Pig Pile!


Pig Pile!

These piglets are waking in the morning sun. They have reached that state of maximum cuteness. They’re the new cohort in the house garden. This space serves as a paddock for small pigs in the winter months and then as gardens for pumpkins, sunflowers, broccoli and such in the summer. In the fall they piglets till up the garden. Over the winter they enrich the soil while living up on the snow pack. Come spring the dig it up again and then the chickens come through and smooth it out. The kids and I plant seeds and next fall the fruits of our labor are ready to harvest again. It’s a cycle of life. Animals and plants, we’re all part of it.

Outdoors: 35°F/25°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/67°F

Daily Spark: The darkness will recede.

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor…

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8 Responses to Pig Pile!

  1. Susan Lea says:

    “Maximum cuteness” for sure! I like the pig/pumpkin cycle!

  2. Rebecca says:

    Howdy Walter,
    I fertilize my gardens with my “all-natural stuff” from a large group of rodents I keep. Another summer I also fertilized a small area of the yard I had been neglecting with cow manure that had been left to solarize for a while. Now I am dealing with some major strange fungus issues. Toadstools, large puffy funguses, root rots, and tall spindly growths of some alien nature. I have been told this is due to using “unprocessed” fertilizers. Have you run into any of these issues with your pigs and chickens? Especially since you plant into a relatively recently fertilized soil?

    • I’m not sure if we see the same thing or not. We do see mushrooms of various types. They don’t seem to be a problem. Are the ones you’re seeing being an actual problem or are they just unsightly? You could try mixing the manure with carbon and composting it. See these articles about compost.

  3. Rebecca says:

    The fungus we had were attacking our garden plants. Everything from daylilies to irises, roses, raspberry bushes, and peonies. It was pretty ugly. I don’t mind the mushrooms aesthetically, but there were others that were, I think, in the manure that was causing some nasty diseases. This time I am going to compost the manure for a year and I have been treating the garden with anti-fungals that are really helping (I hate spraying stuff thought!)

  4. Natalie says:

    Hi Walter,
    We have a 3 month old little boar that will be our herd sire. We need to introduce him to his ladies, but they are a year old, and about 3 times his size. (He’s big for his age since he gets all the fresh Jersey milk he can drink, and the gilts are not huge…aprox 125lbs.) They have been able to interact through a hog panel, and lick each others snouts…seem to like each other. When/how is it safe to put him out with them permanently? We would be sooooo sorry if something went wrong. :( Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance!

    • You’ve successfully introduced the pigs across a fence line, the first step in getting them to know each other. Setup another paddock with a gate from each of their existing areas into the new paddock. Put a whole lot of appetitive food in the new paddock as well as some bales of fresh hay or even straw. Then let them both into the new paddock leaving their gates open so they can retreat. See how things go. There may be some establishing of pecking order but I expect it will be fine. If the gilts bully him too much then separate them both again to their respective areas leaving the new paddock empty. In a week, try again. Rinse and repeat.

  5. Irma East says:

    So today I went to the New York state fair. There was a pen with a sow and her piglets. They had an educational sign up that said, ” the piglet always goes to the same teat” I know you said that isn’t true. It also said “pigs are smarter than dogs.” There was a caretaker, not the actual farmer. I was there with my teenage cousins. I commented to them that the sign wasn’t right. The caretaker spoke up and said oh yes it is true that they always go for the same teat. (at the moment one of my cousins witnessed a piglet going for different one.) I started quoting you to him and he was all like “well they do because of the way they are laid out in a farrowing crate.”
    I said, “when I get my pigs I will not use one of those as that seems inhumane to me”
    yada yada yada……. long story short this guy appeared to me and my cousin to be a know it all that HAD to be right. (in his opinion) but thanks to your blog I appeared to the onlookers to know what I was talking about. Just from reading your blog, as I haven’t got my space set up yet and have no pigs yet. (next spring, gonna start small like some guy, Walter on the internet said to. lol) I just thought you would maybe be amused by all this. It also helped my confidence in that I know what I am doing. Thanks

    • There are a lot of myths. Piglets will go to multiple teats and different teats as well as several fighting over the same teat. Even in the artificial situation of a farrowing crate I have a hard time believing they do otherwise since the farrowing crate constricts the sow but does not stop the piglets from switching teats. What happened was someone in authority said piglets always use the same teat and people parroted that without actually observing.

      As to pigs vs dogs, there are some pigs who are probably smarter than some dogs but our dogs are far smarter than our pigs. Most of all they have different types of intelligence. Dog intelligence is far closer to human intelligence. Pigs lack cooperation. Humans and dogs, both within their species and cross species together, are team hunters. Pigs are very good at being pigs but they’ll never be people or dogs. Unfortunately Hollywood has done an excellent job of confusing people into thinking they’re like humans – they’re not.

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