Monday, February 14, 2011

Free at last

Buttercup, the Guinea boar
I shut the cows out of their corral yesterday and turned the hogs outside.  Both buttercup and Trudy enjoyed a little romp in the sun, but came back to their pen in the barn to snooze.  Today is warmer, so I let them out again and fed their grain ration in the clean hay.  This seems to have done the trick for keeping them outside for a while.  They rooted around, ate, and then bedded down in the hay. 
Trudy, the Guinea sow

I moved the hay ring out to the tall grass in another paddock for the cows.  Now that the snow is gone I want to keep them out of the mud they have made in their corral.

As best I know, Trudy will farrow her litter in early April, but if she met Buttercup in early December, it could be as soon as the last week in March.  Either way she'll soon reach her third trimester (last 5 weeks in hogs) and need a little pampering.  Soon I will worm them both (actually, de-worm them) and after 14 days I'll move her to a new farrowing pen.  I'm not really sure where that will be yet, but I have more than two weeks to think about it.  The 14 days gives her time to shed her internal parasites and not carry them to the new area.


Anonymous said...

Hi. How much do you charge for your guinea hogs?

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen. I got your email but can't find it now, so I'm having to resort to commenting on your blog again.

My interest in the hogs is consistent with the goals of the American Livestock Conservancy people. I want to help keep the breed alive, and I'm interested in them as a useful farm animal. I would plan on selling the piglets and using the culls for pork. These really seem like the IDEAL hobby farm hogs. I love the temperament I've read about, as well as the size.

I also have Shetland Sheep. I plan to put up a website to promote the sheep and whatever other animals I might breed at any given point. I haven't done that yet.

I'm not completely sure I'll get hogs right now, but I am very interested in them and am trying to find out where I can find them. I'm in Topeka, so your location is ideal for me. And you seem like a very conscientious farmer. I have no doubt your animals will be in great condition.

One question - are they very stinky? I've never kept pigs of any type. How much pasture do you think they would need to keep the smell down? How is the smell when you keep them in? The animals we have now don't really put off much of an odor at all. Along with the sheep, we have a couple horses and a llama. Of course, there are three livestock guardian dogs. I guess their stuff doesn't stink because the paddock is large enough, and we don't even know where they poop ;)

Also, do they need to be kept separate from other animals? We have chickens, and I imagine they'll need to be separate from those? (I guess chickens are another stinky animal, but they free range, thus no stink.)

If I get hogs, it might be in a year. Really not firm on a time frame. In the midst of looking at moving, etc., so in flux and will need to have proper facilities at the new place (fencing, shed at minimum or a barn, etc.), but really interested.