Anyone with experience with pigs?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Country Gal, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Country Gal

    Country Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Hi all,

    I moved "out to the country" about 3 years ago and have been so excited to get some livestock. I am finally starting my little hobby farm this year and will be starting out with 25 chickens and 2 pigs. [​IMG]

    Does anybody have experience with pigs? I am in the process of setting up the barn to accommodate them, so they will have approximately 16' x 18' of barn space, plus a fenced in area outside of 12' x 16'.

    I'm assuming that I need to get some hay to throw down on the floor, a water bucket and a food trough. I priced out the pig starter food at TSC, about $10 for 50 pounds - how long should this last for 2 pigs when they're small, and when they're big?

    My MIL works at a produce stand from August through October, so she is going to hook me up with the fruit and veggie "seconds", which should supplement their feed. Can I throw grass clippings in there as well, throughout the summer?

    I think they should be ready for the butcher by September, and since I'm not a butcher myself, does anyone know how much I would expect to pay to butcher a pig?

    One last question about the fencing... I'm planning on doing the fence about 3' high, posts every 4 feet, with wire fencing from Home Depot. I also picked up some 2x10's to bury underneath the fence so they can't dig themselves out. Will this be sufficient?

    Thanks for your help!
    Kelly
     
  2. Freebie

    Freebie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    I have a couple of pigs, not alot of experience but I can tell you some of what I know. Your pen and barn area sound great for them. You can actually keep their food dishes full and they will only eat till they are full. They are very smart animals, and can be kept in electric fencing actually. One year we had a big ole boar and he got out of our pig fencing and went in the horse pasture. Must have got shocked on the way in and it was nearly impossilbe to get him back out of the pasture. He probably would have stayed in there forever. He would follow us all around but would not go through the gate.

    Cost for butchering depends on where you go of course. We spent about 300 dollars one year and that was having them killed away from the farm. And we had it done another year and they came here to kill them. That was about 250 I think. I would check out butchering costs in your area now. It also costs more or less depending on the cuts, sausage, or whatever you want. If you want just a 1/2 a pig for a pig roast that cuts the cost alot.
     
  3. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

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    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    Hi Kelly,

    I have had a little experience with pigs (I used to be responsible for raising 2 million a year!!!!). Thank goodness you are sticking with just a few.
    First of all square footage...to take a pig to slaughter weight (250-280 lb) will require a minimum of 16 square feet per pig in a pen as you describe. Your pen size is more than adequate for 2 pigs. Plan for your outside area to become a 12 x 16 mudhole as the pigs will root up the dirt and it will become a mess. For the inside area, straw bedding is necessary for the pigs when it is cold but because pigs cannot sweat and are very susceptible to hot temperatures, it is better to leave concrete uncovered in warmer weather. It is cooling to the skin and you can also wet it down in hot weather which helps the pigs ability to cool themselves off.
    A feed trough is OK for just a few pigs but expect some feed wastage because the pigs will root the feed out. A Smidley one-hole or two-hole feeder would save you a lot of money on feed wastage. Just google "Smidley Hog feeder" and you will find info on these. A water bucket is going to be hard to secure. Pigs are very curious and destructive. You really need to mount a nipple waterer for them to drink from. It should be adjustable so you can change the height as the pigs grow.
    Feed...depends on what size pigs you are getting. Most people get either weaned pigs or feeder pigs:
    1. Weaned Pigs - need starter feed from 12 lb. - 40 lb body weight. Each pig will eat approximately 60 lb. of this feed to go from 12 - 40 lb. At 40 lb. the pigs should be switched to a pig grower ration. This will take them from 40 - 150 lb. They will eat approximately 250 lb. of this ration. From 150 lb. to slaughter weight, they will be fed a finishing ration and eat approximately 390 lb. of that feed (to 260 lb. bodyweight). Therefore, if you get the pigs at 12 lb and take them to 260 lb. the amount of feed will be 700 lb.
    2. Feeder Pigs - just use the above guidelines but start the pigs on a grower ration.

    It will take weaned pigs about 6 months to get to slaughter weight (feeder pigs about 4.5 months).

    You can feed the pigs anything else to supplement their ration. They will eat anything!!!

    Fencing...3 feet will not cut it when the pigs get bigger. You need to use 48 inch wire at a minimum. Also, the only way to keep them from rooting out the bottom of the fence is to use a hot wire. One strand of electric fence run along the bottom of you fence about 3 inches off the ground will keep them from rooting. You cannot underestimate the strength of a 260 lb pig.
    Also, don't forget to plan for a loading chute.

    Slaughter cost...varies from place to place. In our area, you can get a pig slaughtered and processed for about $50. Best bet is to find a farmer that does it and trade some of the meat for the processing.

    Andy
     
  4. Country Gal

    Country Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Thanks for the input!

    Electric fence is not an option at this point - I really can't afford to run electricity out to the barn right now. I figure that if I enjoy doing the pigs this year and want to make in an annual thing, or if I want to raise some other kind of animal in the barn, then I'll consider the cost of electricity.

    One of my friends knows a butcher and he said that he would come to my house and do the kill and then take him for butcher. I'll have to check on the costs...

    Thanks!
     
  5. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

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    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    Quote:You can get an electric fence charger that uses solar power. Mounts outside the barn...no electricity necessary.
     
  6. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    above all make sure you have an escape proof pen.pigs love to breakout been there done that.an make the fence 4ft high.an make double sure they cant digg out.i always fed my piggs chops an corn.an throw away milk from the dairy if we had any.an itll take 6 months to grow them to butcher weight.
     
  7. xrayman

    xrayman Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Central IA
    you can get battery powered fencers too. Run electrified barbwire that'll keep them off the fence
     
  8. mwendig

    mwendig Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2007
    This had some great information but I wanted some feedback on my possible adventure as well. I live on a hay farm with a dairy farmer for a brother. I am still in college. But I wanted to raise some pigs for meat this summer. A place to keep them is not a problem my questions are feed, time and butchering/selling.

    Feed-I can get all the corn silage, haylage and cow grain (custom blend type) I want from my brother. Plus compost scraps etc. If I feed a ration of this how much grain vs. silage should I use and would I still need to include some commercial grower and then finisher??

    Time- Is threemonths enough time, that is how long I am home from school and it needs to be wrapped up by the time I leave.

    Butchering-I am interested in doing it my self and need info on this? I butcher my own deer so I think I can handle it. Also how much meat should I expect to get: I want to make it so I have enough for myself, parents, and my brother. Also what could I expect to get if I sell it either as a whole pig or perhaps selling it to neighbors etc? I was thinking of basically trying to break even cost wise.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  9. xrayman

    xrayman Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Central IA
    3 months that'll be pushing it, just matters on what size you buy, you can by feeder pigs @ 80 lbs, weanlings @ 10-15. I like to butcher mine @ 300 lbs. the pigs i get are bred to be lean, and they sell them @ 260lbs so i let mine get a little fatter makes em taste better. Feed ground corn is probably the best, keep them on full feed. Do you have any hog farmers near you, just stop and ask they know alot more than me, if not i can ask around i live in the land of hog farms lol.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2007
  10. mwendig

    mwendig Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2007
    Thats what I figured, I think since I am just looking for meat for myself that will work out. Unfortunately we don't have any real hog farms around here just dairy and crop. And a few McDonalds farms running around.

    Thanks for your help
     

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