Pigs - Things to do this Month - Summer
Signs of good health:
- a healthy pig is a lively, active and interested animal
- good appetite
- soundness, no limping or signs of discomfort
- joining in with ‘the gang’, a pig on its own in a corner is not a healthy pig
- bright, clear eyes, no discharge
- moist muzzle, no discharge
- firm droppings
- good skin condition, no scabs or continual scratching
- haired breeds should have smooth, lustrous coats
- no coughs or sneezes
Establish a Routine:
- Visit your pigs at least twice a day, preferably same time each day
- Feed & top up drinking water, and make sure each pig gets its ration
- Do a quick ‘all’s well’ check
- Check fencing, especially electric fencing which can easily ‘short out’
- Clean feed troughs and drinkers
- Keep up-to-date with worming and vaccinations
- In hot weather, make sure your pigs have shade at all times – a hot pig is not a happy pig!
- The white-skinned breeds can also suffer very badly from sunburn if they have no shade
- Periodically oiling their skin can also help keep it in good condition
- Keep pens and runs clean to deter flies.
- In addition to clean drinking water (a pig will need up to 10 litres of water per day) try to provide a ‘wallow’ for your pigs, not only does this help them keep cool, but the mud also acts as a ‘sun block’ in summer and an overcoat in winter!
- Pigs are intelligent, playful animals – so provide them with safe toys: balls, skittles, traffic cones and pipes will all provide hours of fun! Old tyres are popular but may contain hazardous wire. A broom head fixed to a wall will provide a welcome scratching place.
- Your pigs will enjoy a daily ‘grooming’ session with a stiff brush; it will keep their skin in good condition and time spent with your pigs makes you more alert to the first signs that something is not right with their health.
Feeding Your Pigs:
- In addition to their pelleted ration of feed, pigs will enjoy a wide range of fruit and veg to supplement their diet and provide a bit of culinary interest!
- Remember, it is illegal to feed any kitchen waste to pigs
- APPLES, including windfalls, will soon be plentiful and will be relished by your pigs, but have little food value so ensure they don’t ignore their usual rations in favour of the apples.
- If you enjoy foraging in the hedgerows, your pigs will also enjoy ROSEHIPS– a rich source of Vitamin C, and HAWS– both in small quantities (no more than a small handful).