Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Grow some food and stuff!

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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby George Collins » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:56 am

Manny, they are growing rapidly. I recently moved them into Youngblood's garden spot where they now reside in a hog panel pen augmented with an electric wire. In a couple weeks when they put a bit more size on and are well trained to the wire, we will erect a double strand electric fence on contour around his garden and let em have at it.

Youngblood has developed this pathological hatred for mole crickets in particular and other assorted vermin in general due to some crop loses he blames on them. I don't know that mole crickets had anything to do with his loss or not but I'd imagine that ain't much gunna live through the assault that's about to commence as soon as them pigs reach a size that they can be more easily contained by electrified poly rope.

Right now they reside adjacent to the road and I have made a couple additions to "The Pig List" just by people being able to see them as they drive by.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby George Collins » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:41 pm

A friend with far greater carpentry skills than my own helped me erect a permanent structure today for housing breeding stock over through the winter months. As soon as it was completed, a new paddock was erected around the house and Mr. Bingley and Linda were moved in. At first they were scared of this new fangled contraption but it wasn't long before they realized that it was one big scratching post. Now they seem to love it.

Image

Of course the kids had to check it out too.
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"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby George Collins » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:25 am

With the excitement of getting the beef back home and eating our first fruits of the grill, I completely forgot to relate a recent even on the hog front.

I put Linda and Mr. Bingley together this past Saturday right after the hog house was completed. Monday morning, just prior to hooking up with Youngblood to go get our beef, I was able to confirm a mating. That means, if all goes well, our third litter of pigs should be here on or about March 23rd, 2014.

It was the only time I've ever seen hogs ignore feed.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:43 am

You are really starting to produce large quantity's of Hogs there George. The girls seem very receptive to being breed. You are a lucky man. :D Congratulations young man.
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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby George Collins » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:31 pm

The new hog house works beautifully. It faces Southeast which means it catches the sunrise during the relevant portion of the year and, more importantly, faces opposite of the prevailing wind.

Today while out feeding, the temperature was in the mid-50s when a 15 mph wind suddenly hit. According to the old charts, the windchill dropped to the mid-30s I think. Whatever, suddenly it felt VERY cold to be standing around in naught but a t-shirt. While Bingley and Linda gorged themselves, I dashed into their house and felt instant relief from the biting cold.

I think this design packs the best bang for the buck of any of the structures I came across in my research. I hope to build more units before next winter. The hoop house design, while fine as a 3-season structure, is not nearly as good when the temperature drops.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby George Collins » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:13 pm

That right there is a rectal prolapse.

Image

Cost me a smooth $100.00 for the vet to repair it. I tried doing it myself but having no experience with such a thing, I failed. After reading up on the condition, among the several causal factors that could produce such a thing, piling on top of one another to stay warm is the one factor that seems most probable in this case.

At any rate, T now sports a plastic tube hanging out of her backside and in 3-4 days, according to the vet, the extruded tissue should slough off and she should be as good as new.

The vet said that if the causal factor is indeed of a mechanical nature, this little setback should have no bearing on her future as a brood sow.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
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Location: South Central Mississippi, Zone 8a

Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:51 pm

That looks bad George, very bad. Glad the vet could get her fixed up and that she should be OK. All things considered the $100 isn't too bad to save a breeding sow. Good Luck with her recovery.
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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby George Collins » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:27 pm

So Lou missed her possible Dec. 7th farrowing which means her next most likely date is Dec. 30th.

What's worse, her hoop-style farrowing house proved to be insufficient to withstand a 6-inches-in-one-24-hour-period rain we received. Turned it into a muddy mess is what it did. Out of desperation, I moved her into Youngblood's cattle trailer and parked that in a south-facing shed. Immediately thereafter alternative plans were set upon to erect a one-sow farrowing hut which we did yesterday. (Once again I called upon my friend with the carpentry skills to get me out of a bind.)

Image

The floor measures 6' x 8' which is bigger by one foot in both dimensions that what Kelly Klober recommends in Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs.

Tomorrow, after two more hog panels are purchased (I have four already), Lou will have a nice maternity ward in which to rear her litter.

In other news, T still sports her rectal ring which the vet said should have fallen out by now.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 pm
Location: South Central Mississippi, Zone 8a

Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby matt walker » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:34 pm

I like that new farrowing hut George. Man, raising livestock is just one thing after another, isn't it? You will think you have it all figured out and the systems in place for smooth sailing, and next thing you know you are out in the rain building a hut, fixing fences, poking around at their rears, etc. I guess we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves if they didn't keep us occupied.
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Re: Keeping Berkshire Pigs

Postby George Collins » Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:55 pm

LOU HAD TWELVE!

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Youngblood called me at daylight this morning to inform me that Lou had eight pigs. We hurriedly awoke all the kids, got dressed and rushed over. Upon our arrival, we counted ten pigs nursing merrily away. Lou was none too pleased with all of the commotion so we abbreviated our visit.

I had to work today and about noon, my wife texted to inform me that after a re-count, we have twelve pigs.

So the count went from eight to ten to twelve. My guess is that we happened upon her during her labor and didn't recognize it as such.

Her delivery coincided with Youngblood's prediction that she would wait to have them till the weather turned off foul. And foul it was - 2 1/4 inches of rain fell last night.

The new farrowing house performed splendidly as there wasn't a wet spot to be seen.

Lou is turning out to be far more intolerant of people around her pigs than Linda was.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 pm
Location: South Central Mississippi, Zone 8a

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