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Pigs rooting

Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:47 pm
by Diane
My two kunekune/Pot bellied crosses are about 6 months old now. They've had a few months of freedom, roaming with our 4 sheep in about a couple of acres of land.

Unfortunately, they have started rooting really badly - there's still plenty of grass at the moment but if they continue, there won't be much left come the autumn.

I'm concerned as, obviously, my sheep need the grass and there'll be no re-growth in the spring if the pigs root it all up. I think I've no option but to put up some fencing and corner the girls off and accept that they will plough up what area of land they have.

I can't keep rotating them and letting them destroy all the field, so they are going to have to stay in this area. I'm bothered because they are obviously used to having grass to eat all the time - they still get a small quantity of pot bellied pig food as they are still young. Once the pigs have turned over their new bit of land, they'll then be reliant on the pig feed alone. It doesn't seem fair on them but I'm not sure of an alternative.

If I do pen them off, what area of land do people think is a reasonable size for two pigs?


Posted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:00 pm
by alison stephen
hi, our two gilts, were given a whole field last year (sharing with 3 sheep) and boy did they root! husband has fenced off an area this year and told me if they root they go back to their churned up winter area! its only been a week but so far so good. honestly you couldnt go for a walk in the field at night in danger of falling down one of their holes!

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:19 am
by Ali Webster
I'm not sure if the pot bellied element contributes toward the rooting, but we have found that whilst our pigs are still adolescents, particularly in their first year, they tend to root more than when they're fully grown. Also, in the summer usually our pigs don't root, preferring to graze, but in the winter, regardless of the fact they have their pig nuts, they seem to root a bit more, I suppose because of the lack of goodness in the grass. They'll probably get better as they get older, having said that some have a tendancy for rooting more than others! Good luck Ali

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:07 pm
by blightowler
I have 3 Gilts and 1 castrated boar, from around 4 months old they started to root really badly, through the winter they had about 1.5 acres and churned up most of it. I split the field in two around February time and seeded the area they didn't occupy, that has now recovered and the pigs are in there with no rooting. The other half is nearly recovered ready for them late in the year. I do believe however that they had already stopped rooting as much before I moved them.



Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:29 am
by alison stephen
hi, i spoke to soon, they are rooting big time!!

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:23 pm
by Polly
When I got my two in July 2006, they were put into our small orchard which is approx 20m square. By November, they had rooted up every square inch and there was not one blade of grass left! The orchard looked like the Battle of the Somme and we even lost an apple tree :cry:

So on Christmas Eve they were moved into a paddock approx one and a half acres, and although they do root over the winter months it's nowhere on the scale of the orchard! During spring/summer they just graze and I leave the grass to grow. Over winter when the ground gets wet they will start rooting and in spring I harrow and roll the paddock, although if the trenches are deep it's not easy to flatten them!

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:51 pm
by Gary
Kunes not rooting is a myth.
Kunes not rooting like conventional pigs is a fact.
Many owners will tell you that rooting is often a juvenile and seasonal activity. This I believe.
It does and will get better for you - honest !

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:51 am
by Diane
Gary wrote: It does and will get better for you - honest !
Thanks, I really hope so - the girls now have a new fenced off area approx 25x10 metres. They are slowly but surely munching their way through what grass is left and up rooting it all!

I feel terribly guilty - after being used to such freedom and now being quite confined :( . Anyway, they seem OK - I just hope come next spring that they do stop rooting so that they can enjoy a bit more freedom again.

Re: Pigs rooting

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:04 pm
by MummyLlama
Four years on Diane!
How did that plan work? Was Gary right?
Hope you still have pigs, see this and reply.....

Re: Pigs rooting

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:03 pm
by pedro1
It's weird I have had my pigs for 4 years now and I have had pigs during all their life stages and they have not dug up my field once and they keep it in really good condition even through the winter and heavy rain

Re: Pigs rooting

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:47 am
by MummyLlama
Lots on here would love to know your secret...concrete pigs, astro turf, the field stretches from one side of Britain to the other! Tongue in cheek???

Rfor : Pigs rooting

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:07 am
by Di
Hate to say this but I have found the same. I have had 5 pigs for about 7 years and they have not rooted. The grass in their paddock is now knee high and I am going to have to swop around and put the cows in for a while to eat it down!

There has been lots of discussion on this and I can only conclude that type of soil has something to do with it. Our soil is sandy and drains well.

I did have a couple of weaners that I reared on for meat and they rooted a bit. Just seemed to lift off the turf and didn't do much damage at all.