can put a gate between the duck run and the poultry run to seperate the pigs from the birds. Is that necessary? My birds are in the massive barn. They use barely any of it. The pigs will be young. Can they be socialized to not eat the birds?? If so I wouldn't need to put a gate up. Otherwise, gate.

Next question is.... I built a pond for the ducks. It's cement. It leaks. I planned on ripping it out. Do I need to fill in the hole or would the pigs enjoy wallowing in it? I don't want them getting stuck down there is my main issue. It's about 3 1/2 feet deep.
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Walter Jeffries
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From what little I can see the pigs look okay. That is what is called a dirt lot setup. You may be able to socialize the pigs not to eat your poultry but no guarantee. We keep about 400 pigs out on pasture rotationally grazing along with ducks, geese and chickens. It works fine here but ours were born into this system. Pigs are naturally omnivores. I would suggest having it setup so that the poultry can escape. Square pens as shown in the picture are just prime for pigs cornering and killing birds.

-Walter
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Walter Jeffries wrote:From what little I can see the pigs look okay. That is what is called a dirt lot setup. You may be able to socialize the pigs not to eat your poultry but no guarantee. We keep about 400 pigs out on pasture rotationally grazing along with ducks, geese and chickens. It works fine here but ours were born into this system. Pigs are naturally omnivores. I would suggest having it setup so that the poultry can escape. Square pens as shown in the picture are just prime for pigs cornering and killing birds.

-Walter


That's his set up. Mine is more like pictured. The chickens sleep up in the tack shed part of the barn. It's VERY large. We used to keep our dogs in the barn and the run so the fencing is quality and we have boards nailed at the bottom thanks to our diggers. The ducks would be the worry as they don't fly, so couldn't fly over any barriers I put up to escape.

From what he says these are 20lb babies. He said they're socialized to him and his kids. I'd like to make sure they are good with my kids, my dogs and my birds but if you think it's too dangerous to have them living together than I could leave them in the duck hut area.

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Walter Jeffries
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Very large is not necessarily very good. What is more important is rotational management so the animals can graze and then leave an area so it rests, regrows and parasite life cycles are broken. See this page and then follow the links about grazing and rotational management:

http://SugarMtnFarm.com/pigs

-Walter
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Walter Jeffries wrote:Very large is not necessarily very good. What is more important is rotational management so the animals can graze and then leave an area so it rests, regrows and parasite life cycles are broken. See this page and then follow the links about grazing and rotational management:

http://SugarMtnFarm.com/pigs

-Walter


Well the plan for the future was electric fence and having them gley ponds and graze. That is still the future plan but for right now, this is what I have. A large, strongly fenced area with lots of structures to get out of the weather. I think these pigs will live their whole lives in there.
 
Walter Jeffries
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It takes time to build up infrastructure. Keep at it. This will give you a chance to see how you like the pigs. Enjoy.
 
John Polk
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That sounds like a great trade !

Around here (eastern Washington), it seems as if everybody offering weaners wants $100-120 each.
 
John Weiland
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Elle, It's not clear to me and maybe I missed it. Are you raising these for slaughter or just for their presence on the property? Do you have a good livestock vet in the area that you like? We just use the manure for the garden and otherwise they just live out their natural life here.
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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John Weiland wrote:Elle, It's not clear to me and maybe I missed it. Are you raising these for slaughter or just for their presence on the property? Do you have a good livestock vet in the area that you like? We just use the manure for the garden and otherwise they just live out their natural life here.


We will be eating them. I hope to get a lot out of them, as in pond gleying, before they are eaten. Eaten they will be though.
 
elle sagenev
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They are home. BLT and Rocker is what my kids named them. He had a larger one but I asked for the 2 smaller ones. They don't like to be approached or touched. They are fine with the birds. Not aggressive but not friendly.

Any tips on making them more friendly?
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John Polk
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Any tips on making them more friendly?

After a few days, they should know where the food comes from.
A huge key in the bonding.

 
Walter Jeffries
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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elle sagenev wrote:Any tips on making them more friendly?


Food.
Time.
Patience.

Have some treat such as apples, pears, bread, etc.
Sit on something in their area so you're down low which makes you less threatening.
Talk calmly to them and toss out treats.
In time they'll tame.

-Walter
 
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