danelle grower

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since Feb 21, 2011
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Recent posts by danelle grower

Debbie Cox yes many do leave the boar in with the sow. How ever sometimes that does not work so good. Just have a back up plan ready to go. Both my sows wanted away from everybody when they farrowed. I would also caution that yes it is a good thing that the boar will protect his family you want that. You just don't want him to protect them from you! Hubby found out the hard way with 28 stitches down his leg. Our boar was the biggest sweetheart teddy bear. But with all those female and male hormones running a muck it was not a good idea to turn his back on him. Please don't take this as your Boar will become dangerous and mean. It is just a precaution to ALWAYS be aware and alert for everybody's safety. Good luck and Congrats you will just love having these piggies around they are great!
8 years ago
My pigs get some patchiness too from time to time. I use Vetericyn it looks like water but works great on so many things. Easy to apply too. Just a few squirts and good to go. We use in on ourselves and it seems to speed healing on lots of things from burns cuts stings.Best part it's not that $$. Don't know if it would work for you but you might try. You do need to apply a couple times a day though.
8 years ago
So sorry for your loss. Or should I say your hard learning experience. I feel for ya it's never easy. Thank you for sharing your story.
8 years ago
Wow can't believe it's been so long since I have been on permies. So much going on and no email alerts so sorry I didn't answer you Jon Corcoran. I sure hop that you have found your AGH by now. Feel bad that I was not much help. So for an update on the AGH adventure.

Still love the pigs. Have only had a tid bit of meat so far that is due to change as we will be picking up our first meat from the butcher today. What I did taste was fantastic. Hubby really loved it that's why I only got a tid bit. LOL

We have had 4 litters so far. Made it through the first litter nerves shattered. Bella knew what she was doing and did fine. Was a great mom. Luna had 8 her first time. We lost 3 out of the first two litters leaving 9 to grow happy and healthy. Second litter Bella only had two. Bothe died. Which we expected would happen due to her being so sick. Oh well things happen. Luna's second litter turned out 7 healthy piglets. Two of them have the rare Red gene. It also looks like we may have 1-2 blue. We are waiting to see if they hold the colors to adulthood. Oh that would be great. It may be possible that we have several guilts pregnant as well. This is what happens when you don't separate soon enough. Time will tell on that as well. In a few months we could have pigglets out the wazoo!

We have learned so much. It is true they are still pigs so you can get some info easily. However AGH breed info specific is still hard. So most of what we do is dictated by the animals. They are good at letting us know what they want and need. As long as we listen. Spending lots of time with them daily has been like being in a class room. They are excellent teachers.

We still feed just a few cups of albreed a day more or less depending on their confirmation weather pasture condition and needs if they are pregnant or lactating. Since they have gotten bigger they no longer have free range hay and alfalfa. But do get a flake or so a day again that depends on what else is going on. Seems they are not ok just on pasture alone. Yes they are great foragers However to think you can put them out to forage without other input is misleading. So much depends on the quality of your pasture the age and condition of the animal how much pasture you have the types of forage you have growing and so forth. I mention this because over and over I am seeing people say they can just forage. So people are getting the idea that they can just pasture these pigs without any other input. That is not 100% true 100% of the time. That I think is the biggest lesson.

Second lesson. Humm now to upset a bunch of people oh well don't really care. I have also come to the conclusion that buying registered or papered pigs is just a lazy attempt at marketing with good intentions? I say that because the entire AGHA is all on an honor system. It is not mandated that you have DNA testing to PROVE who the parents are. So all is left up to the breeder to be honest and to have 100% control over their breeding stock. And any one who breeds animals knows sometimes although rare accidents happen. I am of the mind set that papers should help in guaranteeing certain thing as much as possible any way. Or at the very least prove good intentions. Most people are honest and care about breed preservation however all the honesty does not measure up to DNA testing. Papers do not indicate better tasting meat nor a "better" pig in and of it's self. At this point any way. It is much more important to know what you want to do. Finish a pig is totally different and speaks for it's self? If you might want to know how many in that line are taint free. Not that any one can guarantee that 100% there are lots of factors that come into play. Still good to get info on that.

