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[21 Sep 2010 | 22 Comments | ]
The Big Pig Project 2010

In our quest to eat more sustainably, we’ve been experiencing what it’s like to raise our own animals for meat. So far it’s only been chickens, but we just raised the bar another notch with the addition of three pigs to the back yard!

Aren’t they adorable? These little guys are super-cute, and you could sit and watch their antics for hours. They’re the offspring of a large white boar and a black sow, which is supposed to be a good combination for meat flavour (according to a Small Farms magazine …

Keeping Animals »

[24 Sep 2010 | 4 Comments | ]

The pigs have escaped three times this week!

Luckily, they’ve only got out into our yard. Each time, they just hang around in the garden, dig up the grass a bit, and lay in the sun. Putting them back in their pen was pretty easy – they’re just like flighty chickens. They’ll flee if you approach them directly, but you can herd them from behind or lead them with food and they’ll just trot straight back in.

So the fence I built with some mates wasn’t anywhere near as good as we …

Keeping Animals »

[26 Sep 2010 | 4 Comments | ]
Electric Fence Keeps Pigs In!

I finally got to install my electric fence yesterday morning, and we haven’t had any more trouble from the pigs.

For the electric fence energiser, I bought a Thunderbird BD-20. This is a neat little 2 km “strip grazer”, powered by 4x D-cell batteries.

I don’t have mains power near the pig pen because it’s well away from the house, so a battery-powered energiser was required. Most of them use alligator clips to connect to a 12-volt external battery, but I needed something weatherproof – the BD-20 holds the batteries internally. Perfect. …

Keeping Animals, Preparing Food, Waste »

[16 Oct 2010 | 2 Comments | ]
Feeding Swill To Pigs

There was a little bit of discussion about feeding scraps to pigs on my original entry about our pig project. There are quite strict laws around the feeding of scraps and waste to pigs in Australia (and many other countries), and you really need to make sure you’re doing the right thing.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has a good fact sheet on swill feeding. I’ve summarised some of the info below for interest, but don’t rely on my wording – read the original for yourself if you’re planning …

Keeping Animals »

[25 Oct 2010 | Comments Off on Pig Information From NSW DPI | ]
Pig Information From NSW DPI

The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) has a lot of really good pig keeping information available for free. Here’s my collection of links to their resources.

Keeping Animals »

[15 Nov 2010 | 3 Comments | ]
How To Weigh A Pig

You can get a very good estimate of a pig’s weight by running a few simple measurements through a mathematical formula. Here’s how to do it.

Keeping Animals, Video »

[22 Nov 2010 | 4 Comments | ]

A must-see video of BBC’s Ethical Man visiting a pig farm in Las Vegas, where the pigs are raised on restaurant leftovers and then fed back to the restaurant patrons.

Growing Food, Keeping Animals »

[5 Feb 2011 | 11 Comments | ]
Pig Tractors For Clearing Land

If you want to clear a large area of land with little effort, you can’t beat a pig tractor!

Keeping Animals »

[9 Feb 2011 | 10 Comments | ]
Taking The Pigs To The Abattoir

The pigs have finally reached a good baconer size, and are ready to head off to the abattoir.

Keeping Animals, Preparing Food »

[12 Feb 2011 | 3 Comments | ]
Home Grown Pork

The pigs finally came home from the butcher. We received back 74 kilograms of porky goodness per pig – that’s a lot of meat to have sitting in front of you!