Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Prepping for pigs

It seemed like just yesterday we were prepping for hog harvest day and how we are about to start getting ready for having pigz in the spring. Well, things move pretty fast around here.

 Pigz. Not horrible when they are kind of small. Then stuff like this happens.

The dogs and I have been out scouting the property for where we will put the next pigz. The last pigz did such a great job of clearing that I want to be able to use those lots for production. As the spring progresses we'll be doing burning, clearing, tilling, and planting cover crops.

They end up being big. Real big. So much bacon.....

When finding a good location for pigz I need to keep a few things in mind:

1. Have them as far away from the house as possible. Pigz stink. They just do. For everyone who is about to say, "Well's all's you gotta do to keep them from stinkin' is..... " Just stop. I do not like the smell of pigz. At all. In any form. I can smell them a long way off and they stink. Bad.

2. But they can't be so far away that the hose doesn't reach. They need a lot of water and hauling it by the bucket is difficult and annoying.

3. We need to make sure they are well fenced in. You know us, we can whack up fencing anywhere but we need to make sure the lay of the land is fenceable.

4. They need cover - specifically they need to be in the woods. It's cooler and they like the shade - the woods also provide protecting from wind and rain.

5. I need to build a new Hog Hut. The indomitable Hog Hut 2008 finally fell to shambles. That structure was entirely free and included roofing tiles I literally dug out of the ground. It was subject to much mocking but it kept all those pigs bone dry all of those years.

Pigz are best on pasture where they can get out there and pig around. 

We don't need many supplies but I do need to go around and find all those feeders and waterers. We'll use the big tub for the waterfowl until the next pigz are big enough to use it. 

I won't need to think about feeding and chow until the pigz arrive but we'll use the strategy that has always worked for us. Of course, one of my goals is to plant even more crops for them including beets, turnips, beans, and whatever else I can get going. I'll be working on my planting strategy as we go along.

One thing that we will do better this year is to manage all the "spring rush" eggs... our hennies will start laying up a storm soon. I need to make sure I stay on top of taking them up, hard cooking them, and putting them into the freezer for the pigz this summer. Last year I could have done a better job at that.

Let's face it. The only reason I put up with them is because of the chops. Yes. That is a dinner plate.

I'll also put in a call to the guy we got the pigz from last year. Maybe we'll get lucky and find a new source for Tamworths. The problem is that this heritage breed are now so popular that they are expensive. So we'll see what we can work out.

You can check out more about raising pigz here - on my What I Know About Pigs page.

Happy Friday everyone! Are you prepping for pigz?


buddeshepherd said...

Tamworths are good to have if you are plagued by coyotes.

Vintage Maison said...

We found the Tamworths were great, but we also tried the Lop eared crossed with Gloucester Spot, very good flavour.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Budd, we intentionally put our tams between the hen yard and fox central... with the pigz and Zander we have not had any more problems with those pesky foxes. :-)

VMaison - i'll have to look up the lop eared. i know folks with G. Spots and they love them.

David said...

What is it about the tammy that is good deterrent against predators?

They sound the alarm? They're porky bad-a$$es?

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