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Feed & Care of Pigs

Keeping poultry is often the first step for Smallholders,
but next in line is usually pigs. Sometimes kept as pets but
often kept for meat, pigs make an excellent addition to
any smallholding.

Basic needs
Like most farmyard animals, pigs need secure space to
roam, shelter from the weather, a nutritionally balanced
diet and access to fresh water at all times. Ideally two pigs
would require around half an acre of securely fenced land
to roam around and shelter can be easily provided with
a pig ark, which can be bought from farm supply stores,
online shops or even at some DIY megastores.

Choosing a pig
There are a variety of different breeds of pig in the UK;
many have particular characteristics that could affect your
decision. For example, British Saddlebacks are very tame
and Tamworths produce good bacon.
Some things to consider when choosing a breed of pig are:

  • The size it will grow to
  • The type of pork it will produce
  • How tame or unruly it is likely to be

Laws and licences
Whether you intend to keep one pig or several, you will
need certain licences and documents as the guidelines
on moving farm animals were tightened following Foot &
Mouth Disease. Before moving pigs onto your land you
will need a county parish holding (CPH) number. This is
an identification number for the land and buildings where
your pigs will be kept.
To move pigs you will also need a licence. In most cases,
you can move pigs under the ‘general licence for the
movement of pigs’. The licence document tells you what
to do before, during and after the journey. Your pigs
should be fit and healthy to travel, and they should be
suitably housed for the journey.

Pigs are normally fed twice a day but the amount and type of feed
depends on the age and the reproductive state of the pig. A foraging
pig will obtain some of its food from natural sources as long as
the foraging area is able to provide it. This would include grass,
brambles, acorns, apples, and even earthworms. It is important to
supplement this with a balanced compound feed, to ensure that the
pig receives all the nutrients it requires. However, to satisfy their
natural desire for a variety of food up to 25% of a pig’s diet should be
made up with fresh vegetables such as celery, cucumber peppers and
greens. It is important to note that catering waste, from your own or
a commercial kitchen or anywhere that sells meat is illegal, consult
the Defra website for more information.

Feeding dos and dont’s

  • It is illegal to feed any household waste of any sort or in any form
    to pigs.
  • It is permissible to feed fruit and vegetables from
    non-catering premises. These premises must not
    handle any materials banned from being fed to
    pigs i.e. any meat or catering waste.
  • Pigs prefer their feed wet, so add water or
    surplus goat’s milk to their feed.
  • Pot-bellied pigs and Kune Kunes are prone to
    obesity so feed a diet specifically developed for
    their needs such as The Smallholder Range’s
    Pot-Bellied Pig Feed.

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The Smallholder Range, Norfolk Mill, Shipdham, Thetford, Norfolk, IP25 7SD
Tel: +44 (0)1362 822900. Email:
Allen & Page Natural Pet Food Company The Organic Feed Company