Pigs are the most adorable animal around. It’s just too bad that they are the most delicious animal, too.
Raising pigs can be difficult, from the cost to the maintenance. But it is also hard because you see them from when they are a few days old to when they are being slaughtered for meat. If you raise them right, then you will not feel as bad killing the pig for food consumption.
So, how can you give these beautiful creatures a great life? Here are ten tips on how to raise a pig for meat:
1. Heavy Fencing
One of the first things you need to learn about how to raise a pig, whether it is for meat purposes or to raise the animal like a pet, is that you need heavy fencing. There is no other way around it.
Why? Pigs are strong animals and they can easily circumvent standard metal fencing.
So, as you raise pigs, you need to purchase special hog fencing. This will serve as a great tool in ensuring your pigs do not flee the farm and get injured on the way.
2. Secure a Good Food Source
Pigs eat a lot. And we are talking about a lot. You cannot describe it any other way. You’ll be spending a pretty penny for meat just to serve the future meat food.
It is estimated that for every 30 pounds of the pig, the animal requires about seven pounds of food. You will need to do the math to determine how much food they need.
Unsure what to do? Here are a few options:
- If your pigs are free-range, then you can supplement their diet with store-bought hog food.
- Visit a bakery and purchase day-old bread, which can be quite cheap.
- Found milk that is about to expire? Buy large volumes of this discounted dairy.
- If you are aware of a nearby cheese factory, then buy some whey – they love it!
- Corn – whole kernel or soaked in water – is one of the cheapest options and pigs love them.
Be prepared to spend a fortune on food, though. These tips should alleviate the cost.
3. Install a Heavy Feeder
Unless you want to manually feed your pigs, which is unfeasible, you should install a heavy feeder.
Remember, pigs are strong. So, when we are talking heavy, we really mean heavy.
4. Lots of Clean Water
In addition to eating a lot of food, pigs drink a lot of water, too. There are a few things to consider in this regard.
The first is that if you possess free-range pigs, then a pond will suffice because they will get most of their water demand from there.
The second is that if there are several pigs in a pen, then they need a large supply of clean water. This is the most difficult part because the container of water will likely be knocked down by your pigs and it can get dirty real fast. You need something that is – again – heavy. There are products like pig waterers that can help facilitate this process easily.
Also, if you care about these pigs, then dump the dirty water and replenish it with clean water every day.
5. De-Worm with Garlic
A lot of pig owners will use chemicals or medicines to de-worm their animals. The problem with this is that it oftentimes leads to mutations and resistances. These can also be expensive, especially when you own multiple pigs.
Some experts say that there are natural products that can be used to fight parasites and infection. The top three that can be used on their own are:
- Oregano oil
- Geranium essential oil
6. Don’t Mix Animals
Were you aware that pigs are sexual creatures? Well, pigs are really sexually thanks to their incredible sex drive.
Because of their nature, it is important not to mix animals in a pen together. This means that pigs should be isolated from all the other animals on your farm. They should not live alongside goats, chickens, horses, or any other breed of animal. Pigs need their own space.
If you decide to integrate pigs with the others, then be sure to keep an eye on them.
After a male pig is born, you need to castrate the animal once they reach 14 days. The primary reason for this move is because the meat will end up tasting horrific due to the testosterone levels.
If you are unsure how to do it, then be certain to request the services of a veterinarian.
8. Identify Their Personality
Like every other living creature on this planet, pigs have their own unique personalities. It is incredible to admire from afar. If you think you have a sense of who they truly are, then be sure to take advantage of it to make them happy. It can be like Charlotte’s Web.
9. Comfortable Sleeping Quarters
No, pigs will not just sleep in filth under the hot sun or rainy skies. Pigs need a comfortable place to sleep. A barn is an answer. And, no, this will not require a huge building to house a few pigs.
A three-sided shelter with a roof will suffice. This will keep them dry, away from the oppressive sun, and block the wind.
10. Consider Space
Finally, pigs need space. They cannot be crammed in a small pen that will have them bumping into one another all the time.
Pigs are both adorable and delicious. If you are raising pigs for meat, then try not to get too attached to them. If you are raising pigs for love, then don’t think about the bacon on your plate. Whatever the case, you need to know how to properly raise and care for pigs. These tips will help.