If you read recent post, you know that we gotten a young female pig from a woman who could no longer care for her collection of 4H livestock. The woman isn’t sure of the pigs age, breed, worming, or vaccinations. She thinks she got her in May, so I am assuming she is about 4 months old. We picked her up on July 4th. She was easily enticed into a dog crate with some pig feed. She got treated to a hose down before being released from the crate into the chicken paddock where she immediately started foraging. Seriously, she didn’t even get all the way out of the cage before she was eating grass. I instantly recalled all the times I’ve heard or read something that said pigs don’t eat grass.
We have her on an 18% protein pellet feed, but she seems to prefer what she finds in the dirt. Maybe she’s got a mineral deficiency? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. There was not a single blade of grass or root in her paddock, nor was there food or clean water. She is a big fan of the apples I bring her from the orchard. She wasn’t sure at first, but after the chickens tested them she knew they were safe. Neither she nor the chickens appear to be a fans of fresh of the vine cucumbers, maybe I need to cut it up first?
She has a swine lice infestation and ticks, so she got a massage with diatomaceous earth on day one. She was a little shy but once I got my hand on her and start rubbing, she plopped down on the ground and rolled over for a belly rub. She’ll continue to get DE massages until the infestation is cleared. She’s also getting apple cider vinegar in her water and DE in her feed and wallow tub. Hopefully the combination along with rotating pastures will work to eradicate and prevent future infestations. Traditional pig farmers use chemicals to control bugs, while pastured farmers claim to have no problem with bugs that ACV will not cure. We can’t find any information on the internet about addressing a bug infestation organically. If anyone has any suggestions, please share.
On the first day at the farm she was so excited zooming around the chicken paddock that is several times larger, flatter, and greener than her previous enclosure. She appears to enjoy chasing the chickens. The chickens were completely terrorized :)-. Being her first time in the sun, she also got a sunburn, so now the white pig is pink. The second day, she rested in the shade most of the day.
She is sleeping with the chickens at the moment. In true Happy Pig style, we fashioned her a shelter from a tarp, but she busted into the hoop coop. Mr. Awesome is building her own hut for sleeping and shade and we’re going to put her in her own paddock that we will move around the farm ahead of the chickens and/or under the trees.
As you may have guessed, we were not prepared for a pig. Especially not one that wasn’t raised on pasture from birth under the watchful eyes of a reputable breeder. If you have any advice, we’d love to hear it.
Until next time, when we get back to the normal stuff, like our home renovation….