Our First Pigs

19 Feb 2013

Pigs in their dog run on their first day home

In May of 2012 we purchased 2 wiener pigs from a local Craigslist ad for $80 each. They were a couple of castrated males. One was a pink pig, the other was black and pink.

We kept them in a 7' x 12' dog run for a few days until we bought 6 16' x 3' hog panels and 12 5' T-Posts.

The pigs main job was to clear one of our pastures that had become overgrown with salmon berries and blackberries. Using the hog panels and T-posts I assembled a 16' x 32' run for them to live in. I made a 3 walled shelter from 3 pallets that had plywood tops. This wasn't the best shelter for them but it did keep them dry.

Pigs in thier run

The two pigs immediately began rooting up all of the grass in search of yummy roots and grubs. When they were little it took them a couple of weeks to almost completely plow up the 16' x 32' run. They also didn't seem to do a very good job at clearing the salmon berries or the blackberries by the root. Rather they did a better job of eating all the foliage and loosening up the ground. I later had to remove the bulk of the salmon berries by hand.

After a couple of weeks, all rooted up.

After they had removed most of the vegetation and uprooted most of the rocks (we have very rocky ground) I would move their pen and they would begin all over again. After a month or two, as they began to grow in size and strength, I would have to move their pen about once a week. When they were about 4 months old, they would finally start doing a better job of removing most of the salmon berries and black berries by the root, making my job of removing the rest a lot easier.

It wasn't long before they learned that they could push their way under the hog panels. I then had to string a hot wire around the inside of the pen about a foot or so from the ground. This worked really well at keeping them in.

My freezer stocked with 300lbs of pork :)

One day I didn't hook up the hot wire after moving them and the pigs escaped. When I came home from work I found their pen empty and they were nowhere to be found on our property. I started to freak our a little and began to search all over looking for them. After about 30 min of searching, I found the pigs hanging out in one of my neighbors yard with the neighbors. Luckily they were happy to see me and followed me home. After that incident I made sure their hot wire was always on.

We finally slaughtered the pigs In January 2013.  Mike Erickson from Erickson's Mobile Slaughtering came over with his truck and did a very professional and humane slaughtering of my two pigs. Mike has been slaughtering animals for nearly all of his life and was very proficient at dressing them out. He charged me $120 for the both of them which included dropping them off at Stewart's Meats in Yelm.

My two pigs weighed in at 300lbs fully dressed.

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