Curly Pig Tails


Pigs Following Walter in North Field

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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6 Responses to Curly Pig Tails

  1. Bob says:

    Walter,

    I always enjoy pictures of your pigs and pasture. In this case, what interests me are the bushes and weeds. Do the pigs not like to eat them? Or is that in an area they don’t spend enough time?

    Thanks

    • People tend to think of pasture as the open fields around a castle which is good if you’re trying to prevent the enemy from sneaking up on you and attacking. Some of our pastures are similar to that. Most of our 70 acres of pasture are a mix of that and brush. This is more of a savannah type pasture which is ideal for the pigs – a mix of trees, brush, grasses, legumes and other forages. Cattle, sheep and goats like this savannah style pasture too but so do enemy attackers which is why the king likes having such big open blank pastures around his castle which eventually evolved into the classic suburban lawns. The other issue is the flat open pastures are needed for modern machinery – since we’re on stumpy, stoney, steep mountain lands we don’t do machine mowing – we have livestock for that job – and thus we don’t need the clear pastures typically pictured.

      The milk weed on the right is because I’m trying to provide some habitat for Monarch Butterflies which are endangered. The pigs don’t like to eat the milkweed but they will trample it down in the dense paddocks. This paddock is a large one at the far end of the north field so the milkweed is able to survive a bit better.

  2. Bob says:

    Hmmmmm….. I wasn’t really aware of my deep down desire to be a king but maybe you are on to something!

    Seriously, your response makes sense. Fits with what I have read of permaculture; growing at a number of levels, not just on the ground. Also the brush likely provides shade and shelter which the pigs appreciate.

    Have you ever thought of adding some goats to your pastures? They would probably browse higher up on the brush, taking advantage of food out of reach of the pigs and cleaning things up a bit… Oops! that must by my tidy ‘king’ mind thinking again…..

    • We have thought about goats. My brother got goats. Not mine. Sheep and pigs cograze very nicely – We had sheep for a long time although currently we are sheepless. That will change in a couple of years. I was very good at raising sheep but the cost of processing ate up all the profits which is why we switched to pigs. Pigs make us more money per animal, grow faster and produce more offspring per year. However, I love sheep, as in eating, and enjoy sheep, as in raising. Once we have the butcher shop up to the point of being able to slaughter on-farm we’ll add sheep back to the mix of animals we have and then we may also add goats and cattle. We have built the butcher shop so as to accommodate all species, even unicorns.

      One of the effects of sheep is that they do reach up higher. In the paddocks where we used to have sheep it is easier for us two leggers to walk. The pigs don’t reach up to graze that high. Goats and cattle would be even higher. We have a section where cattle grazed long ago, long before us – you can tell because all the small branches were broken and eaten off.

  3. Clint says:

    Walter, what breed or breeds of sheep do you prefer to raise in your situation? I really enjoy your content posted here. Your a great educator.

    • I don’t have enough opinion about sheep breeds because I haven’t had experience with many. We have had Cheviot – They seemed fine. I’ve seen a few others in person. From an aesthetic point of view I like the curled horns of some breeds and might try one of those someday. A project for another year.

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