If one wants to raise pigs in a cold climate, like mine in Southern Michigan, woud it have to be done indoors? Or would a simple lean to and some pasture work? Pigs just seam so naked, I cant imagine them being out in snow.
All I know is I have seen ads in the paper recently for feeder piglets for sale, so someone must do it.
Daisy the cow Cooter the bull calf 5 horses 1 pony 2 mini donkeys 2 chocolate labs 1 english bull dog puppy 11 barn cats
Post by Laura G in Idaho on Nov 16, 2007 11:21:59 GMT -5
As long as they have some shelter that is dry with thick bedding, they'll be fine. You'll need to haul water twice a day or have some system to keep their water warm for them (could be hard with pigs since they are so strong and can be really destructive). Feed them some cracked corn in their diet to help them put on fat and stay warm.
Personally, I've done pigs over the winter and I've done them over the summer, and summer pigs are way easier than winter pigs. Scrap food is more abundant during summer, and you don't have the freezing water problems as you do in winter. If ever I get the urge to get pigs to raise over the winter, the kids remind me how bad it is and then I change my mind. Not that it can't be done, it's just harder. Winter time is when I generally try to reduce all the outside chores so I don't have to be outside freezing my buns while doing chores.
We prefer to raise them over the winter, so they don't get heat stress! Make sure they have a shelter and really deep bedding, they will arrange it as they see fit, and they will be snug as bugs! I would call and get a couple in a heartbeat!
Live fully. Love life. Go play outside. It works for me!
There you have it. If you live in a hot place, do them in the winter. If you live in a cold place do them in the summer. I don't know what you do if you live in a place like Iowa where it is bitter in the winter and tropical in the summer. I guess they raise a lot of pigs in Iowa though. Laura has a really good point about the water freezing though. I am still trying to figure out what we will do for watering the cow into the winter here.
1 cow, Daisy the Jersey/Highland cross
Small vegetable farm in NY
We've raised them both in the spring/summer and fall/winter. They don't put on weight as fast in the fall/winter and you end up spending a lot more to feed them. Not to mention there isn't any garden scraps, etc...you can feed them to cut down on the bill. I've wanted to get a couple more feeders but am holding off until spring. I should be getting Large Black breeding stock from a lady that lives near us in the spring. I am really excited about getting them.
Rachel Klessig Wife to Matt MOM (Mommy Of Many) to Danial, Jacob, Isaac, Clara, Sarah, and twin girls Anna and Emma
This will be my first year raising pigs through a snowy Maine winter. Water hauling will be the biggest pain I foresee. The pig's area is a quite a distance from the house and I'll have to shovel snow to get there. My two little pigs seem to stay pretty toasty in deep bedding with eachother in their pig shed (which is drafty).
Mitra, 5 gallon buckets with tight lids and a sled is how we hauled water in the winter. Not that we had as much snow as you do!
We raised 4 over the winter last year. They did pretty well, got lots of eggs when we had the winter egg sales slump in Feb/March. We made sure they had a good house that they could get in out of the wind and lots of hay bedding to burrow into, 4 piggies make a lot of heat. They also grew a lot of hair, unlike the summer pigs.
We're in MI & raise pigs - they do just fine & don't need anything special in winter . . . even though you'd think they would since they don't have heavy coats!
Ours live w/ goats & can come/go as they please in & out of the barn to/from their outside penning area. They get along fine - & all sleep together in a big pile, too - pretty cute. What's not so cute, though, is that they pick up a few of e/o's behaviors like . . . the pigs will jump up on you like goats - cute when they're little, but . . . LOL. & some of the goats decide that the pig slop is pretty yummy stuff - ewwwwwww, slop-filled beards, LOL!
A couple of other convenient discoveries we've made raising the 2 together is that the pigs learn from the goats that hay is pretty good stuff - which has been a cheaper (& healthier) way to feed them. (Well, on non-drought years when hay isn't scarce/$$$, anyway, LOL) We rake up the hay the goats waste & pitch it over the fence to the pigs. Also makes for a leaner, healthier-to-eat meat since they're "grass fed", LOL!
They also serve as great garbage disposals! Spilled or spoiled grain/feed, grass clippings, "garden offal", excess milk, etc. Along w/ our kitchen scrap-type things we scrape into the "slop bucket", we rake/sweep/scoop up hay chaffe to add to the bucket(s), too. We then pour our excess milk/whey/etc. over it & add water if necessary to make a nice "slurry" & let it set to allow the chaffe to soak up the liquid before feeding. Our pigs go crazy over milk & will be squealing impatiently, waiting for the way-too-slow-for-their-taste humans to serve them their chaffe/milk slop mix dinner, LOL!
