When we embarked on this pig farm adventure, I never thought I would be talking about growing pigs organically. But the little pig farm has become a passion that requires us to take on management practices that we did not know were possible 2 years ago. And why not, since we started pig farming to ensure the quality of the meat that we share with our family and friends. The largest obstacle for us has been switching from commercial worm medications to organic dewormers.
There are many commercial swine dewormers available, as well as antibiotics and many more chemicals and sprays that we have found to be more of a money pit than a viable solution( We buy from Jeffers ). Unfortunately, pigs must be dewormed. Our pigs are grown on the ground, where they play in the grass and dirt. The exact same spot that those nasty little micro-organisms like to play. We had to find a different way of treating this problem, in a manner that would not leave us asking, “when did we give that pig a shot?”. All of the commercial swine products that I have found have a withdrawal period. This means that after you give your pig those medications, you must wait an appropriate amount of time to allow the poisons to leave the pigs system before you can safely consume the pork. Sounds delicious right?
There are, however, several alternatives that we have found to be effective at treating swine for worms. Diatamaceous Earth (D.E.) is a great natural remedy, not only for internal parasites, but for fleas, ticks, and flies as well. Do not buy this from your pool store, it must be food grade or you could do more harm than good to your hogs. Garlic is also known to be a great natural weapon to fight internal parasites. Garlic can be minced and put directly into the feed. Generally this will be an ongoing treatment not only to kill the parasites, but to keep them from wanting to come back.
Currently, we are fencing pastures to give the pigs an added benefit of natural grazing. While they are in pens at the moment, they still have room to run and act like pigs. We ordered our boards from Dewayne Watson. He owns a local sawmill so we can get our fence boards a little cheaper and we are sure they have not been treated with any undesirable chemicals. Once the fence is up we will treat it ourselves with Organic Wood guard. This will keep the fence protected from the elements, while protecting the pigs and chickens from undesirable chemicals.
As we move toward sustainable farming, we hope you’ll join us. The end results are not only more rewarding, but we are not leaving a cesspool behind for our children and grandchildren to clean up or live with. I’ll be sharing more on this subject as we transition into organic pig farming and sustainable living. Get the RSS feed and feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear what’s on your mind.