I'm about to receive two American guine hogs who I hope to breed into a running total of 5 pigs plus pickets for a short time until the extra piglets can be sold .
We are blessed with 73 acres of mostly wooded forest and bordered on 3 sides by blm and privately owned timber land and about 1/2 mile from any neighbor's on the 4th side. The point is, we have lots of seclusion and tons of space for the pigs to roam before they can get into trouble.
My plan is to pen them up at night (training them in the first week or so to come to a cow bell associated with a grain treat) and let them out during the day to forage wherever they like. We have a large fenced garden some distance (I'm not great with distances, but my best guess is about 500 yards and down a hill through some forest and out of sight) from where the pig shelter will be. A little way beyond this garden is a year round creek. Currently, we have no home landscaping that I care to save because we are waiting to build our permanent home.
After the house is built the plan is to put a small fence around the yard and let the pigs, goats and chickens have the rest.
Here are my questions and concerns that I would be so grateful to hear your wisdom around:
1. Does it seem reasonable to hope that in this amount of space with tons of healthy forest to forage that the pigs will be unlikely to try to break in to the fenced garden?
2. If they do indeed come home nightly to a bell and treat, how far are they likely to travel in a day while out foraging?
3. My understanding is that pigs love to wallow and I want to honor that innate need in them. I DONT want them to wallow in or near our creek so I would greatly appreciate any advice about where and how to create a great wallow spot that will not be prone to becoming a parasite haven.
Thabk you so much for your advice, permies!