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GrowingFromScratch.com
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does is make much sense, is there much advantage, to raise pigs in the woods if the primary timber is pine? I have 10 acres of oak / pine mix, but the lot is unattached to my homestead lot. It's a couple miles away. On the other hand, my homestead lot is about 3 acres, and I could possibly buy more from a neighbor, but the lot is 95% tall red pine. I'd prefer to have pigs within eyesight of the yard, but I'd also prefer to have them on a lot with considerably more acorns to supplement their feed. This would be an entirely new, first time endeavor, so I know very little regarding pros and cons.
 

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Does is make much sense, is there much advantage, to raise pigs in the woods if the primary timber is pine? I have 10 acres of oak / pine mix, but the lot is unattached to my homestead lot. It's a couple miles away. On the other hand, my homestead lot is about 3 acres, and I could possibly buy more from a neighbor, but the lot is 95% tall red pine. I'd prefer to have pigs within eyesight of the yard, but I'd also prefer to have them on a lot with considerably more acorns to supplement their feed. This would be an entirely new, first time endeavor, so I know very little regarding pros and cons.
This is a question I’ve pondered on, so looking forward to replies. Thanks for posting it.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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I have a 150-acre woodlot. I fenced in about 5 acres with electric fence and I ran pigs in it. A large black boar and four berkshire sows. They munched away all the brush and did a very good job of cleaning it up. My biggest problem was that every week tree branches fall on the fence, so I had to walk my fence line frequently to remove fallen branches. Which can be a hassle when the electric fence is turned on. It took my pigs about five years before they finally ran out of enough calories from that 5-acre paddock.

I fed them each about 2 cups worth of sweetfeed each day, with a brass school bell that I rang over their heads. The sweetfeed kept them friendly and the bell kept them trained to come to me whenever they got loose.
 

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GrowingFromScratch.com
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The way I see it, the pigs would be easier to contain on cleared land. Wouldn't have to worry about trees / limbs falling and compromising the fence line. Cleared land wouldn't interfere with a solar charger for the electric wire. But none of my land is cleared, and there is considerable expense and labor involved in removing acres of 4-5 story tall pine trees. Will probably make a call to some lumber companies at some point as well. I realize the animals will clear much of the brush, but dang, those trees are tall, and would create a lot of clean up work that would still need to be disposed of, burned, or piled.

EDIT - Forest BK addressed a couple of my points
 

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Do you know where wild hogs came from in the US? In the 1500s the Spanish brought their domestic hogs to Florida and those hogs were free ranged in the woods. Inevitably some went feral and natural selection adapted them back into being razorbacks (also aided by the likely release of some European wild boar also by the Spanish). Later American settlers (the Crackers) kept the hogs under control by treating them as free range livestock and Florida law traditionally regarded wild hogs as the property of whoever’s land they were on. Poor Florida backwoodsmen lived off of the free range hogs as well as lots of other Florida adapted free range livestock such as Cracker cows and gamefowl.

So yes, pigs can be kept entirely on what they can forage in the woods, but it would require that you understock their numbers on the largest piece of land that you can confine them on. Wild hogs can go where they want and travel as food sources change. Your confined hogs cannot, so you’d want to give them the richest area you can to increase the likelihood they’ll take care of themselves.

Also know that the wilder a hog gets, the better it is at digging. Hogs can dig surprisingly deep holes. If you’re dealing with hogs that have a lot of wild in their genes and if the food sources are scarce, you’ll need to contain them with a buried fence.
 

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Most put pigs in the timber to clean it up and help clear the underbrush. The acorns for their browsing is just an added bonus for them. Sure supplements your feed costs.
They do plow it up for you, so having them on sloped ground really isn't wise, due to washing of the ground if not seeded in grass soon after you move them to another spot.
Or simply ring their noses to help prevent the plowing, which defeats their browsing for food.
 

