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To get pigs

(29 Posts)
Wishforafarm Thu 28-Mar-19 13:55:34

We have recently moved to a more country setting. As a child it was always my dream to have a farm.

I have recently purchased some chickens and there is enough room for some pigs. My DH flat out said no, but wont give me an reason other than "they smell" as to why not.

So for those of you who have or had pigs - what are the pros and cons?

adaline Thu 28-Mar-19 13:57:43

What would be the purpose of owning them? As in, are you going to sell them? Slaughter them? Keep them as pets?

I have to agree with your husband that I wouldn't want pigs too close to my property - they do absolutely stink!

Wishforafarm Thu 28-Mar-19 14:01:31

I think I would just keep them as pets as I know I couldnt bring myself to slaughter them

Aquamarine1029 Thu 28-Mar-19 14:09:38

They stink beyond imagination and pigs are not pets. Also, they are a huge amount of work. I agree 100% with your husband.

mummymeister Thu 28-Mar-19 15:02:15

pigs aren't pets. they will literally destroy any ground that you put them on. they need shelter when its sunny and when its cold. they need a lot of land to be truly happy. you need to see them every single day to check they haven't got cuts on them or dodgy feet. who will look after them if you go away for a weekend? They can be very aggressive and can grow enormously big. just don't do it. get some different sort of birds like guinea fowl.

as for the smell - its unimaginable really unless you can regularly rotate the ground that they are on.

ColeHawlins Thu 28-Mar-19 15:04:17

He's right. They reek.

They're not particularly good company, either.

QuestionableMouse Thu 28-Mar-19 15:04:46

A couple of sheep would probably be easier and cuter. Pigs can be aggressive, grow to be massive and long snouted types will wreck the ground. (heritage breeds usually have a shorter snout and are easier on the ground.)

cloudymelonade Thu 28-Mar-19 15:06:13

Grew up with them, they do smell a bit but they are the most wonderful companions. I'd have a pig over a dog any day, they are so clever and emotional and full of personality. Absolutely adore them smile

rosiejaune Thu 28-Mar-19 15:11:29

Only if you would be rescuing, not buying them. And have woodland they can forage freely in. They smell if you keep them locked in pens and feed them crap; anyone would.

maggiecate Thu 28-Mar-19 15:12:35

RSPCA advice:

Basically they don't recommend pigs as pets; you'll be subject to the same legal requirements as farmers, they have very specific welfare needs and can be stroppy buggers. They're strong, intelligent animals that require a lot of care and your husband is right, they do smell.

SquishyFishy Thu 28-Mar-19 15:14:54

There are a lot of one armed pig farmers in the world. They didn't start pig farming that way.

They aren't great pets.

Get a goat!

CandleLand Thu 28-Mar-19 15:16:38

How much land have you got? They wreck the land, like a digger has just been through.
We have some and they're intense.

Bluntness100 Thu 28-Mar-19 15:22:09

I wouldn't recommend it, my uncle got them, veitnemese pot bellied pigs and they made such a god awful mess of the ground, it was a nightmare and they absoltely stank and were way more work than you'd imagine, he bitterly regretted it.

GottaGoGottaGo Thu 28-Mar-19 15:43:18

As other have said, pigs can be lovely, but they can also be really vicious and destroy everything!

If you have the space, get a couple of donkeys, they are the BEST!!

Grumpelstilskin Thu 28-Mar-19 15:49:42

I'd get alpacas, as they are very gentle on the ground, causing little damage, poop in one area and generally require less acreage than some other animals. But they do still require dedicated care. However, their wool is highly thought after, so can help to offset costs to keep them.

Elllicam Thu 28-Mar-19 15:51:21

@squishyfishy what do the pigs do to the other arm??

BeanTownNancy Thu 28-Mar-19 15:54:11

Growing up, our next-door neighbours had a pig. He was lovely. I don't remember him smelling overly bad, but he was down the far end of a long garden.

We had goats - personally I think they make very entertaining pets. grin

SkintAsASkintThing Thu 28-Mar-19 15:55:20

Neighbors donkeys.

