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How big an area of mud!

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:51 pm
by MummyLlama
My boys would love to have expert opinions on their ancestry!
I would be grateful for advice on the size of 'mud' area they will be happy in. Also any thoughts on what I can give them to make thir days more interesting.
They have been happily grazing all summer in a large paddock. I filled one or two craters a day but on the whole they didn't root badly. That changed when the ground became soft. I have other animals and need plentiful grazing so I am (sadly) having to confine the pigs. At present they have destroyed about 25’x 25’. I let them into the paddock when I muck out and can watch them but the digging starts quite fast and I have to put them away pronto! I am about to fence them an area and lift the grass so I can repair as much of the destroyed area as possible.
So, bearing in mind I will let them out for a run about, what is the smallest area I can fence?
Any ideas on forage? I use Marksway HorseHage for the llamas and alpacas. The pigs are not interested in hay. I do give them feed in pig balls but they block with mud. Any ideas to make thier days more interesting much appreciated by all of us!
I hope some of you will have answers and also see their photo, I would love opinions on what type of pig they could be.
Thank you.


Re: How big an area of mud!

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:54 pm
by simon
They are cross-bred pigs. Possibly with some Vietnamese pot-belly, and probably with various other breeds. I can't see any kunekune in them.

It doesn't surprise me they dig, whenever I have other breeds of pig they always dig a lot more than kunekunes. They still look young, and my guess is that as they grow towards full size and reach 100kg+ they will systematically turn over your land.

kunekunes can live off grass, other breeds will graze but can generally only get about 30% of required nutrition from the grass. So thats probably why they aren't that interested in the hay.

Re: How big an area of mud!

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:40 pm
by MummyLlama
Thank you Simon. I am feeding them the A&P pot bellied nuts 2x a day. They put on weight on grazing so I did cut the feed back then.
Any thoughts on what area I can confine them to?

Re: How big an area of mud!

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:47 pm
by simon
Depending on where you live winter is coming and the nutrition in the grass will be sinking into the roots. So they will still graze, but will rely on it less.
Theres no rule on space, give them as much as you can, but not at the expense of next year's spring grass. It depends what you have, and the need of your other animals.

Re: How big an area of mud!

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:07 pm
by The Rushbury Pig
I agree with Simon that you give them as much as you can afford to but looking at them I suspect any amount of area will become very muddy and can result in them standing all day in mud slurry given the recent weather conditions. :(

My recommendation, if it's possible for you, would be to do as I do with my breeding Berkshire pigs(Three 120kg Adult sows and a boar). I let them out into a paddock that is around half an acre for a set period of time during the day and then bring them onto a hard standing area of around 10m by 15m for the night. If the weather is really awful I keep them on it for a day or two. Obviously, all of these areas could be smaller if you have smaller and fewer pigs. The ground still looks like the battle of the somme but it hasn't lost its soil quality and turned to slurry.

The ground really turns to slurry if the pigs are actually running on it when it rains so that's what you want to avoid if you can.

Some of my hard standing areas for kunekune are simply slabbed areas or gravelled.

I realise this is only helpful if you have hard standing or indoor barn space :(

Re: How big an area of mud!

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:16 pm
by The Rushbury Pig
Forgot to say, my Berkies like to play with footballs, old plastic buckets, posts that have been knocked firmly into the ground and if you build something like a sun shade for them they will spend endless hours dismantling it for you :roll:

The thing they like most is digging though :D

All my pigs eat Sow Breeder Nuts and have hay and silage.

I agree with Simon on breed could have come from Potbellied or Berkshire but the shape has a Pot bellied feel to it. Maybe somewhere along the lines there maybe kunekune but a long way back. Could be OSB or Gloucs old spot that give the spotty pig his/her spots or a throwback to kunekune colours. There's one sure thing they look like pedigree diggers so get them on your veggie plot :D

Hope you are enjoying them despite their digging tendancies :)

Re: How big an area of mud!

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:48 pm
by SarahN
It's really interesting reading all the discussions but its lovely to see a photo of someones piggies but what is that green stuff they are standing on?

Re: How big an area of mud!

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:45 pm
by MummyLlama
Wonderful to hear from you all. Thank you so much for your replies.
Thank you for putting the picture up. It only showed as '?' for me. I thought I'd followed your instruction post .. Should I have said Abracadabra...
To answer your question I live in Northamptonshire. The ground is damp but not water logged. it drains well and I have soil to die for! A gardeners dream, B&Q would sell it by the bag if I let them! It's stone less and the pigs are delighted with it!
@ The Rusbury Pig
Another big thank you for taking so much trouble with your reply. I really enjoyed reading it. It's great to hear what other people do. I do have hard standing. I bring them in every night. They have an area that is split in two with their ark in the middle. It is approx 8m x 8m. I am going to fence another area which will give them an extra 40sq m. There are only the two, so far! They are quite small, only 20" to withers and they are brothers. Tomorrow I will buy them footballs!
Haha. once upon a time i believe that was grass! They loved grazing -once... And yes I adore my 'boys'. I have always loved pigs. I have way over 2000 china etc ones, a collection I began in my youth about 100 years ago! We have always been lucky enough to have a field or two and I have always had rescue animals. It began when someone asked me to look after their donkey for 'a couple of weeks' , i never saw them again and she was with me 27years. All of my animals over the years have given me so much but the piggies are 'something else'. They are such fun and so affectionate.

Thank you all again, every word has been much appreciated.