Originally Posted by bradygaz
New to smallholding the last few months... want to engage more on here as just so much to learn from others... great community on here...
Have 4 acres which was a former tree nursery ten years ago in Delgany Co. Wicklow... 2 good sized polytunnel frames all in place so landed on my feet... although serious clearing up required... think no plastic on tunnels and 40ft ash trees growing in tunnels!!
Pig herd number application gone in... waiting for inspection... hopefully this week or next... made up pig arc with salvaged galvanise and got some ply from a family carpenter... looks the job... have put up 4 strands of electric fence around about 1/5 acre to begin with... can expand when they have ploughed that area...
will be trying to source veg etc to keep feed costs down... any feed tips appreciated. Trying to stay away from meal if possible.
Once pigs settled in will be looking to get 1 tunnel covered and get fruit, veg and salad going... some chickens too.
Exciting year ahead!!
Make sure you have a couple of strands of electric fence around the poly tunnel in case the pigs escape.
I used to breed and rear pigs Tamworth, GOS, Saddleback and commercials. Fed (fattened) them on soaked barely (bought from a local farmer) with some waste veg (mostly spuds) sourced from a local farmer as well as them having a wide area of grassland to graze/root. IMO outdoor pigs (with a proper dry shed/arc) are easy creatures to rear compared to other farm animals and seldom need any interference other than tagging bonhams and dosing breeding sows/boars.
There is lots of info on the smallholding thread regarding poultry but there are other Irish poultry websites that specialise in keeping poultry that you could refer to for advise, here are a few that I know of :
And a informative site for pigs including the only Irish breed - Tamworth (Irish Grazers) http://www.britishpigs.org.uk/
Also don't rule out rearing a couple of pet lambs for the freezer.
Also you need a poultry flock number for your poultry and sheep one if you decide to rear lambs - http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/animal...emisesanimals/