They can be bought in during early summer to deal with any excesses that the holding will start to produce. For us June marks the time of excess. This excess should increase throughout the summer untill late
September or early October.
This four months of plenty is ideal for the smallholder that doesnt like waste. As it is this waste that will help produce your pork and bacon for the coming year.
I can hardly think of something so useful to the family that can be achieved in such a short period, just sixteen weeks.
One less job for the cold winter months. It is very easy feed young piglets, but as they grow so do their appetites. Ours currently take a great deal of feeding, waste from the holding supplemented with rolled oats. They do very well on surplus milk and whey, a great source of protein.
Pigs can be kept outdoor on 'grazing' or in a pigsty. We have chosen to keep ours in a concrete pigsty, as we have found them to be masters in escaping!
They are very easy to keep once you design and build an efficient pigsty. If done correctly, they will only need twice daily feeding and weekly washing down the toilet area.
They are very clean, as regards where they go to the toilet. They will choose a spot away from where they sleep and eat so as to keep those areas clean.
You can throw all waste garden material like lawn cuttings and waste vegetables into them and they will gladly turn it into manure for the compost heap.
During winter we empty out the compost heap onto the veg bed and as a result we have wonderful soil.
While I think that pigs are wonderful animals, I am also very aware that they would gladly knock me over. I would never allow the children or dogs into the pigsty as I have seen them eat a chicken and a magpie while alive on different occasions. The birds were helping themselves to the pigs dinner and the pigs helped themselves to the birds! Worrying! They really do have powerful jaws!
But damn they are tasty...salami..yum!