I would like to raise a potbelly for meat....
Just enough for our family, just one.
We are on .8 acre.... So i have to make this work for me....
I would purchase some high quality hog food, but feed hardboiled eggs from our chickens, pasture, forage, bamboo shoots, blackberry brambles, jerusalem artichokes... Maybe waisted grains from a local brewery, old veg from supermarket etc.... We have tons of clearing to be done.
Since they are small i thought i could tether it to a central pole for pasturing and move around the area as needed on a harness.
At night it could sleep in a large dog house for cover with straw for warmth. Our predators are foxes. In extreme cold we could move it to the workshop or it could snuggle with the dog. Ha. But so far, its been super mild here... And last year we didnt get any major snowfall till march! Very mild winter...
We currently have a great pyrenees 8 mo old female, chickens, quail and chicks for next years flock. The pigs i saw are young, but weaned and from what i can tell around 30-40 lbs for $50 ... but i might grow it for a few months and then process.
Id love feedback. My biggest 'hole' in the plan is my husband.... Hahah.
Please tell me where my other holes are. I would like to skip the fencing in favor of the harness.... As fencing makes the whole plan no longer cost efficient...
I was amazed at how strong my piglet was when I got her. I'm not sure about pot bellies, but you might want to consider a moveable enclosure, electric tape, whatever. Fencing won't be too bad if you keep it small. 4 hog panels brand new go for $100 at most. You might be able to pick them up for cheaper. Move the panels to a new spot every once in a while. You'd need to support them with posts.
The great news is that a pig will do amazing things regarding clearing ground and prepping it for seed. This is a big deal. Our pig does a consistent job of clearing the ground and grinding in detritus. She's a natural mulcher and very thorough.
Are you sold on a pot belly? You could get a weaner pig (full size variety), keep it for 6 months or more and get more meat. A pig like that will dress out at 200lbs. That sounds like a lot, but a lot of it is bones. I don't think you'll get much meat off a pot bellied pig. I'm definitely not an expert though.
Ok, so i started re thinking... No reason to get a potbelly.... Just need a regular pig but wont let it get too big. We dont want a whole pig... Too much for our freezer and too much for our neighbors. We live on almost an acre in the city, so its touchy!
So, regualr pig, raise to about 100-125 and process.
You are right, i need hog panels, or somthing. I do have electirc chicken netting, but the chickens are in it.... And i dont want to let those go, so.... Wndering if i could put them together?
A potbelly would do, but you'd want to butcher it by 6 months of age. After that they put on lots of fat. A regular piglet would do too. You'd just want to butcher earlier, based on size, not age. Piglets are good eating at any age.
Four hog panels would be very convenient. But years ago I used a chain link dog pen that came in four panels. The fencing was four foot high. Each panel was 10 foot long. Worked just fine. Easy to move to a new location every week. And the best part was that I could buy it from my local hardware store. Easy to get.
As for tethering, when I was a small child I saw my uncle keep several pigs tethered. They were tethered from a hind leg by a leather collar that went around the leg above the hock. He had to use a chain instead of a rope because the hogs would chew through it and get loose. Some areas have regulations against tethering pigs.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
It does work. It does not have to be special pig fence. It does not need to be four feet high. We have quite a bit. Much is only about 28" tall and that works fine.
Keep it hot but not too hot. Too much power to the netting tends to cause shorting and burnouts of the wires. Clickety-click.
Do you know if the wires can be "unclipped" maybe using a wire nut to have the option to use the bottom hot wires when there are no pigs in the netting?
Thanks - good find w\ Sugar Mountain. I was debating how to solve my Chicken, Goat, Pig multi-species rotational grazing in my dry climate - I will get the Kencove Pos/Neg Electric Netting http://www.kencove.com/fence/detail.php?code=NPX and clip the bottom wires - hopefully with the ability to reattach when needed.