by Tony York
It is sensible to attend a course on keeping pigs before you start or as soon as you can. It will make you a better pig keeper and undoubtedly save you money in the long run,
The question is “Which course should I take?”
For those wishing to become full time commercial pig keepers then a full or part- time college course is recommended. These are run by your local agricultural college or university. Those with the intention of becoming a ‘Small Scale’ pig keeper should bear the following in mind when looking for an alternative course:
a. The course teacher should have long-term experience in teaching and pig keeping. Good pig keepers are not always good teachers and you need both.
b. All pigs are different so look for a course that corresponds to the pigs you will keep. It is no good attending a course for meat producing pigs if you want to have a ‘pet’ pig. If breeding interests you then look for a course that includes this.
c. There is no substitute for age when it comes to experience.
d. Learning is an ongoing process so look for a course that continues to offer help and assistance upon completion.
e. Ask the course administrator for the contact details of previous participants and speak to them about their experiences on the course.
f. The quality of the course is of the utmost importance, the cost and location are less so. A local course will be of little use if the content is not suitable or badly taught. In life you usually get what you pay for
g. Look for a course that covers a broad range of pig keeping information. You don’t want to have to pay to attend another course later.
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