All About Swine
Pigs are a farm essential.
Though they are often misunderstood, pigs are more than the dirt-loving, mud-seeking, eat-anything-and-everything stereotype portrays them to be.
Pigs are intelligent, curious, particular, socialized and loving animals—perfect for the small farmer!
Whether you already have pigs or if you are considering a little oink for your farm, Popular Farming™ Series’ Pigs has everything you need to know from choosing a breed to handling and breeding techniques.
With beautiful photos and in-depth articles, Pigs is a must-have for any swine enthusiast or small farmer.
What You’ll Find
As an all-encompassing guide to raising pigs, you’ll find helpful and interesting information about all aspects of swine breeds, husbandry, breeding and farrowing, daily care, protection from harsh weather and disease, and even some advice on how to understand pig behavior when handling your herd in "The Pig Behind the Oink.”
"For generations, hogs have been bred selectively for docile behavior; their first instinct always has been to flee from intruders or other stressful situations. Only in defense of their young or when pushed very hard will they demonstrate anything even approaching aggressive behavior. Always bear in mind that pigs in a group tend to do everything as a group. The hog is a social animal that wishes for nothing more than to remain with its fellows and be part of that herd mentality.” –Kelly Klober
Pigs has all the information you need to get started with your swine herd or to learn more about how to raise and care for your pigs. If you haven’t started your herd, you’ll find helpful breed profiles to aid you in choosing what breeds to add to your farm.
There are an amazing number of breeds to choose from when deciding what type of pig to raise.
From the Yorkshire to the Hampshire to the Landrace or the rare Large Black, there is a lot consider, such as climate, hardiness, size and temperament.
There’s a lot to know and Popular Farming’s Pigs can set you in the right direction with its in-depth breed profiles and helpful advice, such as that offered in "Heritage Hogs,” a guide to rare and endangered swine breeds.
"Heritage hog breeds vary in terms of type, performance, and suitability to different husbandry methods and climates. Each breed has a distinct personality and physical characteristics. Highly adaptable, they can thrive in most weather conditions. All breeds are capable of producing two litters per year with the proper care. In addition to the low feed inputs required to raise heritage hogs, these breeds offer an incredible resistance to parasites and to diseases. This resistance is very attractive to people interested in raising wholesome meat without added antibiotics, anthelmintics (dewormers) or growth enhancers.” –Arie McFarlen
If you are still looking for more information about breeds, breeding, farrowing or feeding and housing pigs, each article provides links and sources, but you can also turn to the "Resources” section for an in-depth listing of breed organizations, supply houses, veterinarian organizations, periodicals and much more.
From farrowing to handling swine herds to building field shelters or recognizing a sick sow, there’s a lot to know about raising pigs.
Popular Farming’s Pigs can offer help. Get detailed do-it-yourself plans for building a farrowing shed, a shade shelter as well as a portable shade shelter—essential equipment for anyone with pigs. Also get a veterinarian’s advice on how to recognize ailing pigs as well as how to treat and prevent the top 10 most common ailments in your herd in "Safeguard Your Swine.”
"Swine can suffer a variety of illnesses that can be prevented by good management practices. The key is to start out with healthy breeding stock. Buy from a reputable breeder and talk to his veterinarian and his previous customers to learn more about his pigs. It’s important to ensure your new pigs’ good health before purchasing the animals and incorporating them into your herd.” –Haven Hendricks, Ph.D.
Beyond the Pig Pen
You don’t have to watch your pigs graze in the field all day. There are a lot of activities that pig owners join in with their swine. Popular Farming’s Pigs shows you some of the many options. From training your pig to run races to entering them into the Pig Olympics to joining 4-H and teaching your sow tricks, there are more fun-filled pig activities than you ever imagined.
Take your pigs beyond the pig pen to show them at state fairs or 4-H competitions. You can even volunteer your favorite sow as a therapy animal for troubled children and the elderly.
Whether getting pigs for the first time or improving an existing herd, Popular Farming’s Pigs has all the information you need to raise, breed and enjoy your swine—it’s an essential resource for anyone interested in raising pigs.
The Swine Story
Throughout history pigs have been revered—and reviled—by cultures around the world. Discover the many roles of pigs our past.
By Sara Rath
The Pig Behind the Oink
The porcine mind is intelligent, curious and clever. Gain some insight into how pigs think and how to improve your handling skills by understanding their actions.
By Kelly Klober
The genetic diversity of swine is dwindling as rare pig breeds continue to disappear. Check out these endangered breeds to see if you can help protect our heritage hogs.
By Arie McFarlen
A Pig Plethora
Modern swine breeds such like the Yorkshire and the Duroc are among the most prevalent pigs in the world. Meet the breeds that define American pig production.
By Cherie Langlois
Pigs are not difficult to keep, but it’s important to know the porcine care basics. Read our tips on how to keep your pigs happy and healthy.
By Arie McFarlen
To maintain a breeding herd of pigs takes time, commitment and experience. Get the breeding basics to learn how to improve your hog herd.
By Kelly Klober
Safeguard Your Swine
Pigs can suffer a number of ailments if not properly managed. Get advice about how to treat and prevent illness in your herd.
By Dr. Haven Hendricks, Ph.D.
Porcine Chores 101
Hogs aren’t complicated when it comes to their upkeep, but they must be cared for daily. Learn how to keep your pigs in the pink.
By Sue Weaver
Pigs are hardy creatures, but they still need protection from broiling sun, chilling rains and freezing temperatures. Check out these do-it-yourself shelters—your pigs will go oinkers for them!
Pork … Naturally
Organic pig production requires staunch commitment, but the rewards may be well worth the effort. Find out if natural pork production suits your farm.
By Matt John, Ph.D.
Gone to Market
Pigs can be a successful venture, even for small farmers. Get tips on how to start your own porcine enterprise.
By Matt John, Ph.D.
Pigs at Play
Keeping pigs isn’t all about dirty work—there are many ways to enjoy your pigs that don’t involve chores. Discover the myriad opportunities to have fun with your pigs.
By Sue Weaver
Porcine parlance explained.
Breed associations, veterinarian organizations, supply houses and more.
Why We Love Pigs …
All Popular Farming Series Publications