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  #1  
Old 03/14/11, 01:38 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Feeder pig prices

What has happened to them? My farmer that I buy them from has just about doubled in price from last spring. Have you guys noticed this..is it just a matter of the price of feed driving them up?

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  #2  
Old 03/14/11, 03:02 PM
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I think the price of fuel and of feed is a factor. Many people around our area quit raising pigs and sold their breeding stock when the prices were so low, now there is a scarcity of feeder pigs. I am selling mine for all I can get because who knows when the prices will take another dive, besides that the feed is very costly.

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  #3  
Old 03/14/11, 04:05 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Illinois
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It is most definately the feed combined with demand!

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  #4  
Old 03/14/11, 06:15 PM
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We raised our feeder prices to $200 for boars and $250 for gilts this year. It takes five months to produce a feeder pig. In a mere five more months I can produce a finished hog and get $630. This means that the weaner pig is worth $200 to $300 easily.

On top of that, everyone wants their feeder pigs in the spring so demand is high but producing those piglets means farrowing in the harshest, coldest months of the winter which limits supply.

Additionally the farmer has to maintain the sows and boars year round to produce those weaner pigs and that is a lot of cost. Bringing them through the winter is far harder than the easy months of summer and fall.

Another factor is that when the economy is tight, as it is now, more people want feeder pigs and that drives demand.

Historically the prices of feeders go up and down in a three year cycle according to one farmer - he's been doing it for 40 years. In the roughly a decade we've been doing it the price has gone consistently up.

Lastly, a lot of people have stopped breeding pigs. With the prices backup maybe more people will start up breeding again which would drive up supply and drive down prices and then those people who sell too low will end up failing. Do it for the long term, like anything.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop

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  #5  
Old 03/15/11, 02:02 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Well, we are TOTALLY new to pigs - but - we paid $25/each for some hereford babies that were 4 and 6 weeks old (too young I think but oh well, they're growing well). We paid $50/ea for some 100-150lb hamps and a blue butt. THEN- we just recently (last week) picked up 3 beautiful butcher pigs that were around 250lb for $60/each. Guess what the better deal was?! The 3 most recent purchases never even came home, we picked them up and dropped them off at the butcher on the way home. Hanging weights were 186, 190 and 194 and the butcher said it was some of the nicest meat they've seen. How they could afford to sell such nice pigs for $60 I have no idea, but I'm sure glad I was the first person to call about them! We'll have fresh pork soon!

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  #6  
Old 03/15/11, 02:54 AM
 
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Much as I'd like to say that walters prices are typical, they're not. Even in vermont. You can search craigslist in your area (vermont or otherwise) and find prices that are closer to typical market for your area. That's a quick reality check to see if you're overpaying for your stock.

Feeder pig prices around here are $2-$3/lb. So a 100lb pig is going for $200, mostly driven by the market for bbq pigs and the scarcity (in Western Washington) of pig breeders. There just aren't very many people raising pigs here any more, and the feed prices put a lot of the small players out of business.

Bruce / ebeyfarm.blogspot.com

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  #7  
Old 03/15/11, 08:48 AM
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Jessilee, you got a great buy on your hogs. Our weaned feeder pigs don't bring near the price that highland's does. I am glad for him that he can get that, but around here, in the corn belt, feeder pigs are bringing $40-$50 at five to six weeks. If I asked more than that I wouldn't get any takers. And the price I will be asking is more than pigs have brought around here for years.

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  #8  
Old 03/15/11, 09:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highlands View Post
On top of that, everyone wants their feeder pigs in the spring so demand is high but producing those piglets means farrowing in the harshest, coldest months of the winter which limits supply.

Additionally the farmer has to maintain the sows and boars year round to produce those weaner pigs and that is a lot of cost. Bringing them through the winter is far harder than the easy months of summer and fall.
Valid points but these two are constants and don't really vary from year to year. I looked around and the prices I paid checked out..about 2 - 2.50 lb.
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  #9  
Old 03/15/11, 10:58 AM
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In the last five years I know of several dozen people who have stopped breeding pigs. Talking with them the general thought is they can't make any money. Comparing prices I would agree - they were charging so little they didn't cover their costs. People don't tend to treat it like a business and factor in all their costs. Some of them end up taking weaner piglets auction which is the best way to get the lowest price possible.

Several still breed but no longer sell weaners - they keep them and raise the pigs themselves. They can get more selling the meat and two said they don't like selling weaners because it sets up their competition in business.

We sell weaners, roasters and market pigs because that gives us a diversity of market. During hard economic times the demand for weaners goes up. Our market pigs are our first priority since we make the most money selling at that level. This puts immediate demand pressure on the weaners as I can only sell extras beyond what we need to fill our standing orders for pork.

If the farmer isn't making enough money on the sale of the product then he won't be farming for long. This is true of any unsubsidized business. Eventually the market corrects because the number of suppliers is reduced and the buyers end up having to pay a reasonable price that keeps the remaining farmers in business. Basic economics.

I charge $200 for piglets. The buyer is competing against our own farm and against other buyers who want those piglets for their homestead and farm. Since we sell all that are available the demand is higher than the supply and the price pressure is upward. The value of the piglet is far higher than that.

