August 25, 2011 at 12:52 am #16496largeblaKeymaster
My husband and I are considering raising hogs. Is there a website that shares detail information on raising the LBH or maybe a book? We have so many questions but to start with how much land is required to raise a hog to full size for slaughter? I’m wondering if we have enough land. We currently raise chickens(layers) and are considering other farm animals as well. Also, can the hog handle grazing on hills? Are there any farm animals hogs shouldn’t share pasture with?
DebbieAugust 25, 2011 at 7:46 am #17542Member: TX Shiner PorkParticipant
Glad you asked. The best place to start is this website. You’ll find the forum to be interesting, to say the least, and the FAQ area to be quite informative. Browse around and you’ll find a lot of answers to your questions. I’ve asked about a book, but their isn’t one. Each member though is like the page of a book. I’ll answer anything I can, and some more will chime in, whether I’m right or not quite right!
So, the amount of land really depends on the quality of the forage available on that land, the availability of both winter and summer grasses, ability to rotate the grazing area, etc… A hog can easily be raised on an acre with high quality forage. Feeding, no matter what the quality of the forage, is a necessity for the proper minerals and vitamins. You’ll have a choice of feed, of course, traditional or organic (non-GMO), but that’s a decision you have to make determined on the end product you wish to achieve. Slaughter weight is usually about 275 pounds and length of time varies depending on forage and feed, but can easily take up to 15-16 months, all depending on the various factors.
Easily graze on hills. “The hills are alive, with the sound of (hog) music…” as Julie Andrews sang about on… was that “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” or “The Sound of Music”??? “The hills are alive, with the sound of grunting?” Doesn’t quite have the ring to it.
Rotational grazing. Cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, chickens, just rotate them around and let them each partake of what they want. Rotation. Rotation. Rotation. It’s making my head spin!
Ask away, we’ll answer anything you want to know. You can email me directly at:
RossAugust 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm #17546largeblaKeymaster
Thank you Ross! :):):) That is very helpful. We bought a small farm about 18 months ago. We started with chickens(layers) and would like to eventually raise other farm animals, hogs, cow, goats etc.. I bought Rhode Island Red chickens because I thought they would be a good chicken to start of with. Since purchasing our chickens I have learned a lot about heritage animals. I would like to move toward raising only heritage animals and learning to market them.
We live in middle Tennessee and our land is very hilly. If I rotate hogs and manage them properly along with the other animals they won’t eat into the ground and dig up roots will they? I have to maintain roots in the soil otherwise spring rains will cause major erosion problems. I have about 15 acres of pasture and 10 acres of woods. The pasture is full of all kinds of grass and weeds(thorny weeds). I’ll need to start over seeding my pasture’s in the fall. Anyway, will a hog eat all kinds of stuff on the pasture and act as a ‘bush hog’. Is that where the name came from? I was thinking we would need to have goats but maybe a hog would do the trick. I’ve read that hogs are wonderful animals to have around and quite entertaining. Hopefully they won’t get out to often.
We have the opportunity to rescue three hogs in the next week or two. We don’t know much about them right now. I’m guessing they are not heritage and may be sickly. Taking in these hogs may be a chance to learn about caring for hogs. Although, if they are sick it may be a difficult lesson we’ll learn.
I’m going to spend some time reading through the articles here on the blog.
Thank you again for your response.August 26, 2011 at 10:00 am #17550Member: TX Shiner PorkParticipant
Stay away from the sickly hogs. You don’t want to invite any parasites onto your property, especially those that may effect hogs!
Will they root? You bet! It depends though… if they have plenty of forage to just graze, rooting will be very little. Right now we’re going through a horrible drought in Central/Southeasterly Texas, and our hogs are rooting up the ground, as the grass has dried out and the roots offer the only sustenance. Yes, we could be feeding a lot of feed, but there is a balance of feed cost and profitability. I understand erosion problems, as the area we live in is called the “Shiner Prairie”, with rolling hills and sandy top soil, erosion, especially now, is always a concern. Hogs will eat a lot, but they haven’t touched the dewberry vines (very prickly) or cactus, though both are sweet, both in taste and smell. Damn goats will eat anything!
Large Black Hogs are a real treat, but good fencing, traditional or electric, is a MUST! Damn hogs (as my kids and wife refer to them sometimes) can find a little hole in the defense grid and exploit it to no end. I resisted electric fencing at first, but find they respect it more than anything else. And, it’s easy to put up, take down, move around etc…, if you use the poly-fabric ribbon type.
They’ll love the woods. We let our pigs roam the farm, within reason of course, and call them in each evening with a bit of food, as coyotes are a real concern around here, as are feral hog hunters, who by the light of the moon can’t tell the difference between one of my hogs and those “bush hogs”.
Again, though, keep the sickly hogs off your place. You’re just inviting trouble.
We love Rhode Island Reds. Great chickens.September 6, 2011 at 10:14 am #17562Member: MO chhogsParticipant
Welcome to the world of “Pig raising!” I totally agree with Ross – stay away from the “rescue” pigs. You really do get what you pay for with these breeds. Yes the prices will be higher than a commercial pig but they will pay you back dividends in hardiness.
Most books out there are aimed towards the commercial pig so you really have to sift the info for what will work for you.
Although the LB’s will dig less than other pigs they still will root. Some of ours are better than others – it just depends where they are. When we move them to a new pasture we always let them dig their own wallow where they want it, that way you don’t end up with 2 dips in the ground! LOL!
LB’s are gentle giants. We have young children & do not hesitate to let our kids out amongst the pigs – even the boars. Of course they have to learn respect for them & we do not let them out there first thing in the morning when the pigs are hungry & “yelling” at us for food.
Just like Ross said, feel free to call or email us if you have any questions. We love talking pig. Not sure where you are in TN but we are in south central MO so if you have time you are more than welcome to come visit the pigs & see if they are really what you are wanting. Making an informed decision is always a wise one 🙂