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Pigs can tolerate mud and rain, but are not too happy being out in the wind, so their shelter’s door should face away from the prevailing wind. Housing can be any shape and size, they don't mind as long as it has some straw, which they will make into a cosy nest, for night and the worst wet and coldest days. They are very clean animals and they don’t soil inside their houses, which makes cleaning much easier.

Pig nuts are the best complete diet for pigs, which you can get from your local farm suppliers, but bread, vegetables and fruit, are good for them, especially if it’s fresh from the garden! Ours also enjoy our excess of fallen fruit from the orchard and acorns from the oak trees. It is very important that you do not feed them any dairy or meat products.

Pigs drink a lot so you do need to provide access to fresh water daily. During the summer months they like a wet muddy area known as a wallow, if they don't have one they will up turn their water troughs and make their own.

Vaccinations are required against Erysipelas every six months and if you’re breeding then it's advisable to
Vaccinate against Parvo virus.

Worming - as with all animals they are susceptible to infestations of worm build up. How often they need worming will depend on their environment and how many pigs share the paddock. For a heavily used paddock it is usual to treat them against worms at least every six months.

There is a choice of injecting a worming product such as Ivomectin or oral preparations such as Panacur, which can be purchased from your local farm supplier. There are also pellets which can be added to their food.

You can usually see a build up of lice around the backs of their ears and look for constant scratching which is also a sign of needing treatment.

Even if you have only one pet pig you will need a holding number and a herd number from DEFRA. Use the link below to get the relevant information of legal requirements before you purchase any stock, or phone (0845-050-9876).
www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/id-move/pigs

Defra will also advise you on the regulations if moving your animals. A record book is provided by Trading Standards - Animal health section.  By law a record of inter-site movements and medical treatments must be entered into this book.

You may need planning permission, albeit our experience is that this is rare, however it is worth checking with your local council.

If you wish take your pigs for walks outside of your own grounds you will need to contact your local Animal Health Office, who will have to approve your route. The licence is renewable every 12 months.


If you would like more information about all aspects of keeping pigs please give us a call.  We would, of course, recommend that you come on our one day "hands-on" Smallholders course, which covers much more detail in subjects such as legal requirements, feeding, daily and regular routines, housing and environment, breed knowledge, health and medical treatments.  (See our Training courses website).


 
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