1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

What's the dish on pigs?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by SterlingAcres, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    Tell me anything I'd need to know to raise some pigs for meat in the spring. [​IMG] Tips and advice are greatly appreciated.

    Breed, cost of feed to butcher age, shelter information, etc etc. Thanks in advance [​IMG]
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Raising pigs is probably the simplest thing we do here. It's how much work you want to get out of them which can get a little frustrating. We try to move ours onto fresh ground a lot, to work areas John Deere cannot. Because of this, we always go through rashes of escaping which is the only frustration pigs give me.

    Breed - Doesn't matter. 90% of the weaners you'll find for sale will be crossbred 'market' pigs. They're often Hampshire sires on Yorkshire dames.... aka "Blue Butts".

    There is no point in raising a purebred for meat, unless you like spending more money on something than you need to.

    Cost - Assume 900# of feed per pig to get to market weight, which is right around 250#'s live weight. I let mine go a bit larger, simply because I like pork. They're usually around 6 months old when they're ready to be processed.

    Shelter - I can keep mine in with polywire, most of the time. But it's good to have a backup as they can really cause destruction if they get out. Hog panels work well, but are costly. they can also root under them.

    How you want to house and raise them is really up to you.
  3. gaited horse

    gaited horse Merry Christmas!

    Aug 14, 2008
    Fernley, NV
    I am making a shelter out of free pallets almost done to I need about to more days and it should be done and I will post pics use hog panels and bury them one foot deep in the ground and run a strand of hot wire
  4. big greg barker

    big greg barker Songster

    Oct 26, 2008
    central maine
    My experiences with pigs and pallet enclosures got me a LOT of exercise chasing pigs all over the yard. And the neighbors yards. Fortunately, the neighbors got a real kick out of watching the dimwit trying to herd a bunch of squealers back to their pen. Make sure it's a BIG pen. Hot wire not more than a couple inches off the ground.
    and always get at least two pigs. Don't offer food all the time. That way with two pigs, they will compete for the food, eating more and filling out faster.
    Ask around at local supermarkets to see if the produce managers will give you the castings from the produce section. If you have a dairy processor close by, ask them for returns or old stuff they throw away. Day old bread stores usually will sell throw aways for animal consumption for a buck a tray, or about ten loaves for a buck, sometimes, a whole pickup truck full for five bucks.

    DO NOT give your pigs names, except maybe Sausage or Bacon.
    And last, but not least. find a reputable processor, or learn to do it yourself. there are plenty of books and articles out there about processing pigs. It takes a lot of time the first time, but once you figure it out, it's not so bad.
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Good advice!

    But, I name my pigs. :0
  6. gaited horse

    gaited horse Merry Christmas!

    Aug 14, 2008
    Fernley, NV
    Quote:don't worry the house will be made out of pallets the pen will be hog panels
  7. We did everything known to man wrong with our pigs....We name them, play with them, treat them as one of the family (except they live outside [​IMG] ). Give them treats, take on walks (when smaller)....Give them baths, the kids even wallow in the mud with the pigs....and we still butcher, eat, and enjoy the pigs...Our girls know from day one the pigs will end up in the freezer, but then again so do some of our lambs and we treat them no different than the pigs, our meat chickens same thing there too.... So around here we do everything wrong when raising meat animals....
    As for cost.....I think that can vary from place to place, feed mill to feed mill...But yes, if you can find a bakery that sells old breads pick it up...Around here it's also considered bear bait, so some hunting stores also carry it(just as cheap). There are some places that will let you get there old produce too. Our pigs really love that. We give ours our food scrapes. Sometimes I will put in an ice cream pail and freeze during the week and then give the pigs a big pig sized ice cube of frozen food(taken outta the bucket of course).
    I love having our pigs, and really enjoy raising them. It's sad to see them go to the butcher, but when the freezers full of meat the sadness goes away(just a little)......
    Our pigs have full acess to inside one area of the barn(The Pig Pen--as the sign reads above the door in their area)...It's cement. They also have full aces to outside. For the outside pen we took sheets of metal/tin siding/sheets we had laying around and made a huge pen, they have plenty of grass to root around in(replanted with grass seed inbetween pigs), mud and dirt to play in and also have shady areas outside. There food and water along with bedding is inside. We usually have 2 or 3 pigs at any one time. The area they have is actually big enough to house 10-12 full size pigs comfortably(more if they were confined into there own pens and not able to run around). I think our pigs usually take a little longer to reach 300 pounds because they have more room to run/excerise, but we are ok with that....It usally takes our pigs about 7 months to reach that size...
    Hope you enjoy your pigs when you get them...
    We are taking "Princess Sophie" to the butcher friday [​IMG] and then this spring we will get more...This year we will probably have 4-6 pigs. The girls are going to show them for 4-H and we will also have our own for butchering...
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    My pigs are Willamina, Judith and Babe.

    They are intended for the table.

    I have fed them out completely free save for 2 bags of feed at approx. $20 total.

    Willamina is over 225llbs now. She is friendly. She loves my DH. She will be missed but greatly enjoyed.
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    You're not a farm unless you have pigs.

    I have been toying with the idea of getting a bred sow over winter, farrowing the litter, then selling the sow along at the same time the piglets get processed.

    I reckon it would be around 3 tons of feed brought in. That's the only thing holding me back right now. Sometimes, it's just simpler to buy weaners and raise them.
  10. hatchaholic

    hatchaholic Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    We just sent our first 3 off to butcher the week before Thanksgiving. Ours had names, and were played with daily. It was very hard, but the meat will be appreciated that much more.

    I now have 3 registered Tamworths. And, got two of them at feeder pig prices!! Plan to raise them up, have babies, and sell some of the babies to help cover the cost of food. We are also getting 3 Berkshires in a couple of weeks, for the same purpose.

    I love having pigs around. They are absolutely my favorite!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: