Raising animals who outweigh you by large amounts obviously can have dangers attached. Our hogs are larger than black bears – and as a general rule their mere presence will deter all local predators from approaching your homestead (thereby protecting fowl and grazers) with the possible exception of a very large grizzly bear. So, their status as a large dangerous animal has its advantages too.
The key for us is to be friendly and calm with them – to join a Porcinety … a society of pigs and people.
Now, factory farming disagrees and tries to unnaturally control the pig’s movement with small pens and metal bars. This in turn makes pigs frustrated and angry … and even more dangerous to humans when they are together – factory farms lose 70 farmers a year to pigs in North America. Still, we are talking about beings who demonstrate curiousity, affection and loyalty, who are gentle, loving and nurturing parents. When they are calm and unpressured, they are really quite sweet. Consider engaging with a pig very similar to engaging with a 400 pound dog.
Both pigs and dogs have dominance based cultures, and if you are going to deal with either safely, it is important to maintain yourself at the top of their hierarchy. If you watch, you’ll see some lower members of the hierarchy sometimes get picked on. You will be in much more danger of getting hurt if you let that happen - whether with a Jack Russel who weighs 20 pounds, or a Leopard Hog who outweighs you significantly. Still, dominant does not have to exclude kind, gentle and loving actions. Look at the more than 500 pound boar engage with his less than five pound offspring running in and out between his legs.
Still, learning is best with some direct experience and example included. So, we are refining How to Hog U which teaches the whole spectrum of knowledge required from housing and fencing, to feeding and health care, to slaughter and butcher. With maybe 50 to 100 hours of training spread out over two or three years, most committed people can master every aspect of raising homesteading hogs. What if you could get your own meat into your own freezer without any outside help?back