Feeding The Pigs in Pengeragoan, Bali

Every morning and every afternoon, my friend, Kadek feeds her 2 pigs which are penned a 10 minute walk from her house. Before leaving home, Kadek changes her clothes and puts on very old clothes and wellington boots because the pigs are very messy! They are kept on land belonging to a friend of hers and other than the pigs, the land is mainly a fruit orchard. Their pen is made from bamboo lengths staked together to make a rectangular shape about a meter high. The base is concrete and incorporates a feeding dish and a water bowl.

20130702-174547.jpgThere is a shelf under the roofline which is an old door resting on a bamboo frame. The roof itself is tiled and completes a very sturdy structure.
When we first arrived, the pigs squealed with delight and jumped up against the bamboo railing to impress on us just how hungry they were and that they were not impressed to have been kept waiting!

20130702-175239.jpgTo keep them busy, Kadek threw a few kangkung (Ipomoea aquatica or water spinach) plants into their cage while she cleaned out their cage.

Using a ladle, she splashed the concrete floor with water from a small gravity fed concrete water storage tank nearby, Then with a long handled scraper, Kadek stood outside the cage and pushed the fresh manure out under the back railings to the pile of decomposing manure behind the coop. The manure when old enough will be used as fertilizer. Surprisingly the manure pile was not smelly at all!

Kadek then began to prepare their meal. First, she took down one of the buckets from the shelf above the pigs. In it was a mixture of shredded banana trunk, shredded elephant leaf plant including the root which was grated and chopped kangkung plants.

20130702-193456.jpgTo this mixture, she added a few ladles of powdered rice husks, which is also stored in one of the other buckets up on the shelf above the pigs,/>
20130702-193648.jpgand then mixed it together with kitchen scraps topped up with water. ><br/20130702-193812.jpgIt is then all mixed together to make a mash and fed to the pigs in batches. They are such messy eaters that if they were given the entire bucket of food in one lot, most of it would end up splattered everywhere and wasted. They surprisingly would only eat the food if it was in their ‘bowl’. Whatever ended up on the floor was trampled and totally ignored!

While the pigs are eating, Kadek used that time to refill the bucket with shredded greenery.

20130702-201050.jpgShe sat on a large rock while her children either sat or played nearby!
Firstly the banana trunk is sliced thinly with a sharp garden knife using a plank of wood as the chopping board.

20130702-200145.jpgAfter the banana trunk is sliced, it is then chopped finely.

20130702-200349.jpg To this she added chopped kang kung, chopped elephant leaves and grated elephant leaf root

20130702-202906.jpgThis mixture is then tipped into the bucket which is returned once more to the shelf above the pigs coop ready for the pig’s next meal.

While Kadek tidied up around the pig pen, I walked around taking photos of the fruit trees. The most interesting fruit trees I saw were cacao trees (Theobroma cacao).


20130702-204202.jpgThe fruit looks so interesting and it is amazing to think chocolate comes from this fruit!

20130702-204506.jpgThe fruit is opened and the seeds removed and then dried in the sun. Many families here grow these trees and it is very common to visit friends in Kadeks’ village and find the seeds drying in the sun. A buyer visits the area regularly buying whatever is dried sufficiently to transport and process.

Other fruit trees here include banana palms and coconut palms.

20130703-070526.jpgBanana palms grow in clumps as they sucker from the bottom whereas the cacao trees are planted more orderly. Paths wind between the trees and weeds are kept low by the cow owners who cut the grass with a scythe when it is long enough. The cows are hobbled in a nearby field.

Kadek then washed down the pigs.

20130703-072656.jpgThe pigs do not like being washed and squeal and try to dodge the water but their greed is ultimately stronger and eventually they submit to the wash so they can continue eating. While washing them, kadek checks their skin for bites and sores. There are hundreds of mosquitos here as well as all sorts of other bugs, so just before we leave, Kadek sprays the manure mound and the area around the coop with insect spray.



6 thoughts on “Feeding The Pigs in Pengeragoan, Bali

  1. Are they kept as pets or are they destined for babi guling? This reminds me of the time I stayed at my aunt’s house and hearing pigs squealing at night. In the morning, there was babi guling! Poor pigs! My sister and I made pinky promise not to join in the eating, but it was too tasty to resist!

    • The pigs more than likely will end up as babi guling. They are definitely not pets! They are purely an extra source of income and while need a lot of time and attention, cost next to nothing to raise. Love your memory of eating babi guling! Such a Balinese delicacy!

    • Thanks Elizabeth. I am visiting Kadek again soon and will take some footage which hopefully will be good enough to make a video from! It is such a good idea. Thanks for your encouragement!

  2. Had sandy warner’s class today and read them some of yr blog off my phone…..and showed them the pig pen. They were fascinated and really well behaved I have to say as well! Hope everything is going well with visas and things x

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