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I see lots of different answers so not going to say good or bad answers,what I will say is hogs do very good on free range/ virgin ground,the other thing is hogs hate electric fences so a good hotwire is better then good hogwire fences in my expeareance in the late 80's through early 90's I made good money doing almost exactly what you are asking about,I was buying thin sows for around .20 cents a lb,selling after a month or two fattened with bit of corn and freerange for 30-35 cent a lb to sausage plant, thing is then I could sell hogs 10 miles away,with different market now closest place for me is wee bit under 100 miles away,the other thing is I was much younger and could literally outrun,get a rope on and drag a 500 lb hog into trailer by hand,aint no way I could even think about doing that now,you either have to be young and dumb or have good facilities to load hogs,I'm old and dumb now and my faculties are acceptable for cattle but far from acceptable for hogs,

If you have a nearby market Hogs are a poor mans livestock,easy and fast to put weight on,but without good facilties to load them out you need to be young and dumb
 

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Let you in on little secret its all but impossible to rope a hog,theyll back out of rope likety split,you gotta be on foot and get loop around neck and 2nd loop just behind front legs,now I was buying thin sows gotta think they was culls and some was mean OK not mean they just plain wanted to eat me LOL,If you have the nads to let a old mean hog get close if you get thier head in a bushel washtub or a 5 gallon bucket you own them and can back them up anywhere you want them,like I said I made dang good money with old cull hogs but I was young,quick,tuff and dumb nothing I want to try now but back then it was fun and profitable 😁
 

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I really dont know your circumstances,pigs can and will die without shelter in bad weather,old sausage hogs do very well in middle of winter with nothing more then couple big bales of straw to bury themselves in at night,I'm talking under 20 degrees to under zero a old 300lb hog does great,a young pig will use all feed to stay warm or freeze to death where a old sow wont be effected at all,having raised both cattle and hogs,cattle are easier but take much longer to get money back,hogs are cheaper and quick turnaround for money but for small farm way more time and work for day to day small operation.
 

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Does is make much sense, is there much advantage, to raise pigs in the woods if the primary timber is pine? I have 10 acres of oak / pine mix, but the lot is unattached to my homestead lot. It's a couple miles away. On the other hand, my homestead lot is about 3 acres, and I could possibly buy more from a neighbor, but the lot is 95% tall red pine. I'd prefer to have pigs within eyesight of the yard, but I'd also prefer to have them on a lot with considerably more acorns to supplement their feed. This would be an entirely new, first time endeavor, so I know very little regarding pros and cons.
Curious.
If in most states why bother with raising hogs?
There is overpopulation of wild ones, and it is next to impossible to keep hogs contained long term in large areas.
 

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Does is make much sense, is there much advantage, to raise pigs in the woods if the primary timber is pine? I have 10 acres of oak / pine mix, but the lot is unattached to my homestead lot. It's a couple miles away. On the other hand, my homestead lot is about 3 acres, and I could possibly buy more from a neighbor, but the lot is 95% tall red pine. I'd prefer to have pigs within eyesight of the yard, but I'd also prefer to have them on a lot with considerably more acorns to supplement their feed. This would be an entirely new, first time endeavor, so I know very little regarding pros and cons.
Elvis, You're potbelly pig is loose on my place and looks like she bred with a wild boar.
Hogs will root up the place, eat everything that's edible including snakes. Go for it!
Plant Green Fence Tree Grass
 

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GrowingFromScratch.com
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Curious.
If in most states why bother with raising hogs?
There is overpopulation of wild ones, and it is next to impossible to keep hogs contained long term in large areas.
Small scale CSA farming is something I'm interested in. Feeder pigs in the spring, processed in the fall. I believe more and more people are going to start turning to local farmers to buy their meats directly. There appears to be a coming globalist war on meat, so it might only be a couple of pigs for my own family.
 

