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Pasture Building and Rotation

 
Carrie Beegle
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I raise Idaho Pasture Pigs and I am in need of some information on what the best kind of plants are for a well rounded pig pasture. If anyone here has any suggestions, I would appreciate it. I was thinking of alfalfa and some legumes and possibly wheat and timothy. I want them to be able to enjoy the plants without tearing them up. They seem to love digging for grubs and other root vegetables. I was going to plant some beets and root vegetables in certain places to keep them busy. They don't "root", but seem to like to "roll" the top layer of the grass away to get the goodies underneath. I was going to make 4-1 acre pastures and use two at a time and then rotate. I am new to this, so any help anyone can give me would be fabulous. Thank you.
 
Travis Johnson
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I cannot say much for pigs, but I have sheep and stay clear of the Alfalfa in heavy concentrations for a variety of reasons, but as awesome as it is for sward, it does not tolerate mob grazing well, and even worse for pigs I would imagine. I typically plant my fields into orchard grass, timothy, clover, and 10% alfalfa. You might consider adding in grazing corn to your mix as long as you are adding some root crops, turnips being some you should consider as well.

 
Carrie Beegle
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Thank you Travis! That is great information and I will keep that in mind. I think I will take your advice and only do a little alfalfa.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Carrie, we have American Guinea Hogs and our pastures are working pretty well for us. Our mix lists out like this; tall fescue for the base, the first over seed was 5 lbs. each of Alfalfa, crimson clover, white clover, seven top turnip, beets, rape, brassicas, sweet field peas. I just poured all the large seeds together and spread then mixed all the small seeds and spread. Water well then don't put any hogs on for 10 weeks so everything gets well established.

Depending on how many animals you are running I would think about only having them on a paddock for one week then move them to the next. The longer you leave hogs on a parcel, the more damage they will do to it which makes recovery time longer which means you will end up needing more paddock areas.

We are still building paddock areas, each about 1/2 acre and we are using 4 acres for our hog operation. one paddock holds 8 hogs for a week then they get moved in rotation so by the time they get back on everything has had time to grow tall again.
Instead of wheat, try for barley or oats, they seem to like those two far more than wheat. What most call weeds also seem to be favorites of our hogs.
 
Carrie Beegle
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Carrie, we have American Guinea Hogs and our pastures are working pretty well for us. Our mix lists out like this; tall fescue for the base, the first over seed was 5 lbs. each of Alfalfa, crimson clover, white clover, seven top turnip, beets, rape, brassicas, sweet field peas. I just poured all the large seeds together and spread then mixed all the small seeds and spread. Water well then don't put any hogs on for 10 weeks so everything gets well established.

Depending on how many animals you are running I would think about only having them on a paddock for one week then move them to the next. The longer you leave hogs on a parcel, the more damage they will do to it which makes recovery time longer which means you will end up needing more paddock areas.

We are still building paddock areas, each about 1/2 acre and we are using 4 acres for our hog operation. one paddock holds 8 hogs for a week then they get moved in rotation so by the time they get back on everything has had time to grow tall again.
Instead of wheat, try for barley or oats, they seem to like those two far more than wheat. What most call weeds also seem to be favorites of our hogs.


Thanks for the great info Bryant! We were going to do the pastures 1/2 acre as well. I have seen that the longer they stay in one place, the more they try and root. They like to be moved around. Can I ask something else? Where do you get your seed? - Carrie
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I get most of my seed from our local Feed and Seed store (we got really lucky since they will order anything I want that they don't normally carry). The Alfalfa seed I get from the Health Food store because 1. it is fully Organic and 2. I get a five pound bag for less money than if I got it from the Farmer's Seed company here.

If you don't have stores like this in or around your area, let me know and I can post you some great On-Line sellers that carry the seeds, be aware though these places tend to charge shipping and sometimes the seed cost is pretty high comparatively speaking to my local sources.
 
Carl Nutter
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Location: Sherwood, United States
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:I get most of my seed from our local Feed and Seed store (we got really lucky since they will order anything I want that they don't normally carry). The Alfalfa seed I get from the Health Food store because 1. it is fully Organic and 2. I get a five pound bag for less money than if I got it from the Farmer's Seed company here.

If you don't have stores like this in or around your area, let me know and I can post you some great On-Line sellers that carry the seeds, be aware though these places tend to charge shipping and sometimes the seed cost is pretty high comparatively speaking to my local sources.


Bryant Redhawk,
I found this forum today. I not seen or heard of a Guinea hog in over 50 years. I see where you live in Vilonia, Arkansas. I do not live far for Vilonia and would love to be able to see your farm and especially your Guinea Hogs! Is there anyway that I might be able to talk with you?
Thanks,
Nut501
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Carl Nutter wrote:
Bryant RedHawk wrote:I get most of my seed from our local Feed and Seed store (we got really lucky since they will order anything I want that they don't normally carry). The Alfalfa seed I get from the Health Food store because 1. it is fully Organic and 2. I get a five pound bag for less money than if I got it from the Farmer's Seed company here.

If you don't have stores like this in or around your area, let me know and I can post you some great On-Line sellers that carry the seeds, be aware though these places tend to charge shipping and sometimes the seed cost is pretty high comparatively speaking to my local sources.


Bryant Redhawk,
I found this forum today. I not seen or heard of a Guinea hog in over 50 years. I see where you live in Vilonia, Arkansas. I do not live far for Vilonia and would love to be able to see your farm and especially your Guinea Hogs! Is there anyway that I might be able to talk with you?
Thanks,
Nut501

There are many American Guinea Hog breeders right here in the Pacific Northwest. Google and Craigslist are your friends.
 
Walter Jeffries
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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We plant:
soft grasses (bluegrass, rye, timothy, wheat, etc);
legumes (alfalfa, clovers, trefoil, vetch, ect);
brassicas (kale, broccoli, turnips, etc);
millets (White Proso Millet, Japanese Millet, Pearl Millet);
amaranth;
chicory; and
other forages and herbs.

Exactly varieties will depend on your local climate and soils. I avoid the grasses and such that turn toxic with drought, frost or other stress as they make our management system too complex.

I prefer perennials or things that self-reseed. Some things labeled as annuals are-actually perennials in our climate because we get early snows that protect their-roots over the winter - e.g., kale, broccoli, etc.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Using only 4 pastures aka 1 pasture for 7 days doesn't sound like a good plan to ME. They are going to destroy it in my opinion. I would recommend that you create 30 tiny pastures and rotate them daily.

 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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