Ron Metz wrote:I did not think coyotes would mess with a full grown pig. Guess that gives me something else to plan for. Down here, most of the livestock guard dogs are Great Pyrenees or Anatolians. I'll go back to your website and read about how you bred your dogs.
Ron Metz wrote:The native pasture has been overgrazed and poorly managed for 70 years and is grown up in catclaw mimosa and yucca. Grasses present are prairie grasses like blue grama, buffalo grass, bluestem and western wheatgrass.
The one big limiting factor in this area of Texas is rainfall. We average only about 19 inches per year. Most of the time it is not evenly spread out. This year, we went from January until end of June with practically no rain, then got nearly 6 inches over ten days. Growing crops in this area is a huge challenge which is why farmers rely heavily on irrigation pivots.
Ron Metz wrote:Hi Gail. Thanks for the input. There are several stunted mesquite trees in the pasture. I have left them hoping after I install swales, they will have more moisture to grow on. I also thought about planting some honey locust. I also keep bees and the flowers should help them get started in the spring. Bees are quite the challenge in a windy dry area. Eventually the seed pods of the honey locust will be good feed for the pigs and the trees will provide some shade. I do plan on keeping the native grass and overseeding other forage plants i.e. Winter wheat, peas, sunchoke, yellow clover and mangel to name a few.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:You are going to need to do some restoration work so that your farm can sequester as much of the rainfall as possible.
Doing this work will also help restore your groundwater since the land will soak up what rain that falls instead of it evaporating.
What is the lay of your farm land? how much variation in elevation is there overall and are there areas where there is more than others?
Are you willing and able to do some earth works such as swales and berms in order to get more water into your soil during rain events?
Are you ready to plant more diversity in prairie grasses to get better soil coverage and thus more roots into the soil?
There are other things that can also be done but these are going to need to be addressed first.
Once you have some good foundational work completed then you will be in a good position to raise pastured hogs.
I'm willing to give you some direction so you can make good decisions towards you goals.