Welcome to the Education Section of the Registry!
We will continually be adding information to help each of you gain insight into this amazing breed of pigs, so check back frequently!
A-Frame Shelter Design
The A-frame shown above has the dimensions listed on it and A – Frame shelters are a great way to provide not only shelter for Idaho Pasture piglets, but adults as well. The A-frame also works extremely well for farrowing because as the sow walks into the shelter, her back will naturally hit the slanted roof and she will lay down. That will naturally provide a space behind her for the piglets and aid in preventing the sow from laying on any piglets. We have been using this size for many years and it is a perfect size for boars and sows alike. Our pigs can comfortably fit 4 – 5 adults into the shelter. We fill it with straw for the cold winter months and leave it bare with cool dirt for the warmer summer months. We recommend putting 3/4 inch treated plywood on both of the sides and cutting a triangle section to completely cover the back. The front is left completely open and we recommend facing the front opening away from the direct wind.
Importance of Minerals
When a pig becomes deficient in any mineral their body naturally wants more. Since minerals are found in the dirt, it only makes sense that they will then start to dig in the ground to get more minerals. Most of the ground in the United States is extremely deficient in selenium, so a deficiency of selenium in your pig will be noticed sooner than most other mineral or vitamin deficiencies. Pigs with a selenium deficiency will start rooting in the dirt to try to get the additional minerals even if they have never rooted before. In the same way, if your pigs become deficient in any mineral, they will dig in the ground to get more. Depending on how you are feeding your pigs will determine how you need to mix your minerals into the feed. Idaho Pasture Pigs are able to eat primarily grass, so they can eat a small amount of grain per day and do very well. Traditional pigs are fed free-choice feed each day, so the minerals mixed into feed for traditional pigs is not mixed at a high enough rate for primarily grass fed pigs. Unfortunately not all swine minerals in sold in the United States contain the same amount of minerals. For that reason, it is very important that you get a mineral mix that contains the necessary minerals. Here is an example of the NexGen 2090 swine mineral tag that we have personally used for many years now and can vouch for how well it works when raising Idaho Pasture Pigs. We have found that mixing our minerals into our feed at 100 pounds per ton of feed provides our pigs the necessary minerals they need when feeding about 10 – 20% of grain a day. This means that 80- 90% of the diet for an Idaho Pasture Pig can be grass/hay or fodder.
Mineral Supplements and Feed Locations Across the United States
Special Note: All information has been found to work for breeders in these areas, but is not a 100% guarantee that it is perfect for your pigs. Consulting a nutritionist is the only way to know exactly what minerals you need for your pigs in your area. For ALL of these feeds, unless otherwise noted, the pigs are getting hand fed 2 – 6 pounds of feed each day based on time of year, weather conditions, age, grass/legumes availability, body condition, and whether the gilt/sow is pregnancy or lactating.
Jodi has written this book about raising pigs on green pasture after years of raising Idaho Pasture Pigs. Learning from other people’s experiences and mistakes is one of the best ways to learn. The hope with this book is that you take what works for you and implement it into your farm. This very educational book about raising pigs on green pastures can be purchased at:
The Idaho Pasture Pigs Registry has a YouTube channel with additional educational videos. Click the link on the top of the page to go directly to the YouTube channel!
The Registry has developed an Educational Pamphlet that we feel encompasses the most important points for new owners and breeders. We encourage you to print it out and not only use it as a learning tool for you and your farm, but also to hand out to new buyers along with the purchase of their new pigs.