how long does it take for a pig to mature?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Uniqueenigma, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. Uniqueenigma

    Uniqueenigma New Member

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    Jun 4, 2009
    In the future (not now, as it's not feasible) I would like to raise pigs; this would be for food. Is it really worth the investment of raising pigs to raise them
    for food?

    The reason I would like to do so is simply because anyway I can cut corners
    with a grocery bill, I'm all game. I'm very frugal by nature. The other reason
    is because it just seems like an interesting idea.

    What do pigs eat? Can you make feed yourself for them or do have to buy feed commercially for them? How many pigs would you recommend starting out raising?

    Is it possible to raise pigs and have it turn out economically for you in the long run? By this I mean by raising your own meat (via raising pigs) is it going
    to help you reduce your grocery budget? Is this feasible or not? If not, why not please?
     
  2. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Mountains of Vermont, Zone 3
    Typically six months from birth to butcher weight. Depends a bit on temperature (cold=slower growth) and feed (balance of proteins, fat, etc). We raise our pigs primarily on pasture/hay (90% of their diet) and dairy (7%) as well as veggies, apples, etc for the remaining ~3%. They thrive on it and produce great meat. We buy no commercial pig feeds / grain for the pigs. They occasionally get a bit of dated bread which is a great training treat for weekly loading to take them to the butcher.

    As to economics, yes.

    Good book: "Small Scale Pig Raising" by Dirk van Loon

    Cheers

    -Walter
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    in the mountains of Vermont
    http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/
    http://HollyGraphicArt.com/
    http://NoNAIS.org
     

  3. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    For a first go-around, 2 is a good number.

    The true economy in raising your own hogs is best achieved if you can avoid butchering and processing costs by doing it yourself at home :coffee:
     
  4. mommahen2four

    mommahen2four Well-Known Member

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    Waaaay Northern WI
    Walter - how much dairy do they get per pig, do you think? I find it interesting that they can be raised without grain. Ihave access to affordable dairy from a local farm, so I'm trying to determine cost for dairy vs. grain.
     
  5. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Location:
    Mountains of Vermont, Zone 3
    About 3.6 gallons per hundred weight of pig per day of dairy plus about 0.8 lbs of hay per day per hundred weight of pig per day. This was from winter measurements of one herd, thus the hay instead of pasture. We free feed so they get as much as they want. On pasture they eat more than they eat of hay but I don't have numbers on that as close. See these posts:

    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2009/03/hunger-motivation-feeding-hay.html
    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2006/12/winter-hay-feeding-day.html
    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2007/04/big-whey-tank.html

    Actual consumption will vary depending on the type of dairy. Some milk, like Jersey, is very high in fat and will produce fatter pigs. We get about 0.75 to 1 inch of back fat which is just right for our market. Using piglets from us, thus the same genetics, someone fed a set of three Jersey milk and got about 4" of back fat. The difference being that we primarily feed whey, which is much lower in fat. Just watch their condition. Do have pasture/hay always available.

    The resulting fat tastes delicious. We render lard for our own home cooking although I do not sell rendered lard at this point. We do sell the leaf lard and back fat. Rendering isn't hard and you get all that great cracklin. I just don't have a commercial kitchen so I can't do it for sale. If you want lots of fat, feed more calories as well as picking lard type pigs.

    Cheers

    -Walter
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    in the mountains of Vermont
    http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/
    http://HollyGraphicArt.com/
    http://NoNAIS.org