Dead Pig!


Who’s that Dead Pig?

Sometimes you’re walking along and you come across a scene like this. Dang. What caused her to die? You start to wonder and go to examine her. Then she twitches her ear and cracks open an eye as if to say, “Hey, you, get out of my sunlight!” Turns out she was just working on her tan. Phew!
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This pig is taking a snooze in the mud wallow. Her beauty bath. August, when I took this photo, was pretty dry but still had mud good enough to get a nice coating. Pigs use mud to protect their skin from the sun’s ultraviolet, to moisturize their skin, to cool off (they don’t have sweat glands) and to protect themselves from insects.

If you’re going to raise pigs you’re going to discover that they’re going to try to make a mud wallow. They will tip over waterer repeatedly to do this. Some people put out a kiddie wading pool for the pigs. Without that the pigs will pack the soil nicely so as to create a dish to hold the water and make a wallow. If there is clay in the soil that will make better mud for packing. If not they’ll poop in the spot to improve the fines content so it will pack better. They’ll also piss in their pool. They can’t read the signs. Besides, urine’s pretty sterile. But I’m not going swimming there!

Outdoors: 72°F/51°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/67°F

Daily Spark: The only thing I don’t procrastinate is procrastinating. -HB

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor…

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9 Responses to Dead Pig!

  1. J Jaeger says:

    Ha! I’ve heard so many stories of horses that like to lie down a few acres into a pasture and not respond to their human caretaker’s call… until, of course, the human has traversed the pasture to check on them :-).

    Perhaps she is a hi-iq pig? Good at using her resources??

  2. Kristin says:

    Do you have any way to re mediate the wallow damage later on? Unless you don’t need to. We’re using the pigs to make new pasture but their former wallows are a bit difficult to repair after then are gone. Thanks, Walter.

    • Plant high feeders in it as well as deep rooters. They’ll use up the plant food and break up the soil. Same goes for winter paddocks. Pumpkins, broccoli, radishes are all good candidates as well as many others. We get fantastic pumpkins and sunflowers from these areas. Look for plants that like a lot of nitrogen, moisture and have deep roots that can break up the soil. Those in turn become feed for the late fall and winter for the livestock as well as fun for carving, pumpkin soup, etc. Our best broccoli comes out of areas that have had intensive pig activity the year.

      In the absolute worse case I’ll take our box scraper and put the tines way down so that I can drag across an area like this once it is dry. That digs in about 8″(?) breaking up the top crust. Then I plant.

  3. Teresa says:

    Every so often, I have to yell at the llama to see if he twitches his ear. Sometimes they drive me crazy.

  4. Shara LaFave says:

    Walter do you recommend a a hard plastic kiddie pool as a wallow for rotational systems? If not what would you use?

  5. Dave says:

    Hi Walter,
    What if the pigs wasn’t kidding, was really dead. Suggestions for what to do with a hundred pound dead pig when the ground is froze?

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