Self Sufficient Living

Swarm Collection 01752 516619

Pigs in the City

Pigs are great fun to keep and as part of our desire to be as self sufficient as possible we have found a way to keep them in an urban setting . There are some important legal things you need to do, register as pig farmer at the DEFRA website to get your county parish holding number, herd number and movement licences etc.

Next you need somewhere to keep them, with enough room for two pigs, keeping one pig on it's own is not recommended, they need company, an area of 15m x 10m per pig is the minimum the more you can give them the happier they will be.

We have some friends who are also interested in self sufficency and we are sharing some land they have access to.

Decide what breed of pigs you want to rear and when you want to rear them, We decided on Gloucestershire Old Spot and Landrace cross and to rear ours in the summer as they spend more time foraging outside and is warmer so have less fat. Our are both female pigs 'gilts' , which are easier to handle.

pick your pig
Pick up a pig

Keeping Pigs in their plot can be tricky as they are very strong and can pull ou a fence post by lifting up the wire with their noses.

We have fenced it with stock fencing and an electric fence to prevent then pulling up the wire fence. corner posts are concreted in

The right feed is esential for pigs to achieve their optimum weight without producing lots of fat. There is a rule of thumb that a pig is fed 1lb of feed per day for every month of its life up to a maximum of 6 months or 6 lbs per day. We feeed ours, half in the morning and the rest in the evening with scraps during the day. Growers nuts are fed up to 12 weeks then finishing nuts to the end. If they dont clear the feed after 10 minutes then remove the remainder and give it back at the next feed.

Pigs will do anything for an apple or stale bread cakes, etc meat of any type is not permitted due to health reasons, ours don't seem keen on veg but love the roots they have dug out with their snouts.

Pigs 1
pig exploring

Housing for pigs needs to be tough, dry and as draught free as possible.
Our is built on top of pallets, with a plastic sheet under with concrete slabs under to stop both damp and rats from burrowing up underneath. 12mm shuttering ply is screwed over the top of the pallets . Walls and roof are made from 3 curved galvanised corrugated sheets screwed to the pallets, with 18mm thick shuttering ply cut to fit the curved walls, front and back with a timber frame to support.