The other thing to keep in mind is not all piglets are created equal. If you buy culls from the factory farms you get low quality animals that are unlikely to do well on pasture. They come in on truck loads. People buy them. The animals get sick, require more feed, medication, vets and some die. Those customers return to us next year and tell us they made a huge mistake buying cheap piglets and they'll never do that again. Quality sells and quality is often less expensive than the cheap pig.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa

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  #10  
Old 03/15/11, 11:54 AM
 
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Location: NW AR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessilee View Post
How they could afford to sell such nice pigs for $60 I have no idea, but I'm sure glad I was the first person to call about them! We'll have fresh pork soon!
There are a few farmers here that sell dirt cheap. They have chicken and dairy farms and feed their pigs the excess so they have no $ in feed. One works at a dog food plant and gets lots of free dogfood.
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  #11  
Old 03/15/11, 12:49 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Ugh- I can't imagine a dog food fed pig would taste very good. At least I know those last 3 I bought were fed show pig ration until 3 weeks before I bought them, then they were put on straight corn.
We do feed our hogs goats milk, eggs shells, lots of kitchen scraps, but they still eat a LOT of grain.

It always amazes me the price differences in varrying locations.

I think there are only one or 2 auctions here that accept pigs and from what I hear, it's somewhat rare for them to have them. It took me about a month to even find pigs for sale here. I think a lot of breeders must have quit.

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  #12  
Old 03/15/11, 02:17 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: NW AR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessilee View Post
Ugh- I can't imagine a dog food fed pig would taste very good. At least I know those last 3 I bought were fed show pig ration until 3 weeks before I bought them, then they were put on straight corn.
We do feed our hogs goats milk, eggs shells, lots of kitchen scraps, but they still eat a LOT of grain.

It always amazes me the price differences in varrying locations.

I think there are only one or 2 auctions here that accept pigs and from what I hear, it's somewhat rare for them to have them. It took me about a month to even find pigs for sale here. I think a lot of breeders must have quit.
Yes, we also supplement ours with goat milk, kitchen and garden scraps, etc..Nothing wrong with that. Just curious, what area are you in? It seems like the lack of stock available would make the price higher. I just dont see how someone could break even at those prices (if they are feeding any grain at all).
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  #13  
Old 03/15/11, 11:19 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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We're in central OK but had to drive south for both of our pig purchases (only about 1-2hrs).
Ironically, today on our local craigslist, there were 75lb durock gilts for $200 each, another ad for a 200 lb hamp gilt for $450 and a third ad for a show gilt (didn't say weight) for $750. I have no idea if the pigs in these ads will sell or not but it is sure a jump from what we paid! Maybe I just got lucky? I rarely see pigs for sale near us and the ones I do see are normally Chester Whites and (no offense to anyone who has them or likes them) I don't really like them and am worried they would sunburn badly here.

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  #14  
Old 03/16/11, 02:24 AM
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Im not sure what you are all calling feeder pigs, it seems you all have slightly different definitions, but Walters seem real high to me

Here, looking at the ads, I can get 50-75 pound Old Spot/Duroc crosses for 75 dollars each, that seems to be close to the going rate here.

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  #15  
Old 03/16/11, 03:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shygal View Post
Im not sure what you are all calling feeder pigs, it seems you all have slightly different definitions, but Walters seem real high to me

Here, looking at the ads, I can get 50-75 pound Old Spot/Duroc crosses for 75 dollars each, that seems to be close to the going rate here.
Generally most refer to feeder pigs as pigs after they are weaned from the sow and are going to be raised to be butchered.
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  #16  
Old 03/16/11, 05:44 AM
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The ones we are finishing now we got nov 24 they were 40 lbs and paid $55 a piece. They are well breed pigs with huge hams and very long. We can pick them up cheaper at auction but we really like what this guy has done with his breeding. I am glad you can get $200 or $250 a feeder pig but around here you could buy a finished hog for that.

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  #17  
Old 03/16/11, 08:16 AM
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The price of fuel has sharply risen and so has corn and other grain. The cost of keeping and farrowing sows has risen also. You can expect to see a sharp rise in the price of feeders just as cattle have taken a sharp rise in price. We don't get near what Walter gets, but we are raising our prices for feeder pigs to offset the cost of producing them.

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  #18  
Old 03/16/11, 08:19 AM
 
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Fewer pigs + higher feed prices + higher fuel = more expensive feeder pigs

The US Swine Industry as a whole has liquidated a substantial number of sows.

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  #19  
Old 03/16/11, 01:53 PM
 
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Wish I knew what our prices were the past few years to compare more to the current prices.

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  #20  
Old 03/16/11, 09:39 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tad View Post
The ones we are finishing now we got nov 24 they were 40 lbs and paid $55 a piece. They are well breed pigs with huge hams and very long. We can pick them up cheaper at auction but we really like what this guy has done with his breeding. I am glad you can get $200 or $250 a feeder pig but around here you could buy a finished hog for that.
Here in SW Michigan, $250 plus processing will get the whole hog vacuum packed. Feeders here go from $100 for show pigs down to about $60. I just put a deposit on 6 for $350 and they look like pretty good piglets. The BIG farm I got feeders from before went from $45 in 2009 to $75 this year. They cut WAY back after 2009. They were selling 250 feeders a week down to having only 10 or 20 available at a time. They were feeding free expired sour cream to break even. By the way, pigs that eat sour cream have nasty poop.
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