They're also great for doing some of the back-breaking mucking/excavating/plowing/tilling-type work for us . . . did a wonderful job of preparing the garden-area - all we had to do is a little light tilling & raking & . . . it was ready to plant, LOL!
And, in the areas where we feed hay that'll build up into mountains - to the point the goats can practically just step over the fence, LOL (we feed the goats hay on the outside of the cattle panel - they poke their heads thru the squares to eat & . . . at least there's a litttttle bit less waste that way, LOL.), that have to be hand-dug unless/until we can borrow a skid steer or a Bobcat or whatever to find the fence again . . . or the inside penning areas that have to be hand-pitched b/c they're too small for "heavy equipment" - pigs come in handy there, too! We just do a little strategic pouring of some shell corn onto the "excavation site" for a few days & . . . the pigs will eventually root it all up, trying to find every last kernel, loosening up the inside loafing area's pack for easier pitching - & doing the job all themselves, for the areas around the fence. Tah dahhhh! ;D
Winter watering-wise, we used to do the bucket-in-the-sled thing, too till we made the miraculous discovery that: if we made sure to drain all the water out of the hoses after use, we can use them year 'round! We're lucky to have a pretty hilly farm, so can just do things the lazy way & stretch the hoses down a hill when we're done using them so they'll drain all on their own, instead of having to roll them up & stash them somewhere in btw uses.
We get some pretty beastly/tropicalesque weather in the summer, too &, along w/ hosing them down while we're out choring, also just make sure we make them great big, mud puddles to wallow in to keep themselves cool. Coating themselves in mud also seems to help protect them from biting insects & getting sunburned.
Jusssssssst my $202.02 on some of our approaches to northern-style piggery, LOL!
Best wishes, Sarah
Sarah Sanders - south-central Michigan
Lost Nation Farm
ADGA Dairy Goats
Working Pembroke Corgis, Aussies, English Shepherds/Farmcollies
1 Matriarch Guernsey & misc. Jerseys
I should be getting Large Black breeding stock from a lady that lives near us in the spring. I am really excited about getting them.
Hey keep us posted on the Large Blacks! A friend of mine is on the waiting list for some, I believe from the same people. I was interested until I read the part about having to attend the birth. I wasn't sure if that was because of the value of the animal or they really do have difficult births. -Jenn
losingcreekfarm.blogspot.com/ Tinkerbelle and Anna II
Belle-AKA Miss Swiss-Braunvieh
Cocoa-Brown Swiss/Jersey-The most wonderful cow I've had the pleasure to milk!
Cocoa's Twin heifers
Assorted hens and roosters
I have always raised pigs year round as we have breeding stock. Just keep them dry and well bedded. My pigs actually enjoy the winter! The frozen water is annoying, but I use rubber water pans. Flip them over, step on it and the ice falls out. I water twice a day. I also have pigs scattered all over them farm. My arms are very strong from carrying water buckets now! They will grow slower but not terribly so. I don't shovel, just trudge through, or if very deep drag on a sled. One big plus in the winter no mud and no smell! Go for it! Jessika, who fed and watered 65 pigs of various sizes in a storm today!
Gale- 10 year old Jersey + baby Alice! Teeny - 7 year old Jersey Jules- 6 year old Jersey Madeline - 4 year old Jersey Henrietta - 3 year old Jersey Althea-2 year old Jersey Juliette - 2 yr old Jersey Margot - 2 yr old Jersey Jersey heifers--Mathilde, Josephine, and Maybelline Hollis-Yearling Jersey Bull Devoted Mom to my 6 kids!
My tamworths often ignore their shelter and sleep outside huddled together on a bed of straw in an area they hollowed out even in very cold weather--much to my consternation. Nevertheless, I would always recommend they have a shelter.
Dan Jake & Fiolka Registered Heritage BreedMini-Jerseys; Camelia, their heiffer calf; Sammi & Rosie registered, heritage Tamworth pigs; Grazyna - Nubian doe Muscovy ducks, chickens, Toulouse & Embden Geese
This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family milk cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume. Practical advice for the everyday and procedures for cow emergencies. Plus, answers to FAQ's like, 'Should you get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?'