If you want a pair so that you can breed for your own meat you will want to know how many piglets are had by mom or other in the line at each farrowing. Some prefer large litters some prefer smaller litters. You will want to know about inverted nipples and birthing problems. Dose the animal have good strong legs? What happens if the pair you get can't reproduce will the breeder stand by you or are you just SOL? Look at the pastures and the set up what kind of forage are they use to eating? Do you want the longer leaner body type with longer legs which seems to give you a bit less lard. Do you want the shorter snout and legs with the rounder body? That can give you a bit more lard? These are much more important questions to ask than just looking for a papered pig. You might even want to see or know when and how the animals have been wormed if at all. When you get your animals home I highly recommend NOT putting them out on pastures asap. Put them in QUARANTINE FIRST!! You might want to worm them as soon as you get them. In any case you will be able to prevent or slow down the chance of brining some kind of contamination on to your land. It's always a good practice to quarantine any new member to your farm. Does the person you buy from offer a contract? This is not common practice currently. In any case EVERYONE who breeds should make good decisions on breeding practices. If not what will happen is these animals will be lost FOREVER.

As far as the price goes the price is anywhere from $75 up to $350 from what I have seen. Again that depends on what you are buying for. If I have a good quality pig that I have taken years and years to build a proven line you can bet I will charge much much much more than $75. Possibly more than $350. There is a lot of time money and research that goes into these animals. If I deal with a boar and AI so that I can pass certain traits on to others that don't want to raise a boar. Dang straight I will charge more. My time and work is worth something, Not to mention the feed vet bills grooming and …. Still when you look at what you are getting a great meat pig that is much easier to raise than a standard large pig. The freedom to never have to depend on the store or someone else for your pork well that kind of speaks for itself. Now a pig that I just don't want in my breeding program I will either cull or sell as a finisher.

So before you run out and get one of these pigs you want to make sure that they fit YOUR NEEDS & WANTS. If you are looking for a high meat production and fast growth these are NOT the pigs for you. Some love the temperament & look so much they are cross breeding to get bigger and faster growth. So there is becoming more and more crosses out there. That can be a good thing and a bad thing depending on your view point. Personally I am not so sure the numbers are up enough to ensure the protection of the breed in it's purest form what ever that is. But then if no one wants it for the table then whats the point? Bottom line is you have to know what you want. Don't be swayed by the fact that they are "critically endangered" At this point I am not sure of the status or the criterial for the status. I say that because on the albc last I looked there was some 200 or so? But in the register AGHA there are over 1000 registered? Could be off a bit on my numbers. Still even if there are only 3000 pure breed pigs out there those are low numbers compared to other breeds.

My boar was about 300 lbs at slaughter @ about 2 1/2 yrs of age dressed out & hanging @ 153 lbs. The numbers could be off a bit that memory thing again but they are close. We opted to do the slaughter our selves because the slaughter guy was on vacation and we needed it done asap. That was a nightmare bad bad bad kill shot. The guy told us we did it too right and that it happens more often than people will admit. If it hasn't happened then the people got lucky or they haven't done enough yet. lol In any case that is just the most horrid experience one can have. We all want a fast easy kill for sure. Yet another one of those learning experiences that we went through. We then took the meat in to be processed mainly because of the time factor. Also my line of thought was then we would know what correct was by having pros do it first. Plus he was so big space was also an issue. After this we will do our own & do them smaller so time and space won't be such an issue. We did find out that a few places around here will not touch these types of pigs. They got tired of people complaining that there was not much meat. So before you buy know what the end process will be. You might also want to shop around for a vet that is willing to work with pigs. That was another obstacle that was hard to over come.

