Looking after and caring for a pig well is no easy task and should be taken extremely seriously. If you’re a smallholder, pigs are fantastic. They eat vegetable waste, clear ground, fertilise and produce meat. Pigs are great for clearing overgrown woodland by chomping down on the greenery and clearing the space. Pigs, however, do need to be managed and we’ve got all the expert pig care advice you need, from troughs to pig health, shelter, and food.
Nutritionally, pigs need water and lots of it. You must always have a good supply of water available to your pigs whether this is in a trough or water tub. Pigs can dirty their water quickly so its recommended that you place the water at away from any waste if possible. Pigs can easily destroy plastic bowls so using a metal trough or automated water system is ideal.
Pig feed is easily accessible from reputable agricultural retailers. Pre mixed pig feed includes high quality, raw ingredients for maximum nutritional gain for your pigs diet, gut health, and growth and development. Using a pig feeder trough is ideal for keeping the food off the floor and feeding your pig at the perfect height. Pigs have the tendency to play with food bowls and flip them over so having something fixed and sturdy is your best option here. Just be sure the food you’re providing has excellent nutritional values.
A strong structure with good ventilation is the perfect shelter for your pigs. Pigs have the ability to damage something too flimsy given their strong noses and mischievous ways. Ensure the floor is slip resistant whilst regularly providing a clean bedding area for your pig. Dry straw is ideal. Believe it or not, pigs love to nest into straw so be sure to remove dirty straw daily.
A shelter for pigs should be weatherproof with good ventilation, keeping pigs cool in summer and warm in winter. Good ventilation is important to protect from the potentially damaging effects of the humidity in urine. For example, if left, wet heat can cause sores, infections, and skin damage.
Handling pigs can be a challenge as they’re extremely heavy. The best way to handle a pig when moving them is to always push, never pull. You will make your life easier in the long run introducing positive handling habits in the early days of looking after your pig, to allow them to grow confident in you and your ability to handle them.
If a pig is allowed to grow too heavy, this can cause some health problems and reduce their life span by a few years. You can vastly improve their health and lifespan by ensuring you provide sanitary housing, safe housing, nutritional food, a good landscape to wander, and fresh water.
You should take the time to learn your pig’s daily behaviour and characteristics so you can understand when something may not be right. If you notice any behavioural or characteristic changes such as becoming lethargic, weak, stumbling, or a high temperature, be sure to have your pig examined at the earliest possible time.