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Introducing Pigs

 
Jessica Milliner
Posts: 11
Location: Just outside of Asheville, NC
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Hello, this is my first post on Permies, I have read through most of the past pig posts and learned so much! So many thoughtful and knowledgeable words on so many topics.

We have moved from England to a farm in WNC to start our homestead. My dad (who owns the farm along with his wife) bought us a large black (unregistered) gilt almost a year ago that my cousin has been looking after for us. She has been kept in a little pen. We have made a beautiful woodland paddock (probably half an acreish) and bought two American Guinea Hogs (5 month old barrows) as feeders. The "old black" we may breed, or may just fatten and eat (opinions and advice welcome on that topic!).

Currently they are in separate areas in the barn learning what a hot wire is (the barrows together and the female on her own).  They can't see each other but can hear and presumably smell each other. All seem amazingly chilled. I am worried about putting them together in  the paddock . I know there is a certain amount of pecking order establishment that happens with any animals but I am so afraid of them hurting each other (the AGHs are maybe 50lbs tops, the LB is 250 easily). We plan to feed them separately and a fair bit away from each other so there hopeful won't be too much food aggression, but any advice anyone can give about introducing unrelated pigs of different ages and sizes would be very gratefully received.
 
thomas rubino
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Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana
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My experience has been they will get along just fine. If not you will see it quickly and can separate as necessary. As far as the (old) black piggy , I recommend eating her...  Raising pigs thru a cold winter is a lot of feed for a little growth. I recommend getting weiners in the spring... fatten them up thru early summer and butcher them in august.
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Jessica Milliner
Posts: 11
Location: Just outside of Asheville, NC
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Thank you so much Thomas, you were totally right and it went great! They're all in the woods and snuggle up together all the time. It went so well in fact that we're getting 3 more piglets this week!
 
M Johnson
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I love pigs but just be careful getting too many for the area you have.  More pigs who don't have enough area start getting mischievous and start figuring out how to beat fencing.
 
Jessica Milliner
Posts: 11
Location: Just outside of Asheville, NC
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M Johnson wrote:I love pigs but just be careful getting too many for the area you have.  More pigs who don't have enough area start getting mischievous and start figuring out how to beat fencing.


Thanks. We have a wooded area of about 2 to 3 acres so hopefully they should be okay. Also the large black will be going off to slaughter in the next month or two. (we've decided that breeding pigs is a bit more involved than we are looking for right now!)
 
M Johnson
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Sometimes you can get a pregnant sow for cheap if someone isn't ready for piglets.  I got two once and one had 15 piglets and the other 6     I was swimming in pigs 😀
 
Jessica Milliner
Posts: 11
Location: Just outside of Asheville, NC
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M Johnson wrote:Sometimes you can get a pregnant sow for cheap if someone isn't ready for piglets.  I got two once and one had 15 piglets and the other 6     I was swimming in pigs 😀


Ooh that's a great idea. Might look into that for next year!
 
thomas rubino
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Hey jessica: The young wiener pigs not the black are the most likely to "escape" your fences. The large black will be most interested in eating.  Do you have a roofed shed for them to get out of the rain or under to escape the sun ? With straw for bedding.  No walls needed but 2 walls are nice for windy days or as a "safe" spot to back into in the case of predators.   
 
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