One month out.

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7 years 4 months ago #39160 by Geoffa
One month out. was created by Geoffa
Hey guys,

My fiance and I have just purchased our first lifestyle block just outside Palmerston North (Whakarongo). Moving day is one month out. I've been chain reading articles on here for the last couple weeks to try and build my knowledge.

She's massive into horses and has that side of things down pat. I'm looking to run a couple of cows and pigs for freezer. Both my father and uncle have had lsb but have since retired to city life so I've managed to get some advice from them.

I'm looking for a couple herefords or herefords crosses to fatten up for homekill. Nothing to flash for my first crack at it. I was considering anguses as their a bit smaller and delicous but i'm told their very expensive. If anyone could give a me a contact in the local area it would be much apreciated.

Of note we don't have a loading ramp. We do have a horse float which would be suitable for the size of a cow but i'm unsure if they would travel safely in one. Anyone have any experience in this?

Likewise with pigs I'm looking for a pair. I'm entirely unsure about breed for these guys. My uncle suggested just get whatever the local pig farmer has and make sure he rings them. We intend to raise the pigs just in the paddocks with a small amount of extra feed from scraps ( mostly excess fruit from trees in season).

All in all any advice would be much apreciated. Paticularly local contacts of good people who can help us out with the various farm jobs. Animals, Homekill, Haymaking etc etc

It's an exciting time and I can't wait to get on the ground and start working. This website has been a great help so far and no doubt more so in the future.

Cheers, Geoff

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7 years 4 months ago #502390 by Aria
Replied by Aria on topic One month out.
Good choice, Palmy, but then I would say that! :D :D :D

I think you'll love it - a very easy going lifestyle here.

You didn't say how much land you had. But on the pigs, we never had them but from our neighbours experience .. they are great at escaping! (And then not easy to catch, either :-)).

Good luck with the new property!

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7 years 4 months ago #502402 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic One month out.
Pigs are very good at escaping, even with nose rings. I've tried but could not keep Miss Piggy contained. At about 6 months she had killed one hogget, and nearly kill my fearless sheep/cattle/goat/donkey dog, so she had to go. It cost us $160 in feed, and lots of destroyed pasture. Very few people around here run pigs in the paddocks, and then only where they have pig height high powered electric fence, and small gauge netting fences. Don't budget to graze anything at all in the pig paddock.

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7 years 4 months ago #502416 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic One month out.
Welcome! Travelling cattlein horse floats is possible. If they are panicky you may want a float without a gap above the ramp but I haven't had any jump out. Once you are moving they focus on balancing.

I think pigs would not grow well just on scraps. They are not grazers so I don't think pasture will provide enough for decent growth.

Good luck, you may find the horses take up all the grazing...they each eat as much as several cattle and tend to increase in number to fill the available space... I speak from experience!

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7 years 4 months ago #503226 by Geoffa
Replied by Geoffa on topic One month out.
Thanks for the advice guys. Everyone seems to be unanimous on the idea of pigs in paddocks.

Only one week to go now, can't wait. Stand by for a flood of questions.

Cheers, Geoff

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7 years 4 months ago #503233 by Kiwi303
Replied by Kiwi303 on topic One month out.
Some pig breeds do fine on just pasture, Durocs did fine for us, they littered while the goats were milking up north and were simply used as milk cleaners to take any surplus. if mum made cheese, there was no milk for them, if she was too busy, they got milk. Otherwise they just had the paddocks and free ranged. Due to being fed milk ad hoc they never went too far from the food source so escaping was not a worry.

You Live and Learn, or you don't Live Long -anon

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7 years 4 months ago #503240 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic One month out.
Hi welcome to the Manawatu .....we are at Halcombe, I run Wiltshire sheep..low maintenance ..plus 5 Galloway cows and a mini Angus (low line bull) . I like the smaller animals because they are good to handle, can be done in the sheep yards and they are easy on the land. Less pugging .
I also do a couple of pigs ...Berkshires this year ....just buy them locally, I have a few contacts..but large blacks, devons, saddleback are all good as they grow well on pasture and out in the open...I buy in September and kill off before winter ....you don't want pigs in mud and cold.......I don't ring them and they plough up the paddock nicely...and are fed on excess fruit and veges.
There are several home kill, Country Meats feilding do an excellent job, so do Whariti meats in Woodville and A1.
Bunnythorpe hs a good feed place that is open 7 days.
Feilddays are in two weeks at Feilding some good contacts there.....
Welcome to come and have a look, have a couple of Galloway x Angus sale normally have 4 or five a year we eat two and sell off the others...

