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Old 02-16-2013, 01:57 PM   #1
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Good bye piggies

The butcher came and picked up our piggies from us today. It is a bittersweet day. He did give us what I consider to be a wonderful compliment... he told me that in all of his years of raising and butchering pigs, he has never seen them as tame as ours were. He was surprised when my boys were in the pasture with the one of the pigs and that the pig was so receptive to them being there. He was also impressed with our moving hoop and how easy it was to move them out of the pasture and up to the trailer... getting them IN the trailer was a different story, but all in all they were super easy to move. Looking forward to having some fresh pork in a week or so!!

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Old 02-16-2013, 05:31 PM   #2
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That's awesome!! I'd consider that a huge compliment!! What breed did you raise? We have 9 Berkshire/Duroc piglets coming in mid march. Did you move them often? We want to rationally pasture, but I'm trying to wrap my head around how we are going to move them! What was your moving hoop? I'm so glad to hear it went so well for you! How old were they at butcher? Sorry for the questions, I love to hear others experiences .
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
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Re: Good bye piggies

WOW! 9 Piglets! Congrats! Ours were landracers. Not a breed I was considering, but when we started looking for piglets last spring, we found a farmer up the road from us that had pastured pigs, so we got our piglets from him. We moved them as needed, which was roughly every 2 months for the size pastures we gave them. And my hubby constructed a hoop out of some old heavy gauge wire fencing. It worked great, but did take 2 of them to move the pigs from pasture to pasture. Getting them past the wire was the toughest. My DH and 12 yr old son were able to move them just fine. We actually had 1 pig that moved really easily and one that was super stubborn. Having some extra special scraps or acorns helps a lot! We got the piggies in April and they were 10 weeks old, so they were pushing a year. The butcher estimated their size to be 300-350lbs, which was bigger than my estimate when I called him. I really had no idea! We plan on having pigs again, but will over winter piglets instead of full grown pigs. It will be easier on the land and cheaper to feed and supplement that way. So the plan is to get some sort of inexpensive ground cover like clover down in the 3 areas we had them and then get the piglets in October/November time frame. We will start them in the garden as their *training* to the electric wire area and figure we should be able to keep them in there as piglets for a couple of months, letting them eat down the vegetation and till our soil as well as fertilize it. Then we will start our rotation.

Good luck with your piggies! They really are a lot of fun and SUPER smart! I think the key to us getting them as tame as they were is we spent a lot of time in the beginning just talking to them and stealing head or body scratches when we would feed them (they didn't like it for MONTHS). By the time we moved them to their final pasture which was near our driveway, they would come out of their shelter to greet us when we got out of the car. And would come up to us to get their head or snout scratched. Some people won't want to do that because of the attachment issues, but for us with little children, it was more important to know that my 4 yr old was okay walking into their pasture to help feed them or give them water or clean out their bathroom area and not worry about her getting attacked.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:33 PM   #4
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Re: Good bye piggies

Yay! It was always a bitter sweet moment for us as well!
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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Re: Good bye piggies

That sounds awesome Christy! We are planning on keeping ours rotated throughout some messy woods/pasture that we have. Since we focus more on pasturing our animals, our livestock is generally smaller than traditionally raised. So I'm hoping to butcher in August and not have HUGE pigs, but decent size? Otherwise we'll butcher in June if they just look like they are getting huge, lol. We got some electric netting that I hope keeps them in! It sounds like you guys had a great experience, that's so awesome!
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