By Heather Jackson, contributing writer
I blame Craigslist.
A year ago we added a new adventure to our lives when we responded to an ad on Craigslist and went to pick up three cute, squealing, pink pigs from a nearby farm to add to our homestead. While we have thoroughly enjoyed having pigs on our little farm and having the pork in the freezer, owning pigs isn’t for everyone. Here are some pros and cons to consider before you make the leap into raising pigs.
Raising Pigs: The Pros and Cons
Pro: With pigs on our homestead, we have zero food waste. Like, ever. The pigs eat all food scraps we throw their way. We scrape our dishes into the “pig bucket” that sits on our kitchen counter. We also pour in leftover milk, stale cereal, and whey from cheese making. Basically, if it’s edible (not moldy) they will love it. This keeps the cost of feeding them very low for animals so large!
Con: Pigs eat a lot, which means that pigs poop a lot. While they are much cleaner than we are often lead to believe, their pens can really stink on a hot day! They generally designate a corner of their pen as the restroom, which seems rather civilized, but is still quite smelly when you are downwind. If you have close neighbors, they might have well-founded objections to your pigs.
Pro: Pigs are smart! Some are even sweet and friendly and interacting with a friendly pig can be a delightful experience.
Con: Pigs are smart! They can figure out ways to escape their pen and once they do, they are difficult to catch! They will need a strong enclosure, likely electrified, in order to keep them where you want them. (Jill: TRUTH. You should see what our pigs did to our front yard this summer…)
Pro: Pigs are fun to watch. … [Continue Reading]