Healthy pigs can feed your family for months when SHTF. Check out this list of 9 ways to for raising healthy pigs.
Raising Healthy Pigs | Useful Homesteading Tips
Whether you want to raise pigs for food or for profit, you need to see to it that they are healthy. After all, it is comforting to know that the meat you’re eating came from an animal that has been given the right, balanced diet, proper treatment, and shelter. These will also reflect on the quality of meat you’ll be selling in the market. We pulled together some tips on raising healthy pigs – check out the list below.
1. Buy The Best Animals
Having a good homesteading relationship with other homesteaders will lead you to the best piglets in your area. If you have a garden, buy piglets when the growing season has started. This way you can feed them with leftover crop pickings. By fall or before winter, the pigs will also be ready for selling.
2. Buy 8-week-old Piglets
This may be in contrast to the standard 6-weeks. But piglets that stayed with the sow longer do not need starter feed and their immune system is stronger. Plus, you just may have saved up a few bucks in your pocket.
3. Build a Strong Pen
Pigs are like mice; they seem to be able to chew through anything except steel. Do some research to keep them from escaping. There are more than a handful of tips on the web on which material is suitable and how to build a pen for them.
4. Take Care of Their Health
Although pigs do not get sick so easily, you still need to make sure they are vaccinated and dewormed. Keep the phone number and address of your nearest livestock veterinarian just in case.
5. Feed and Water
Pigs need feed and water so they can grow efficiently. Self-feeders can be bought or you can build one yourself. Waterers can be costly but are more practical as pigs tend to turn buckets over and play with the container.
6. Don’t Overfeed Them
Giving pigs too much food will make them overweight and sickly. Take the time to research on the breed of your pig and the correct amount of feed they are supposed to consume.
7. Pigs Need Cooling in Summer
Pigs are unable to sweat, so there’s no way for them to cool down in the scorching heat. This is why you need to make a mud hole or set up a sprinkler to keep them cool. Other than that, it will make your pigs a bit happier during the summer.
8. Study Their Behavior
If you know how a normal pig behaves, you will be able to find out if a pig is sick or injured. These are simple yet very helpful pig facts. Other than studying about them academically, you will most probably be able to fully understand how to raise them.
9. Go Organic
This is optional for good reason. Organic feeds are generally more expensive (sometimes twice the price) than their non-organic counterpart. As a result, your pig and its meat will also be pricier come market day.
Becky’s Homestead shows us a video on raising pigs for meat:
There you have it! Of course, you can opt to search a lot more ways and tips on how to raise healthy pigs in your homestead but the ones above-mentioned is a start! Like every homesteader, it is best to know most, if not all, the facts before you even start raising any kind of farm animal. Homesteading and farming is the way to go for self-sustainability!
Are you raising pigs of your own in your homestead? Share your tips in the comments section below!
UP NEXT: 16 Tips For Raising Goats
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.