Do pigs always destroy land?


Farm Hand
I'm interested in raising either Duroc or Red Wattle pigs. While looking up information about raising pigs, I've noticed that the images are somewhat bleak. The pigs are always in a desolate pen with a few patches of grass and lots of mud. It looks like a wasteland. Is that just how it is? Do they destroy the land? I'm assuming that the pen didn't start out so barren and the pigs had plenty of space so overcrowding isn't the issue.


Farm Hand
Haven't had pigs, but from all I've read (have/do consider getting a few pigs at some point) they tend to be nature's rototillers - one example:

Only thing I've ever of a way to stop that rooting behavior is the nose rings ....which is/has apparently become a contested ethical issue. Other method some may use is rotational grazing of the pigs to minimize the severity of the damage (given the things pigs naturally eat when not cared for rooting is just natural exploratory/feeding behavior).

At least that's my understanding....

The Big Cowhuna

Farm Hand
They destroy most plant life in short order, which is why you're running across more images of hogs in pens instead of wide-open pastures. They create deep wallows in the soil, but they don't destroy the soil. When I raised hogs I used rotational grazing and turned them out to the woodlot more often than the paddock. They did less damage in the woodlot and that gave the paddock time to recover.


Golden Chicken
We keep ours in a pen that we move around about three times a year. To keep parasites down, we move them around every three months in the summer and every six months in the winter. We also go one year without using the same spot to cut down on parasites and to give the land a chance to recover. Turning them out to pasture wasn't workable. Rooting is their natural behavior. They won't be happy if they can't root around and that will lead to health and behavioral problems.