This year we’ve decide to feed out our own pigs for butcher. Last week we purchased two feeder pigs from our friends the Traynor’s. Feeder pigs are young pigs weighing around 30 to 45 pounds and are fed out for slaughter. The pigs we purchased weigh around 30 pounds and were born around April 1. We plan on feeding them out to about 220 pounds. They should be ready to butcher in November.
In keeping with incorporating permaculture practices on our min-farm, we made a moveable pig pen a few years ago for our first pig. I’m putting the pen in an area of the garden that I’m trying to improve the soil. The young pigs will really go to town rooting up the dirt and eating the vegetation. I currently have them in the area where I worked-in this spring’s winter rye and hairy vetch.
The pen is made from two hog panels with each bent into an “L” shape and wired together to form a rectangle. I call it my “pig tractor.” Pigs need shade from the sun to protect their skin which will sunburn. They also need some shelter from the elements. The picture shows a covering I put on one end of the pen. I am planning to add additional cover on the pen as this one section does not quite provide enough shade.
I will move the pigs around the garden area about every 2 or 3 days. They’ll have the whole area dug up in no time leaving their fertilizer behind them to enrich the soil. Just another way to have the animals do the garden work for me while preparing our meat for the future. When they get older, I’ll position them in a more permanent spot until butcher.
Have you incorporated pigs into your homestead or mini-farm?