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GrowingFromScratch.com
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I really dont know your circumstances,pigs can and will die without shelter in bad weather,old sausage hogs do very well in middle of winter with nothing more then couple big bales of straw to bury themselves in at night,I'm talking under 20 degrees to under zero a old 300lb hog does great,a young pig will use all feed to stay warm or freeze to death where a old sow wont be effected at all,having raised both cattle and hogs,cattle are easier but take much longer to get money back,hogs are cheaper and quick turnaround for money but for small farm way more time and work for day to day small operation.
Good to hear first hand feedback. Some shelter would be made available. I wouldn't bother with pigs over the winter months. Too cold here.
 

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Having raised an assortment of hogs before, my answer would be a resounding NO.
Fish and wildlife would have a field day with you if they discover your hogs got loose to destroy the environment and cause property damage for everyone nearby.
Have you ever tried to catch pigs that have gotten loose?? I have. It makes getting escaped cattle back in look easy.
And I will mention again: environmental damage, rooting is really not good for the ground, they can root up trees and such. There is a reason lots of folks are moving towards "no till" systems in their agriculture. Having pigs till for you is destructive and counterproductive.
I would just pen them up and feed them, seriously
 

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Small scale CSA farming is something I'm interested in. Feeder pigs in the spring, processed in the fall. I believe more and more people are going to start turning to local farmers to buy their meats directly. There appears to be a coming globalist war on meat, so it might only be a couple of pigs for my own family.
You may want to start making friends with local resturaunt owners. Food scraps make for good pig food.
 

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Curious.
If in most states why bother with raising hogs?
There is overpopulation of wild ones, and it is next to impossible to keep hogs contained long term in large areas.
We raise 2-4 every other year. Buy runts and culls. Doctor em up and get them in shape. Butcher around 300-400 #'s.
Never had one to get loose unless there was a gate left open. Never had much problem getting them back in as they know who's been feeding them for months.
We penned ours, rotating between six 32x32 pens
 

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I have a 150-acre woodlot. I fenced in about 5 acres with electric fence and I ran pigs in it. A large black boar and four berkshire sows. They munched away all the brush and did a very good job of cleaning it up. My biggest problem was that every week tree branches fall on the fence, so I had to walk my fence line frequently to remove fallen branches. Which can be a hassle when the electric fence is turned on. It took my pigs about five years before they finally ran out of enough calories from that 5-acre paddock.

I fed them each about 2 cups worth of sweetfeed each day, with a brass school bell that I rang over their heads. The sweetfeed kept them friendly and the bell kept them trained to come to me whenever they got loose.

All you had was a single strand electric fence and it kept the pigs in?
 

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NRA Life 1971
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Small scale CSA farming is something I'm interested in. Feeder pigs in the spring, processed in the fall. I believe more and more people are going to start turning to local farmers to buy their meats directly. There appears to be a coming globalist war on meat, so it might only be a couple of pigs for my own family.
I've been preaching this on here for years.
We have not purchased any meat in the stores for over a decade. If you don't grow your own, get right with local suppliers. You will have cultivated a relationship if and when things get worse.
Cosco won't know you from Adam.
 

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All you had was a single strand electric fence and it kept the pigs in?
When I was a kid we raised hogs on 5 acres with just 1 strand of hot wire. You put it at nose level, they lead with their nose. Dad made it hot enough that it left a mark when they touched it. They learned real quick not to go anywhere near that wire. They learned so good that he had hell at times trying to get them into new pasture because they knew where that boundary was and would not go past it. My dad done daily walk arounds just to make sure weeds weren't getting into it. I remember that wire real well myself because i'd go to step over it and I still swear to this day that thing would reach out and grab me, LOL. I can still feel that wire biting me. It was not fun and it would leave marks on my legs too. The only times we had hogs escape was when the wire went down to storms causing trees or limbs to fall on it. Which thankfully, wasn't all that often. But we never overwintered them, they always went to market in the fall and we would butcher a few for us and family members.
 
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