When you let the pigs out in the rain

Written by Stephan Schwab on December 21, 2019

It’s been raining heavily over the last few days. That’s an event which needs to be celebrated here in this area. In our mediterrean climate it rains a lot over fall and winter and then during summer there is no rain at all. Water is an important resource and we have an ongoing effort to reshape our landscape to retain as much water as possible.

However, when it rains and you let the pigs out:

What you see in the picture is actually not as bad as it looks like. There are several things to note:

This is the path for the animals so that they can get on their own from one paddock to another. They have four legs and no problem at all to move around rugged terrain and don’t need a nice looking path to travel along.

The pigs have destroyed all vegetation that was growing there. But then again, it’s a path not a pasture area. It is actually a good thing that there isn’t much to eat for all the herbivores we keep. The pigs do find food along this path as the oak trees let acorns fall onto the path and sometimes the pigs simply don’t want to move but instead enjoy a good meal of acorns. That’s what the iberian pig does and it’s good for the ham later on.

The puddles on both sides of the path are less good. We now know that we are loosing water here and we need to figure out what landscape modification to do in the paddock to the right.

To the left is the fenceline we share with our neighbor. We started to put in some additional posts and were about to install the electric wire when the rain started. The idea here is to use an electric fence to keep the pigs from digging underneath the fence in order to get to the other side. The electric fence also helps to prevent them from getting too close to any kind of animal on the other side which should improve our biosecurity.

Do you have any questions or thoughts you want to send to Stephan Schwab? You can send them to sns@caimito.net