Unless they are free ranging in lots of open space, yes. The closeness of feeders result in facial injury to each other and later(280#) possibly you.
Location: Sacramento, CA
posted 5 years ago
ragnar daneskold wrote:Unless they are free ranging in lots of open space, yes. The closeness of feeders result in facial injury to each other and later(280#) possibly you.
thanks. the guy said to cut the tails. and teeth. they are on pasture. born on pasture. although the pin they are kept it has like a board which i think they can't jump over and out of yet
posted 5 years ago
Your welcome. I also should have mentioned that large litters injury can happen while nursing. As for the tail unless they start eating each others I wouldn't worry about it. A common thing in confined hogs but mineral deficiency is the only time I've seen it in pastured pigs. As grandpa Vernon used to say "Smells like money."
In a permaculture setting I would hope you would be raising your pigs in some type of non-confinement setting. I have never worked with pigs in a confinement setting, but we do keep a small number (currently fifteen) pigs in about 2.5 acres of divided up paddocks. I have never docked tails, cut pin teeth or tusks. If you have a real issue with a pig fighting with other pigs or being just mean you eat him (or her). It's a beautiful system as you get tasty pork and improve the pig gene pool at the same time. I promise you that there are pigs who are well behaved. I had a Berkshire boar who was a big pushover even with his two inch tusks. I have a 350 pound sow who loves to have her belly rubbed. Of course there is some pushing and shoving between the pigs as pigs operate under a pecking order but there is no need to do extra work and cause extra pain to the pig. If I have issues with a pig and the way they act with me or another pig they do take a short trip to the stock trailer and that goes to the processor.
And while you are eliminating common confinement issues, there is no need to confine your sows when farrowing. Pigs in the wild build "nests" of grass, branches, whatever and that is where they farrow. With access to the proper material in a pasture they will do the same thing in a pastoral setting. In extreme conditions you might want to have a three sided lean-to or underground dugout structure (Sep Holtzer uses dugouts in the Alps). I currently live in NW Florida and had a sow successfully farrow in a paddock on January the 29th. It was 25 degrees and we had an ice storm that night. We had built a three sided hay-bale structure with a tarp roof and spread some hay under it. She had one piglet stillborn and a dozen live births if I recall correctly. One died the next night because he was the biggest and so he dug down to the bottom of the piglet pile for warmth and suffocated. He would have probably lived if I had an actual lean-to or dugout but we are planning on moving in the next year or so and this hasn't been done. Our land where we are moving to has the perfect layout to build a few dugouts into the hillside for sows to farrow in. Looking forward to that.
You do not have to do things the same as confinement operations. Pigs are pigs and I try and have them be in situations where their natural piginess can be allowed to be "on display". I also try and make use of that pigginess when at all possible. Have them clean up your kitchen garden and root up the earth a bit. Rotate them through the pastures and fertilize things as they go. If you have an oak forest with a good acorn crop consider fattening them up in the fall on the acorns.