I love these pigs. They are great fun and so gentle. They are still pigs so you do need to respect that fact. Other wise you may find yourself in a bad situation. Some of this might sound like I am saying don't get this breed. No I just wish I had known some of this before we took the plunge. It would have made the learning curve much much shorter. Hope this helped at least some what. Or at the very least given food for thought. If you are looking for an even smaller pig the Kunekune are smaller than the AGH and supposedly root less. Oh and the AGH at least mind do not root that much most of the time. When pastures are dormant and looking pretty shabby they will root to get the root of plants. So really only do it for food purposes. When I had them in the yard they would root for dandelions and to get the moss out of the way. Once the dandelions were gone and the moss moved they didn't root any more at all. Never did root at all in the front yard dang and I wanted them too as that is where I was going to put another garden. lol. I would be glad to answer any questions if I can. Oh and that may be something you ask who you buy from How much after sale help advice info support are they willing to give? Some would be appropriate. But if you pay only $75 hours of phone questions the person may not be willing. lol Some people are just way busy and some want to talk pig all day. Then there are those that are in-between. There is a AGH group on face book and there is a yahoo group as well. Sending me a PM or email is the easiest way to get a response as I am not on the forum much these days. FYI
8 years ago
My guys have free access to hay 24 /7 they only eat what and when they want. When they are done with that they go outside and eat or nap or just run and play. I just give 1-2 cups for each pig once a day unless it is extra cold out then will give them a tad bit more. They will let me know when they really want or need more. Of course they do have a ongoing munchie habit but when they are really hungry act different. They also get at least 1 -2 carrots or sweet potato or squash a day. Apple if I have them or some nuts. I also give them the chicken gibblets and if a bird gets into the green house the dog will catch the bird then take it to Sunny for him to eat.
9 years ago
Oh I am so so sorry to hear this. I just hate it when our fur babies are miserable. I know how it can wear on you. I have had dogs in the past with skin problems. Never did find a solution. Vet said he was allergic to fleas. He was put on meds. That was before I know what I know now. Diet is key. I can't tell you what to feed your dog or even what you should feed your dog. You need to do whats best for you and your dog. What I can tell you is that when I started cooking for my dogs they no longer needed anti seizure meds had no more seizures. Needed no more arthritis meds joints were fine and no more pain. They never needed their teeth cleaned never needed to be wormed. They had spunky personalities and shiny coats and eyes. They also lost tons of weight. To top it all off cooking for them was way cheaper than buying high end dog food. I never did get around to trying the BARFF or RAW diet. By the time I found out about it it was to late. I know that by cooking for them I gained several years that I wouldn't have had other wise. Not to mention so many more vet bills. I wish I had a magic lotion or potion to give. Just wanted to share our story and the power of a diet other than the brain washing we have been duped into believing. Best wishes and hope you find the answer you need.
9 years ago
All of my animals have a very good temperaments and are extremely easy to handle. Any time you get "hundreds" of animals together their is a safety issue but it does not necessarily mean that an entire SPECIES like pigs are dangerous as the original poster was inquiring about. Nor is it a guarantee by only having a few animals you wont have problems. Often times though it is the situation caused by humans that can create an unsafe situation. Caution along with common sense needs to be practiced at all times. With one animal or 100 animals

Your situation is way different than mine. I will never have "hundreds" of animals. Nor do I ever intend on earning a living on raising animals. I spend lots of time with mine one on one. When the vet came out for checkups he wanted me to get hold of the pigs and put them in a pen. I said no we wont have to do that. I called them by name from the pasture told them to sit and roll over then just put my hand on their head and that was it. With the alpacas I say lift and they lift their leg so I can trim their toes. I would no way do that with hundreds of animals or animals that I was earning a living on. We are just feeding our family. As I said the situation is different. I have the time and numbers for behavioral training and acceptance. Tolerance that may be some what higher than if I had a higher population. That being said I will not hesitate to shoot cull process kill (what ever you want to call it) an animal that is a threat in any way or to any one. That includes fencing & other breeds of animals Only the best of the best are kept for breeding the rest well I do love a good barbq.

Also I can not fault an animal for being an animal. There is behavior that is just being part of a pig. If I do have a animal that is not right yes they are the first to go to the dinner table. If you have a 3 year old that wants to feed your pigs an apple and he climbs into the pen with 50 adult pigs and gets mauled it is not that you have bad tempered dangerous pigs necessarily you may just have pigs that love apples. (of course there are exceptions on occasion) The pigs are doing what pigs do. It is not the 3 year olds fault either he is doing what 3 yr olds do. That is a case where adult humans have neglected to put consistently practiced safety measures in place. Then to often the humans say that well pigs are dangerous or that dog is dangerous to make an excuse place blame & avoid the responsibility that is theirs.

Having a higher energy or more temperamental breed of pig does not make that breed "bad" or "dangerous" just makes it different. Just means you may need to adjust safety protocols. I would recommend that any one wanting to get pigs or any animal for that matter research the individual breeds. Find one breed that matches as close as possible for what their goal is.
We decided to have beagles because they did a good job at getting and keeping the rabbits out of the garden. Needless to say we do not raise meat rabbits. Likewise years ago when we had labs (a bird dog) we did not raise chickens. I could have spent the time and maybe had successful training. I decided I did not want to fight against instinct. Some choose to and that is fine. I just figured it was not a good match for us.

My goal is having 1-2 to butcher a year I don't ever want more than 75 pounds of meat at a time. I want a portable digger and fertilizing machine. As well as lots of lard for soap and other projects. It's also nice to have something that will get the weeds out of my garden while disposing of all the garden leftovers. It is very important to me that all the animals I get can forage on their own having as little NEEDED human intervention as possible. Equally as important is they must be able to associate live with all the other animals that we have since we do not separate the breeds. Where as if I wanted to earn an income I would imagine that I would look at breeds totally differently. Not to mention their housing and needs.

