Pad Locks/Pastures and Field Rotation

          Now let's start talking about pad locks and field rotation.  This is very important you will have an area of field that's just going to die.  It's called a dry lot, it's where the pigs like to hang out.  There are a few reasons for this one of which is there is going to be a lot of traffic in this area, the pigs are going to eat everything, the grass, roots, and seeds out of the soil.  You're going to feed them here on occasion to get them used to coming up where your loading area is, ground corn/feed corn itself kills grass.  You can't be shocked or alarmed when this occurs, don't spend your time fighting it, it's counter productive.  With cattle operation it is called a corral.

          With that said we're going to move on to dividing up your field into pastures/pad locks and a training area which is essential.  The training area is where you are going to train your pigs to understand what a hotwire fence system is.  It should consist of a few things and should also double as your dry lot.  Depending on the amount of pigs you have you should have around a quarter of an acre for a dry lot.   You have to have running room for the pig so when they discover the fence they don't take off running in the opposite direction and run through the other side from being startled.  Your hot wire should be 5 to 6 strans of 14 gauge wire space no more then 6 inches apart with no less then a 50mile 2joul charger on it.  The 6" spacing of the wire is, becuase you want the fence to make contact with the pigs upper and lower jaw and not hit the animal behind the eyes. If the fence is space too far apart and hit behind the eyes it could confuse the animal and drive it through the fence.  During training I recommend the peanut butter trick which I picked up from wild life and game.  You take a peace of aluminum foil and tear it off in small 5"x5" square peaces and smear some peanut butter on the sqares then fold them over and hang then on the hot wire.  I know it sounds mean but, what it does is cause the pig to approch the fence and smell the peanut butter.  It allows the pig to receive negative stimulation through the tip of the noise and lets them know even though something smells good does not mean it is.  I also recommend using rebar for your post it is really cheap to set up.  It's also easier to install and move than wood posts.  You should also use some kind of visual aid to assist the pigs in seeing the fence.  In my humble opinion, I don't think pigs can see very well, but they do have a great sense of smell so tieing ribbion on the fence will help them know it's there at first.  In time they will realize and learn the smell of the hot wire fence.  

As you can see from this photo it is very important to have at least 3 grounds on your fence charger spaced 10 foot apart each.         

























As you can see from the photo below it is important to complete the circuit.
         


















         

          Now from material I have read you can run 34 pigs per acre, but in my personal experience I don't think that's true.  Maybe if you have grade A pasture. 
In absolutely perfect idea conditions I'm sure that these numbers can be achieved.  ​​Although in my situation with soil like I have on my property, I have the absolute worse soil you can have, about the only thing that likes to grow on our soil is weeds.  Which means we have to build our pasture up.  So we had to plant things in our field that we know are going to grow, but are not harmful to our pigs.  Here are a list of no till forage, which are seeds you can just go out and spread on your field without tilling.  Clovers, Red clover, Ladino, Crimson, Dutch white, Rye grass for binder, Hairy vetch, Seven top turnip, Purple top turnip, Rape, Cow peas, Austrian peas, Radishes, Beets.  Now I would have to suggest one of the first things to plant would be the white clover, because hogs love it.  It spreads fast to keep up with over grazing, and it actually puts nitrogen back into the soil which is great for the soil and other plants.  White clover has been studied by different Universities and shows to put anywhere from 100 pounds to 200 pounds of nitrogen back into your feilds also legumes will do the same.  Although legumes will have to be tilled or drilled into your feild each season, but our goal here is to maximize profit with as little effort as possible.  Running machinery to plant feilds when there are other ways and other things just seems like a waste to me, but thats me.  Now another trick in my arsenal to growing hogs is kudzu! Now this plant gets A LOT of negitize focus, becuase of the speed at which it grows.  What a lot of people dont know is Kudzu typically has a 15–18% crude protein content and is over 60% total digestible nutrient value.  It has been reported to grow 1 foot a day during its peak in summer and European and Chinese settlers once brought this plant here to the United States to cut feed cost of their herds of livestock.  When it comes to kudzu hogs love it. I go out and gather the root every spring and fall to trasplant to my feilds and the hogs have wiped it out every year since.  A good rule of thumb would be try and keep it 70 feet away from anything standing that include trees fence line ect., because it will grow 60 feet out from the point of where you plant it and you do not want it to escape your hogs reach.