Getting started with your pig will no doubt conjure up vast amount of questions. You must establish where your Oxford Sandy & Black pigs are going to live. You may be lucky to have outbuildings already or you may have to start from scratch or modify an existing building.
Those of you who will be keeping their pigs traditionally where the pigs will be living outdoors, able to roam freely where ever they choose, but with adequate protection from the fundamentals. Such a life will give them access to fresh air, minerals and a varied environment for their physical and mental being.
Oxford Sandy & Black Points to be considered:
- Where will the holding be sited
- Do you have to comply with planning and other land requirements
- Keeping of records
- How much land will you have
- What kind of land do you have
- How will you fence your land
- How will you manage the land
- What housing will be required for your pigs
- Proposed site of the pig house/s
- What surfaces will be required
- Will you need a food store
Then there are the points to consider about oneself – Are you up to keeping an Oxford Sandy & Black Pig ?
As I have mentioned, keeping pigs is one of the most fantastic experiences you will ever encounter. But you must be prepared to put in the time and effort and money so as to be productive and effective. Keeping pigs outside and on a small scale tend to attract people who wish to spend time with their Oxford Sandy & Black Pig.
Below is a list of what is involved in taking care of your Oxford Sandy & Black pig and which you may wish to consider before acquiring this beautiful breed.
- Do you enjoy animals and most importantly pigs
- Do you like outdoor activities
- Do you mind if you get dirty, muddy, wet, cold, hot and wearing overalls – which are not particularly glamorous
- When keeping pigs is this to be a hobby, a mini project with other animals or a business
- Will you be prepared to give 100% 365 days of the year to your Oxford Sandy & Black pig.
- Do you regard yourself as physically fit
- Can you lift bags of food and bales of straw
- Are you robust enough to use outdoor equipment i.e. shovel, spade and pushing wheelbarrows
- Will you be willing to go out at night, in the cold and as a result stay up all night to tend to a farrowing or tend a pig that may be unwell
- Do you have any allergies to animals or dust
- Do you have neighbours who may not be happy about you owning pigs
- Do you live somewhere feed may be easily delivered and vets will be able to assist
- Do you have good water supply (you may have water from a well which may dry up in summer)
- Are you away from home most of the time
- When mucking out will you have an area to dispose the manure
As I have mentioned before the Oxford Sandy & Black breed are wonderful creatures but not everybody thinks that way so you must make sure that they are adequately housed, not to the annoyance of neighbours unable to breakout and if they do will it be out onto a road into a neighbouring garden etc.
- You will also have to consider how easy will it be for you to get to and from the visiting areas of your pigs for example.
- You will need to feed your pigs and inspect them regularly
- You may need to go out at night if you have a sow giving birth or a pig that is unwell
- You will have to move your pigs from time to time, whether it be to slaughter, for birthing, a visiting vet or bringing new pigs in.
- You will also need to register with DEFRA to advise them that you have pigs, this is for the pure reason if a breakout occurs they are able to contact you enabling them to take the correct action and necessary measures.
- You will also need a County Parish Holding number (CPH) for the land where the pigs will be kept. This is a nine-digit number. The first two digits relate to the county your pigs are kept in the next three digits relate to the parish and the last four digits are a unique number to you as the pigs’ keeper. You will need to contact your Rural Payments Agency. Customer service telephone number is: 0845 603 7777. Click the link to take you to the website: www.rpa.gov.uk/rpa/index.nsf/home