So advice for newbies Define your goals. (do you want to breed raise or just finish) Research breeds for best fit for your goals. Don't have fear have respect common sense & awareness. Visit as many farms in your area as you can (take notes on how they handle their pigs, what they feed their housing and farm lay out). Maybe contact a 4-H group. Take good notes and maybe some pictures. (Don't be offended if a farm has you wash your shoes off in bleach water. Some closed farms if they allow visits will have you do that.) Most defiantly make sure you wear good shoes /boots around your pigs. Flip flops not good *wink wink* . Know that you will make mistakes they are learning experiences. Most of all have fun and jump in. Pigs are wonderfully smart and funny creatures and very tasty.

Good Luck to you
9 years ago
By that logic then we could be asking are all husbands dangerous. Sneak up on mine tap him on the shoulder or start talking and he will turn and punch you out of reflex. Sons must be dangerous too. Try to wake my youngest from a sound sleep with a gentle shake if you are to close you could get kicked or punched. Father in law well if you know him then you know if you ever enter the house in the middle of the night you better do is loudly and never go into his room while he is sleeping you could get shot.

My pigs are not dangerous. Meaning they will not stalk me just waiting to attack. No that is not the case. How ever you could have a strange situation where one animal goes off his rocker but that is a different story and shortly that animal would be on the dinner table. I do not turn my back on any animal. Not because I am afraid they will "try" to hurt me. Because they will want a belly rub or food. I could very easily get hurt if one of them at 100 200 or 300 pounds jumped up on me to try and sit in my lap for a nice belly rub. Or if the male had tusks that are razor sharp and he affectionately rubbed up against my leg. Like wise if a female is in heat and you approach her her man may not like that and try to protect his lady ( as any man would). A new mom may feel the need to protect her young but that does not mean she is dangerous. She is just doing what is natural. Shoot try to hurt one of my kids and see what happens.

We had a large goat and he what some would say charge you. No he was just in a hurry to come and get a snack. If he thought you had a package of ritz (his fave) he would jump up on you and knock you to the ground. Then proceed to nip at your clothes until he could find the cracker. He was not mean just always had a big case of the munchies.

We had a rooster that would defend his flock with a great amount of energy. He would not let any one near HIS girls. He would come at you with all he had. Getting eggs was a pain. I said I won't do it any more that bird is crazy. Hubby said naa you just got to know how to handle him. Well hubby got the eggs from then on. Oops hubby forgot to watch his back one time. Talons in the back of his leg and that bird would not let go. I was laughing so hard. I yell honey thought you said you knew how to handle him. Well hubby came in the house with blood running down the back of his leg grabbed his gun we had chicken for dinner that night. You could say that rooster was dangerous maybe he was. I say he just took his job a little to serious and had a bunch of crazy thrown in. Of course on his watch we never lost a single hen to a predator. After he was gone we lost a few.

I have a female pig that is a jumper and if she thinks you have food she can jump up and knock you down very easily. Also fingers look a lot like carrots to many animals keep your fingers (and body parts) away from their mouth and you wont get bit. I had accidentally walked up an startled my dog while sleeping. Was going to give him a bone. Oops he was startled and snapped at me.

So to answer your question no pigs are not "dangerous" . Some breeds may be a little more aggressive highly strung or high energy. Some within a breed may have that as a personality trait. So see it is not necessarily the animal that is dangerous as much as it is the situation that can have danger in it. Common sense awareness and safety go a long way and should never be over looked. Sorry this post is so long I just hate it when animals get a bad rap because people are being ignorant or stupid.
9 years ago
The only thing I can say is try the fastest easiest cheapest first then try try again. There are just so many stories out there and who knows what will work for you. The others posts have great ideas. For us the so far fool proof method is blocking line of sight. Our deer will not jump to where they can not see where they will land. So a nice hedge row or tying up some old sheets or tarp any thing to block their view. That has worked for us. We used the sheets / tarps until the hedges/plant material were tall enough.

If you just need to protect trees putting up a cheap fencing around the individual trees might work for you. There would not be enough room for the deer to jump in to eat the trees nor would they be able to reach over. Cheap fencing or pallets put around each tree?

Good luck if all else fails learn how to cook venison.
9 years ago