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  #1  
Old 10/05/09, 07:24 PM
happydog's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Western NC
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What's the best small pig breed for a small homestead?

I used to raise minis and pot bellies years ago but they were expensive little suckers so we never got a chance to eat any. I want to buy some breeding stock next spring and have another go at it. For various reasons (mainly safety) I'd like to stick with small pigs again on my little farm.

I really enjoyed raising pigs, but now I want to eat them too. (gee, that sounds so mean, sorry )

What is the best small breed of pigs as far as eating quality?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10/05/09, 08:32 PM
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Location: Henagar, AL
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You should look into the Guinea Hogs. They are great little guys, and they do get big enough to eat.

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Old 10/05/09, 08:37 PM
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Berkshires are not concidered minis but they are somwhat smaller than many breeds.

As with many heirloom breeds they tend to get a little lardy but the meat is concidered to be a premium product.

My small herd including the boar seem to be a easygoing friendly bunch.

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Old 10/05/09, 09:07 PM
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You can get more information on the Guinea Hogs here...

http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/guinea.html

http://www.guineahogs.org/

We bought ours earlier this year, and our first litter is 6 weeks old now. They are all doing great, and are tons of fun to watch. They graze with the horses, goats and sheep and clean up acorns every day.

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  #5  
Old 10/07/09, 08:24 AM
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PotBelly Pigs!

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  #6  
Old 10/07/09, 08:39 AM
 
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Location: Virginia
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I second the Guinea Hogs! We have 2 gilts and a boar which run with our goats and poultry. They are so easy to care for and cheap. Our particular line is getting fat off pasture and scraps alone. I am not quite sure how they are pulling it off, but it definitely saves me on the feed bill. We only give fthem minimal feed during the cold weather along with hay.

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Old 10/07/09, 08:45 AM
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I vote for Tamworths.
A nice sized pig, lean not too fat and very athletic and a great forager. Red so sunburn isn't a problem. Easy to breed and successful mothers.

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Old 10/07/09, 10:30 AM
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As usual, it's unanimous, lol. I probably should have said we'll be pasturing them so toughness and ability to forage is important. And I'd like to keep them with or near my cows, poultry, and whatever else we end up with to make it easier for the dogs to watch over everybody.

We're in the NC mountains and it doesn't get hot here. So far I'm leaning towards the guineas. I'm wondering how hard it will be in the future to get a new boar if need be. Although I s'pose that would be the case with any unusual breed.

Thanks for the replies and I'd love to hear more. I'm curious how the guineas and pbs compare meat wise? I see the guineas are "fatty" though I'm guessing that's not a bad thing?

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  #9  
Old 10/07/09, 11:14 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Virginia
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As far as guineas go, you are located in a great place to find a pair if you are willing to travel a few hours. There are a variety of breeders in SC, NC, and Virginia. The tricky part arises if you wish to breed for sale of breeding stock. Then you want to get unrelated hogs which means you may need to travel further, but if you are only interested in feeder pigs, then closer related pigs are not such a big deal.

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