Raising a pig for meat

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by suenrob, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. suenrob

    suenrob Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2008
    Ft. Myers, FL
    We are thinking of getting a young pig to raise for the freezer. I have a few questions.....ANY HELP WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED.!!
    What breed? male or female? best age to butcher? housing? feeding?
    Thanks guys [​IMG]
  2. davidb

    davidb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2008
    north east Georgia
    We use to raise pigs for the freezer,But with the high cost of feed its cheaper to just buy one between 250-350 lbs put it up for 2 weeks on straight corn to clean it out and yum yum , if you go with a boy make sure its a gilt,
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  3. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    A boy gilt would be a rare pig indeed. I think he meant if it is a male make sure it is a barrow, not a boar. They are rank.

    The cost of feeding a pig is quite high and frankly you can probably buy pork from the supermarket for less. However if your motivation is to have great pork that you have produced yourself go for it.

    Most of the time folks buy feeder pigs 40-60 lbs and just feed them until they are 250 300 lbs. They are sort of a pain they are prone to get out, they root a lot, they make a fair amount of noise and in a barn can make a pretty big mess. I have three in my barn now and will never have pigs again unless I set up some kind of outdoorr situation with a little shed or coop. They just arent my thing I guess. It really makes no difference if you buy a male of female providing the male is castrated (barrow) they will gain very nearly the same and the meat is not different one from the other.

    Good luck
  4. tknjk

    tknjk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 28, 2007
    Abilene, TX
    I don't know anything about domestic breeds, and raising hogs, but I hunt, and trap a lot of wild boar.
    In my opinion the smaller the better, but that may just be true of the wild variety. I just butchered
    4 for the freezer yesterday each around 80 lbs. No bacon, or pork chops, but it's going to be good either
    way. I have a 5 lb. bone in ham in the oven right now for dinner tonight.
  5. suenrob

    suenrob Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2008
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Thank you all for the info so far. I was just looking on Craigs list and there are some 40lb hogs for 40.00. I asked how old they are and he said 6 months! I was thinking they should weigh a lot more by 6 months. What do you all think?
    also, is there a particular breed I should be looking for? Still not sure if we will do this or not, just collecting info. If the majority of you say its not worth the trouble, than I won't bother.
    Anyone else want to add their 2 cents worth????? Thanks [​IMG]
  6. beak

    beak On vacation

    Dec 12, 2008
    Kiowa, Colorado
    I can't tell you the right things to do. However I can tell you some bad things not to do.

    Be sure your pen is a long way from your house. Pigs stink really bad and they create a lot of flies. Be sure your pen is very very secure. They are very smart and hard to catch. We had two weanlings and we put them in what we thought was a secure pen. It took us a couple hours chasing them around to catch them. they would get head to butt next to each other and watch you close in from 4 sides. Then they would circle around grunting at each other and make a break for it. The neigbors sat on their porch watching and got a lot of laughs.

    They will eat just about anything but try to keep the fat content down. Our pigs had too much fat and it showed in their meat.

    Finally when you have them butchered on't let them over smoke the bacon and ham. Our butcher did that to us and we ended up throwing it away.

    Best advice is to buy one from the butcher and have them make it the way you want it. Most processing butchers sell meat and you can buy some first to see how much they smoke it and such.
  7. Fredster

    Fredster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    We raise our own pigs for meat, two at a time. Of those, we sell 1.5 and keep half a pig for ourselves. The sale of the other three halves just about pays for our meat.

    It costs us about $275 to raise a pig and have it processed. One pig yields about 160 pounds of meat, so it's more or less $1.75 per pound. I don't know what pork goes for in the store, but I do know ours tastes WAY better than what we used to get in the store.

    We keep the two pigs on close to half an acre of pasture, with a shelter they can get in to get out of cold or inclement weather. Their area is fenced with field fence and a single strand of electrified wire about 10 inches off the ground to keep them from rooting under it. We've never had anything get anywhere close to an escape; the electrified wire works wonders. With that much space, the smell has never been an issue.

    We always get Yorkshires, which are the standard pink pigs you see in pictures.
  8. hatchaholic

    hatchaholic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    We just raised and processed three pigs. They were a Yorkshire/Landrace cross. We bought all three at approx. 40 lbs. We had two girls and a castrated boy. (If you get a male, make sure it's castrated or you will only be able to use him for sausage and pepporoni!!) When all was said and done, it cost us about $1.75/lb. We used a processor that is USDA inspected. I have to say, the meat is so much better than what you buy in the store. And, you know what it is fed.

    We now have 3 Tamworths (2 females and a male) and 3 Berkshires (3 females). We should be getting our male Berk around March. We plan to breed them to sell, and always keep pork that we raised in our freezer.

    With that said, I have to disagree with some of the previous posts. Yes, pigs are very smart and can get out of their pens; however, we have never had a problem with that. We built the pens with hog panels and use an electric fence, and we've never had one escape. Also, pigs are not smelly animals. Like anything else, you have to clean up after them. As long as you clean the poop out, you hardly can smell anything. They really are clean animals.

    I love our pigs and I can't imagine not having any around. You can raise them affordably, and the meat is delicious. Just make sure if you decide to do it, you don't skimp on the cost of the pen. If you cut corners, you will be chasing pigs!! And, when it comes to feeding, remember "garbage in..garbage out." We always feed quality food and supplement with things like vegetables from our garden, oats, grass, and other treats. Never raw meat!!

    Good luck!! It is a lot of fun and you get such a feeling of accomplishment when all is done.
  9. beak

    beak On vacation

    Dec 12, 2008
    Kiowa, Colorado
    Quote:That sounds like the ticket. We bought ours when we first moved to our property. It was completely unfenced at the time. The previous owners had a dog pen that was hodge podge. After the initial escape I bought 6 hog fence panels and made a secure enclosure. We had one other escape from one of the kids leaving the gate open. Putting them on a much larger plot would solve the stink problem somewhat. 2 pigs in a 32 x 32 enclosure with snow and rain liquifying there refuse is a nasty mess. Unless yopu have a tractor with a scoop cleaning it up is not an option. Their poop is not like a horses poop. It is much closer to human poop. We fed them cracked corn and table scraps. 3 years after they were butchered I rototilled the area for a garden and the smell was still horrible. Maybe I just have a sensitive nose. I can handle cow manure and horse manure doesn't bother me at all but pig poop? I'll stick to chickens and horses.
  10. suenrob

    suenrob Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2008
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Wow, so many mixed reviews! I am more undecided than ever now. Thanks for all the comments though, I am rereading them to help make some decisions.

    Anyone else out there with a story?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by