Just be aware some horses HATE pigs.......

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7 years 4 months ago #503267 by Geoffa
Replied by Geoffa on topic One month out.
Kiwi303 - That sounds similar to what i had hoped to with pigs. We are planning a mixed orchad. Just for our own use so it will be one or two trees of everythign we enjoy eating. Any fruit that ended up on the ground or was no good would go to the pigs. So sometimes plenty and sometimes not so much.

kindajojo - I'd be interested come out and look have at your animals. From what I've seen price wise angus and galloways might be a bit beyond our means this year. you mentioned the pigs plow the paddocks nicely. Whats the benefit in this? Most people seem to recommend ringing them to prevent exactly that.

A couple people have mentioned wiltshires. This could be a good option for me. I butcher my own deer so I can't see sheep being a huge leap. What maintenance do they require if not sharing? Drench and feet?

Oh and a good heads up on the horses vs pigs thing. My fiances horse is very mellow but when have grazers that may be an issue. Where we are planning on keeping the pigs is separated by shelter belts from the other paddocks so maybe that will enough.

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7 years 3 months ago #503279 by Kiwi303
Replied by Kiwi303 on topic One month out.
You'll need to ring your pigs, either use commercial clip types or sharpened wire.

Using wire I find Barbed wire to be perfect. Snip off about a 6" strand and untwist, discarding any barbs, then sharpen one end. The single wires are at once softer than high tensile, thinner than No 8 and thicker than lacing wire. Hi Tensile is harder to get a good close and twist in, No 8 is too thick and lacing wire too thin, but barbed wire singles are just right.

You Live and Learn, or you don't Live Long -anon

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7 years 3 months ago #503286 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic One month out.
We kept Miss Piggy in the glasshouse in the orchard. Even with rings in her nose, she loved to root around the trucks, so she undermined many of the 15 year old fruit trees. I think that rings work by causing a wound in the nose, and this injury means that digging is painful. But after the wounds have healed then new rings have to be put in (unless she has learnt not to dig, which did not happen with Miss Piggy) you have to ring the nose again to cause a raw wound. At half grown, Miss Piggy was too strong for 2 men to hold still enough for The Manager to put rings in. Also the squeels were painfully noisey.

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7 years 3 months ago #503289 by Kiwi303
Replied by Kiwi303 on topic One month out.
No, the rings work by being put in behind the gristle of the nose into the softer nasal tissue, but no so far in as to actually penetrate through muscle and meat. the biggest problem is people ringing so far out they only get the ring in the outer insensitive gristly part of the nose.

If you have raw wounds, you have gone too far in, they should heal up like an earring does.

They do work out gradually, but should only need re-ringing every half a year or so, before the old ones come out.

Ringed properly, none of our pigs rooted. They'd snuffle and push around piles of cow pats, and tip over stacks of fallen kanuka/manuka tops from firewood cuttings, but the wouldn't dig up the soil to eat the roots of the grass or subsoil dwelling critters.

P.s. My old mother held old sows still so they didn't move while I ringed them. All it takes is a stout post and a rope, plus bribe.

Spill some pig nuts or chopped windfall apples on the floor of a pen, make a hangmans noose or slip knot noose in the rope, dangle the loop in front of her nose and when she lifts her head to chomp on a chunk of whatever, quickly flip it into the mouth behind the incisors and pull tight, as she backs up, flip a loop of the rope round the post and have the helper pull it firm. Friction between the loop and the post means it only needs a steady firm hold to keep the rope in place. the pig keeps backing up and is held in place by her own efforts to escape. You can take your time calmly ringing her and making sure you place them properly without wrestling on the ground trying to hold down a squirming, solid, lump of squirming, shrieking muscle.

You Live and Learn, or you don't Live Long -anon

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7 years 3 months ago #503349 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic One month out.
If only we had known .... :-) Miss Piggy might now be 20 kg muscle, 20 kg bones and innards, and 160 kg of fat, instead of just the 40 kg fat we got off her .....

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