They hang out by the fence waiting for people to talk to them.

Just putting that out there.

Auntieaunt Thu 28-Mar-19 15:55:56

I second goats!

SquishyFishy Thu 28-Mar-19 16:30:25


There are a couple of farmers in our area that were 'relieved of their arms' by angry pigs. Not sure is the arms were recovered - didn't seem the sort of question to ask somehow! Seeing as they are happy to eat meat, if they weren't recovered, I'm sure the pigs would be happy to dispose of them. Was told that it's not as rare as you might think and there are plenty of similar farmers out there. A full size pig is a formidable force.

Dramatical Thu 28-Mar-19 16:33:47

I think of you are asking about having pigs as pets you don't have enough knowledge of the species to keep them.

RatherBeRiding Thu 28-Mar-19 16:35:55

I know someone who keeps some kune-kune pigs as pets. They are regarded as being the best natured and easiest to keep for an amateur and i don't think they are as hard on the pasture as other breeds - they do still make a mess though. I used to keep my horses with them and didn't think they were particularly smelly. However, their owner was an experienced livestock farmer.

Personally I'd go for a couple of rescue donkeys, or small goats. Or alpacas. Even "easy" pigs are still farm animals and as someone else said, subject to all the licensing and animal movement regulations that come with farm animals. Donkeys and alpacas are not subject to these regulations - not sure about goats though.

mando12345 Thu 28-Mar-19 17:05:35

Woman where I had my horse had a pig that had piglets, I looked after them when she went away they were no harder than horses to look after. Hers was not at all aggressive, obviously breeds differ.

Titsntats Thu 28-Mar-19 17:11:28

We live on a predominantly beef farm but every year we raise a litter of piglets altho they do end up being made into sausages (sorry everyone!)

They STINK! They are extremely noisy, have to be very well secured as they are escape artists so be prepared to spend quite a bit on appropriate pig-proof containment. They had to be cleaned out twice a day, and I mean properly cleaned out, all bedding taken out and everything hosed down and fresh put in, as otherwise the smell is horrendous. As mentioned by a PP, they can also be quite dangerous. We usually have around 10, and we couldn't go in with them without taking a large sheet of metal to protect ourselves and push them out of the way if needed. And these are ones that we raise from young so are used to human contact.

From my experience there are many other farm animals that I would choose as a pet before a pig

SilverySurfer Thu 28-Mar-19 17:45:30

Are you dreaming of getting a pig like Babe. OP? My aunt and uncle had a farm and many happy days were spent as a child screaming and trying to run away from their HUGE sow with us kids generally ending up in a ditch filled with stinging nettles (ouch).

Check out nearby forests, you could train them to go truffle hunting and make a fortune grin

WiddlinDiddlin Thu 28-Mar-19 18:01:36

You will need a smallholding number and various bits of paper from DEFRA.. you also need to get permission to move them off your property so if you ever have to take them anywhere.. thats a pain in the arse.

They want more land than you think and they will turn it into a muddy wasteland which will take over a year to recover (and work, harrowing, rolling, re-seeding etc)... So not something to take on lightly at all.

mirime Thu 28-Mar-19 18:08:27

Knowing someone who keeps pigs, I wouldn't. It is hard work, really, really hard work. Also, pigs are smart and will always be trying to outsmart you. Often they'll succeed.

The sausages are lovely though, and I eat them happy that the pigs had a good life.

Find someone near your who keeps pigs and have a chat with them about it perhaps?

Barbie222 Thu 28-Mar-19 18:12:13

Pigs aren't pets but if you want to raise your own organic meat and have a really big freezer and an abbatoir that will do just two or three you might be able to raise a couple of weaners for slaughter. I think you need some sort of license for pigs which you don't for chickens.

SrSteveOskowski Thu 28-Mar-19 18:18:52

My grandparents had them when I was growing up (farm) People say they smell. They don't smell. They absolutely and utterly reek. I grew up on a farm. Dairy mostly, and there is a serious difference between the smell of cow shit and the smell of pig shit.
They don't make good pets. Like most farm animals they're there for a reason. The reason in this case being bacon.

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