COMMUNITY SMALLHOLDING PIGS
We have four Welsh White Sows who are ready, willing and able to produce piglets for Members for years to come. Pigs live over ten years so these girls are hopefully going to be with us for a long time.
I am putting the time in with them and they have been handled from when they first arrived here. Three of them have names. The other is not so friendly so if it is appropriate only three pigs may go on to produce piglets. It is totally dependent on when Members join and the fencing opportunities.
We have an electric fence but already the naughty one has got out. She is back with the others now but her life is looking a little under threat. She is always the hardest to catch and is the least friendly. She is also the smallest.
The three that are definitely staying (Lily the Pink, Pink Floyd and Tilly Trotter) are adorable. They are easy to handle and they love to be stroked. Lily will sit down if you stroke her head. They are being brought up as pets and if they are welcome on the smallholding bit they would love to be there and have as much fuss as possible.
Members will have the opportunity to raise their pigs from birth. Any raised pigs that are not needed for the smallholding could be sold to pay for animal feed for the rest and the monies set against Members' Fees. So again it is a chance for Membership to be free.
We have four cross breed pigs which are the reward for the early members. Each member will be able to have half a pig if they take on these pigs. They would need fencing, feeding and then when they go to slaughter each member will get Half a Pig for the freezer.
If there is interest then we would suggest that the Holding starts making chorizo and other preserved meats out of the spare pigs going to slaughter. Extra meat could be sold off as well and the funds could go towards Members' Fees or buying extra equipment that is more of a luxury.
We have plenty of books and a DVD on preparing pigs post slaughter. There are also plenty of articles on the subject in magazines which we also have.
Pigs will need fencing. We have electric fence but we would suggest that at least for the first year that the pigs are put on what would be the vegetable patch. It will need properly fencing anyway and they will do all the hard work for you.
Reading the Farmers Guardian 15 September 2015 there is an interesting piece about the Pig Market. Prices are going up so our mixed breed pigs could go to market if Members would rather have the money off of their membership than have a pig for the freezer.
There is a good article in Farmers Guardian 15 September 2017, Page 19
"Charcuterie makes pig farming pay"
It may be that we can follow some of the successful ideas that Alastair Crown has managed to put into action.
Home Farmer Issue 111 June 2917
On a long term basis it may be possible using the solar electric fence to move the pigs into the woodland for a while to give them shade and so that they can benefit from the undergrowth there. This would be outside the normal Community Smallholding Area.