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The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

Keeping pigs
...Farrowing pigs
>..Feeding pigs
...Pig breeds
...Pig Selection
...Weaning piglets

The facility that pigs have of rooting into the ground can be a menace or a blessing.

It is a menace if you are intending to run them on grass fields: you then have to put rings through their noses or they will effectively plough up your grassland for you. Of course, if you have some scrubland that you want cleared, their labour is a great help: in go roots, leaves, fallen apples and so on and out comes an excellent manure. You could even plant a tasty root crop for the pigs to dig for and in their search they will effectively rotivate and fertilise; however, they will still need some supplementary food.

Pig food comes in one of two forms: one is a mixture of grain, added-protein fishmeal or something similar, and necessary vitamins and minerals; the other is swill. Swill used to be the great money-maker in the pig business. In some areas it may well still be. However, it is, of course, waste food and is a potential spreader of disease to pigs. It is thought that several of the particularly virulent pig diseases are spread this way. There is a legal requirement that all swill is boiled for at least one hour. The immense boilers necessary on large farms are often horrifying in appearance. Total effectiveness is necessary and this includes a routine that prevents the contamination of boiled swill by proximity to newly arrived swill. If you are only processing your own household swill the problems are not so enormous; even so, when you realise that if you eat bought bacon and leave a rind it is a potential source of infection to your own pigs, it is clear that even this must be well boiled.