Raising a pig is not difficult if you research the correct way of doing it and prepare in advance before you bring your first pig home. There are three important aspects to raising a pig – housing, nutrition and handling.
If you raise your pig outdoors, you will have to build shelter for it. It doesn’t have to be fancy as long as it’s sturdy. You can build a pyramid-shaped shed out of some used plywood and sheet roofing, or you can invest in a commercially constructed shelter. What’s important is that it has plenty of clean straw for bedding, which you should change regularly, is open at one end to provide ventilation, and elevated slightly off the ground to keep it dry inside. You can also build it on skids so it can be moved easily to prevent it from getting muddy inside. And make sure that it is placed in a shady spot to keep it from getting hot. You can also dig a small water hole for the pig to cool off in; just refill it daily. Finally, don’t forget a water trough, since pigs need to drink a lot of clean water to keep healthy. Change the drinking water on a daily basis.
Raising a pig means feeding it properly. While you can feed the pig table scraps and spoiled produce, this will not raise a healthy pig with good-tasting meat. You need to find the right feed for the pig – preferably something made of natural ingredients that have no antibiotics or other additives. Provide the pig with plenty of fresh greens since this will cause it to gain weight more quickly. You also need to supplement its feed with high protein grain, since pigs cannot eat meat. Also, make sure that the pig gets plenty of exercise so its meat will be leaner and have less fat.
The final aspect of raising a pig is proper handling. Pigs are intelligent, friendly creatures that also crave attention, so make sure you spend some time playing with them. And when you’re taking them out of their pens, particularly if you’re going to butcher them, handle them gently, since they can be scared to death by over-stimulation, and their meat will no longer be good for eating.
Raising a pig can be very rewarding, particularly since you are ensuring a meat supply for your family that is healthier than what you can buy at the market since it is free of chemicals and drug residue.