View Full Version : Potential Pig Farming - Possibilities for pig farm w permacultur
26-06-2003, 03:18 PM
Hello all, I just joined the forum a bit ago in hopes of obtaining new information on where to look or the responses themselves to my questions... I am interested in starting a farm in the near future growing vegetables and raising free range chickens. Recently i have thought about the possibility of raising pigs to increase the potential income, but have been more than a bit turned off by the idea of hundreds of pigs in a huge warehouse doing nothing but sitting and getting fat all day. At any rate, I am currently reading the book [/I]Chicken Tractor: The permaculture guide to happy hens and healthy soil[I] and was impressed by the ideas, AND the special mentioning of how the chicken tractor can apply to pig farming as well. It would seem that my aprehension had been dealt with, but i still have a lot of doubts as to how this can work, how many pigs can be raised per acre, if the pigs will need more fresh growth than what can possibly be replenished by nature itself, and just any useful information about pig farming in general. I have looked on the internet, but i havent been able to find any interesting sources about pig farming with permaculture or pig farming in general. Im a novice here, and your guidance would be appreciated. Thanks so much, Travis.
I reckon pig farming would be a good money maker done right, as I always feel like any pork I eat is a bit sus and far from organically grown, so I'd be happy if there were more happy pigs that had a useful life keeping things cleaned up in the orchards, under the oak trees, eating windfall apples and pears. What a life, and then they can fulfil their ultimate purpose!
Pigs are great for reducing and destroying some large weedy areas, so they can be handy for that too.
I look forward to the day I can have a pig or two ( I don't know about a farm full!)
26-06-2003, 10:23 PM
Sounds great - its interesting that in the book Natural Gain by David Smith (former Director General of Agriculture Victoria) mentioned (I'll have to flick thru to quote verbatim) that the subsistance farmed cork-carob-pork-goat-sheep-lucerne systems are one of the best examples of stable and sustainable agricultural systems - not bad for an eminent agriculturalist in his magnus opis searching for sustainability - after this passing reference then he goes back to the natural gains to australia's environment of super and sub clover.
The use of pigs in systems suggests that the system is stable enough to cope with them. Replicating the above system would take a few years before you would let them loose - as a tethered tractor however they would work wonderfully.
I miss the pork that our omnivorous pets used to give us on the farm - I can't bear the thought of eating factory pork as I just love pigs too much - and I'm spewing 'cause I love eating them too...only when they're green though...
27-06-2003, 08:59 PM
I've kept pigs on a subsistance level. Never exceeded 3 sows, a boar and their growing off-spring.
Keeping breeders means GOOD FENCES.
There is nothing worse than loosing a crop of vegies (in about 5 minutes). The whole seasons vegies!
They are the best vegetable gardeners. As long as you have goooood fencing, they will provide you with the best of all possible soils.
Food plants that they love to eat include: tagasaste (especially the bark), Coprosma repens, artichokes, Kikuyu grass and any amount of road-kill you can cook up for them. (This is probably illegal in the suburbs where most roadkill is human. :D)
16-07-2003, 02:15 AM
pig farming is most profitable if you can create a value added product. for example building your own smoke house and selling bacon. if you try to make money selling pork you are in direct competition with much bigger farmers.
16-07-2003, 09:41 AM
Thanks for the advice Spinifera. I to have seen that competing with larger industries would be a definite fall back. I have another question for you, and for anyone else that may read this... do you have any idea as to what the profit margins of such a pig industry would be? thanks a lot. still dealing with scarce information... T.
16-07-2003, 06:50 PM
I only know one person who raises their own pigs. They send them off to be butchered properly and say that it costs them around $1 kilo, thats sliced diced and minced. They end up giving a lot away as they get around 140kg a pig. I think they are mostly self sufficient as far as feed goes as well.
Another thing to consider is that they will poop a lot and is a very valuable contributor to the well being of the vegie patch.
Not much I know, but hope it helps.
I recently inhereted a couple of pigs when I moved onto a property. The last guy who was here built a "pig flower". That is a central post with water trough at its base, and concrete reo-mesh in the shape of a petal to enclose two pigs. It also has a counter-weight to take the weight of the "petal" so it can be rotated around the central post(ie: once the pigs have tractored one "petal" they are rotated to the next, and so on). In this way it is designed to be a perrennial pig tractor, but it will take some figuring out to get it functioning properly.
I have never looked after pigs before, so it is all new to me. I also get a lot of food scraps from work to keep them happy so they don't try to get out.
Anyway, hope you can follow that description. I'm also keen to find out as much as I can about pigs....bacon, mmmmm... :D
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