Over the last few years at the practice has seen a large increase in the number of households keeping pigs
This is both as pets as well as for home reared pork. Pigs can be a great alternative to conventional pets or as an addition to ‘Grow your own’. They can however, be highly destructive, live for over 15 years and are subject to the same disease controls and regulations as commercially farmed pigs, which must be complied with.
Keeping pigs needs careful consideration. If you are thinking about keeping pigs here are a few starting guidelines:
- You will need a CPH (country, parish, holding) number before any pigs are moved onto your premises. This is available from The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) Tel: 0845 603 7777.
- Ensure the pigs are properly and legally identified before they are moved on to your property and once they arrive they will need to be registered with Animal Health by phoning the local Animal Health Office.
- Remember that pigs must NEVER be fed kitchen scraps or waste human food.
A guide for New Keepers of Pigs can be found on the Animal Health website www.defra.gov.uk./ahvla-en/keeping-animals/registering/pigs
- For pet pigs the smaller breeds such as Kune Kune or Vietnamese potbellied pigs are popular. ‘Micro pigs’ are also popular. Be sure to source Micro Pigs from reputable breeders and ask to see the parents first to see the adult size! We see a lot of ‘Micro pigs’ which as adults are in fact quite big.
- For pork, breeds such as Berkshire, Tamworth and Whites are popular.
- Pigs will require at least half an acre of land per two pigs, strong or electric fencing (pigs are excellent escape artists), a shelter, plenty of bedding and access to clean drinking water. It is also wise to have some strong gates available to pen/catch the pigs when required.
- As mentioned early it is illegal to feed pigs any waste food, including kitchen scraps. They should be fed a commercial pig food, available from any local agricultural merchant. Obesity is not unusual amongst pet pigs so always follow the feeding guidelines for the size of pig being fed. Fruit and vegetables straight from the garden can be fed.
- Pet pigs and breeding pigs will require routine worming as well as vaccination against diseases such as Erysipelas.
- Talk to your veterinary surgeon prior to purchase about measures to comply with animal welfare regulations and how to keep your pigs fit and healthy.
If you have any questions about keeping pigs or about pigs you already keep please feel free to call and have a chat. Tel: 01795 532180