Pastured Pigs

The pigs arrived on the farm June 1. I ended up with 4 instead of the planned original 3 because I had accidentally pre-sold 3 hogs, and that was going to leave me without pork for myself, which is just unacceptable. Once again my great friends at Cables Piggery in Alabama provided me with some great stock. I have 3 gilts and 1 barrow – all hampshire duroc crosses.

My idea this go round with the pigs was to pasture them in a rotational system in addition to supplementing their daily feed with food scraps & waste as I had done before.

I found a lovely lady giving away free sauce apples – picked up about 30 buckets full (YAY FOR HAVING A TRUCK!!) and they’re in hog heaven

Instead of fully fencing my wooded area I have for them with field fencing, I went with 3-strand poly wire as the perimeter fence with 2-strand working as the cross fencing. The central area where I kept the pigs to train them to the electric fence IS fenced with field fencing and a single strand of wire about 6-8″ off the ground around the interior, and two gates. This central area is where they have 24/7 access to shade, shelter, and water. This area is also where I feed them AM & PM feed.

The enclosure system has 4 separate ‘pastures’ which are accessible from the central pen. I rotate the pigs on a 4 day schedule, giving them 4 days in one pasture, then moving them to the next pasture. This allows for 4 days on & 12 days off for each pasture, giving sufficient time for the chickens to pick through any poop/droppings, level any heavily rooted areas, and just clean up the pastures in general. So far this system is working VERY well. There is very little to no smell and the pigs are thriving running through the woods and foraging between means. I’ve included a VERY rough schematic below of the pasture system.

24/7 access to central pen via two gates with electric strands to designate which pasture is accessible at what time.

Some issues I have run into: my original solar charger wasn’t getting the job done so I had to switch to an AC charger and DAMN if that sucker doesn’t bite, HARD. It has dropped me into the fetal position twice now; my gates suck and have caused me to get shocked multiple times – but you do the best you can with what you’ve got; I needed a LOT more plastic portable step-in support posts than I originally thought; I blew my budget with all the modifications. All together though, I’m loving this setup. 🙂

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