Pigs In Spaaaace…Out To Pasture

Last time on Pigs In Spaaaace, we discussed how to prep the pig paddock. Now it is time to put the pigs in space (or out to pasture ;-)).  But first, since I know you cannot wait for another Pigs in Space episode…

Moving on. Now that the pig paddock is prepped, it is ready to receive pigs. Depending on where the pigs are going (could be here at Polyface or to a rental farm), we load them into the Swinetrek (pig buggy) or trailer and then take them to their destination.  And then the fun part…watching them get off the buggy/trailer into their new paddock.  Pure joy.  Enjoy these pictures of this glorious event.


Pigs ready to get out of the trailer.



They are a little hesitant.



One brave pig!



Once one pig goes, the rest will usually follow.



Pigs on the Swinetrek heading to pasture.



We drove the buggy into the paddock and will unload there.



Unloading the Swinetrek.



Happy pigs.



More happy pigs.






Filling the feeder.



Another shot of filling the feeder.



Pig gate and pasture.

Chores for pigs on pasture involve checking on them every day or every other day. This means checking their water, spark/fence, feed, and the pigs themselves (walk the paddock, see how the pigs look and act).  We generally move pigs to a new paddock when their feeder is empty (just about once a week). Moving pigs involves moving their waterer, feeder, gates and battery/charger setup, if necessary. Of course, we also fill their feeder again at that time.  When the pigs are about 150 to 200 pounds, the are ready to move to a glen. More to come on that!




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About Heather Juda

Heather was born in Atlanta, GA, but spent 19 years in Colorado before moving to Virginia. She came to Polyface for the 2012 internship and has stayed on as the first female apprentice. She became interested in the food industry when she was in high school, and over the years sought to eat in a healthier way through community gardening, hunting and supporting local farmers. She had a very blessed and “comfortable” life in Colorado complete with a good IT career and condo, but on a calling from the Lord, she left it all to start a new life in farming at Polyface. She looks forward to seeing what the Lord has planned for the future and hopes to use what she learns at Polyface to provide healthy food for people!

7 Responses to Pigs In Spaaaace…Out To Pasture

  1. Lucy says:

    Those are some happy-looking pigs! Also, love the PIGS IN SPAAAAACE references!

  2. Naomi Chaffee says:

    I love your illustrations in pictures! I just bought “Pigs in Glens” and can’t wait to watch it 🙂

  3. When am seeing this pigs photos I feel very happy. Then the pictures looks are very natural and wonderful too…)

  4. Kathy Cullen says:

    If you just started driving the tractor forward real fast with the swinetrek gate open, you’d get pigs in space!! Sorry. Just HAD to say that. 🙂 Really great pictures, Heather. Love, Ma

  5. Melissa W says:

    Do the pigs need some kind of shelter while out in the paddock? Can you give us some information about what size of paddock they need? We are almost 2 weeks in to raising 4 pigs (around 13 or 14 weeks now). 1 for our family, and 3 for other families interested in good meat! They have been with the training fence for almost a week now, and won’t go anywhere near that corner of the pen. We are ready to move them out. I am SO nervous, they will just jump the fence and run! I see you all have several pigs in your paddock, so I know the size will be bigger. Is there a rule of thumb about the amount of space a smaller group of pigs will need? I am so excited to find these posts. I usually follow Polyface happenings, but haven’t been to the Hen House recently. PS. I have warm feelings in my heart when I think of Pigs in Space from my childhood! 🙂

  6. nathan fountain says:

    I have read many of Joels books and watched many youtube videos. I am confused though about pigs and their feed. Joel has a special blend made up and feeds 2 tons per 50 pigs before each move. When I look at non GMO feeds such as Texas Naturals, it is $800 per ton. Can this type of feed be given free choice like your feed, or is it just small amounts given each day. The reason I ask this is because in Oklahoma there are no mills that handle Non GMO feeds. I don’t think it is possible to raise 300 pigs when feed would cost 800 per ton. Can you comment on any of this. I am very interested and confused. Thanks Nathan