In recent years, raising backyard livestock has gained the interest of many urban dwellers. Whether raising animals for meat or as a family pet, there are certainly a few issues that must be addressed. While smaller animals, like chickens or rabbits, are popular choices, others may prefer to think even further outside of the box. Keeping backyard pigs as pets is just one example of those who have started raising larger animals in small spaces.
Raising Pigs at Home
For many, backyard pig farming is worth consideration. Unlike many livestock animals, pigs require less space to be raised. This is especially attractive to those wishing to keep pet pigs in the backyard or for homesteaders on small farms who wish to raise their own meat.
Before keeping backyard pigs, there are several factors that will need to be considered. Raising pigs at home can be difficult for a variety of reasons.
First, homeowners will need to confirm that it is, in fact, legal to do so. Many cities or homeowners’ associations will have strict guidelines regarding raising animals in otherwise residential areas. Checking with local regulations before purchasing pigs will ensure that no fines or legal issues result due to the newest addition to the yard.
Although pigs require less space than some other animals, they will still require access to shelter, food, and an ample water supply. Creating a fenced area for the pigs may also be difficult. Due to their nature, pigs are known for their ability to easily escape pens and fenced areas. This aspect may cause especially irritated neighbors, should your new pet escape.
Backyard pig farming does not come without cost. In fact, those wishing to grow pigs for meat may quickly find that feeding is quite the investment. Foraging pigs can quickly destroy a small backyard space and will need additional food to ensure their proper growth. Table scraps are not a suitable diet for pigs, and can even cause disease. Establishing a proper diet with balanced nutrition will be essential for producing healthy pigs.
While pigs in the backyard may be a viable option for those with larger spaces and prior experience, many homeowners may find the cost of raising swine to be overwhelming. However, with proper fencing, shelter, diet, and care from a veterinarian, those who are committed to the welfare of their swine can raise healthy and happy pigs in their own backyard.