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  #1  
Old 12/30/05, 06:50 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Southwest North Dakota
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Want tp raise a couple of feeder pigs - need advice

The kids and I are thinking about raising a couple of feeder pig that we would sell out in the spring to make some extra money. I don't know anything about pigs though. What do they eat?....What kind of shelter/pen do they need?....What are the easiest kind to have around little kids?.....How old should they be when we get them and what can we expect to pay for them?
ANy help you could give us would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 01/01/06, 07:49 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoneymom
The kids and I are thinking about raising a couple of feeder pig that we would sell out in the spring to make some extra money. I don't know anything about pigs though. What do they eat?....What kind of shelter/pen do they need?....What are the easiest kind to have around little kids?.....How old should they be when we get them and what can we expect to pay for them?
ANy help you could give us would be greatly appreciated!
Let me take a stab at this:

What they eat: We bought standard Hog Grower from our local feed store. It's in pellet form. We fed some leftovers here and there but the majority or their diet was the feed.

Shelter/Pen: Many different setups available. A stall in the barn with access to the outside is our prefered method. Our neighbors have a simple 3 sided shelter for theirs. I think as long as they had something to protect & shelter them from sun/wind/rain/snow they would do well. Light colored pigs are more prone to sunburn than dark colors. Pigs are strong! If your fencing, make it VERY TOUGH!

Pigs are really cute when they are little. We bought ours at 9 weeks of age from a local farmer. Paid $45 each. As they get older, they get stonger and bigger. At one point, my husband told me I wasnt to go into the pen and clean unless someone was in the barn with me. It's not that the pigs were aggressive, they would just push up against me and bite at my legs more in a playful way but at 250 lbs+ they would come close to knocking me over.

They were generally VERY easy to raise....quite fun actually! They really are smart animals. We got our first pigs July 30 (9 weeks old) and sent them to be butchered on December 6th (they weighed 265 lbs each). It was a good experience and we plan to raise 4 this coming spring.

Good luck!
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Old 01/02/06, 08:58 AM
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Max
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Near Traverse City Michigan
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40lb feeders cost about $60 here in northern Michigan. We feed a corn/soybean/mineral mixture that is 20% protein. Pigs will eat just about anything. Corn makes them fatter than some peole like, but a 40lb feeder will be over 400 lbs in 6 months with free choice(all they can eat) ground corn. All we have ever fed them is corn and water, or corn and milk, and we have always kept food in front of them all the time. Pigs wont over eat like cattle and horses. One of the biggest headaches with pigs is containing them. They love to dig, and once they get their head through a hole they are gone. Concrete floors are realy optimal, but I have seen pigs raised in dirt yards with a couple rows of electric fencing. They need lots of water, food, and somewhere to get out of the sun, or if you are in a freexing part of the country some place to get out of the wind. Pigs are pretty hardy in general. a pile of hay or straw for them to curl up in dirung freezing temps realy helps too.

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Old 01/02/06, 09:24 AM
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Max
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Near Traverse City Michigan
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ok, I think I was wrong about th epigs getting to 400lb in 6 months. I think they will be closer to 280 or 325

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Old 01/02/06, 07:29 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Michigans Thumb
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I am also thinking of raising a few feeders this year, but is it cheaper just to buy a whole hog at the butcher?

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Old 01/03/06, 07:33 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Maine
Posts: 198

stoneymom,
I think you might be better off buying the piglets in the spring and putting them down in the fall. Its a lot harder starting in the winter.

Mike,
You may be able to buy a butchered pig for about the same money if you find the right deal. Small scale growers usually are more interested in the quality of the meat and the treatment of the animal versus cost savings.
Having said that, rasing your own can save money also. If you raise several and sell a few at a profit (to people who are also interested in quality and humane treatment), you can get yours pretty cheap. Also doing your own butchering saves a lot.

Paul

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Old 01/04/06, 12:28 AM
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Max
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Near Traverse City Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike
I am also thinking of raising a few feeders this year, but is it cheaper just to buy a whole hog at the butcher?
You will have to check the price at the butcher. We feed about 1 ton of corn to a pig to get them to butcher size. The ton of corn costs about $250, and the feeder costs $30-$70. I dont raise pigs to save money. I raise them because I want to know what my pork was fed.
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