Are pot belly pigs normally knock kneed?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by bbbuddy, May 3, 2006.

  1. bbbuddy

    bbbuddy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    464
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Finally found 2 potbelly pigs, a male and female, they are now 5 months old...is it normal for them to be pretty knock kneed in the front? Back legs are nice and straight, front legs are pretty knock kneed.


    Still looking for another female at least, because we want to breed for meat, and these are brother and sister. We will probably breed them anyway, PBP seem to be scarce as hens teeth around here.

    [​IMG]

    Their names are Makin' Bacon (F) and Poker (m) :)
     
  2. PETSNEGGS

    PETSNEGGS Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,164
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Location:
    Southern Alabama
    I know that they are supposed to be great for bacon but, they look so much like my Sassy pig who sleeps on the livingroom couch and cuddles with the dogs on the floor. I just couldn't do it... she is just way too cute, but sorry and now back to your question. I am new to Potbellies but, I don't recall reading about that being a characteristic. I could be oh so wrong. I will have to go home now and hug my piggy and check her front legs out. I don't think she is knock kneed.
     

  3. bbbuddy

    bbbuddy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    464
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Laura? George? Any info would be appreciated :)


    Petsneggs, I appreciate the fact that although you keep your pig for a pet you did not attack me for being a meat eater and wanting to raise my own food. We need more "pet pig" people like you!
     
  4. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,370
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    Oh! They are adorable! Nice picture. I've been thinking about doing the same - getting a breeding pair for meat......right now I'm buying four piglets a year for our own use - but those are regular, full size breeds. I am curing my own bacon, so I just need to cure some ham to feel comfortable with the whole - butcher/slaughtering process myself. Hog processing is a bit more complicated, I think, with the curing involved. My goal is to avoid nitrates, and inhumane treatment.

    I don't think anything would be purposely knock-kneed., especially a pig, with the weight they eventually carry. Might be something to selectively breed for - straight legs at four corners! I've noticed pb's seem to look knock-kneed, but they are also very, um, close to the ground. I'd have to lay down on the ground to get a really good look!

    niki
     
  5. bbbuddy

    bbbuddy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    464
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    dezeeuwgoats thanks for your comments!

    We didn't want to have to handle a large pig when butchering, also didn't want to have to have that much freezer storage, since we are off grid and there is only 2 of us, thus a small breed seemed like the best solution.
    I would LOVE to know how to make my own bacon and ham, without nitrates! Any recipes/tips? yumm!

    thanks!
     
  6. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    No! knock knees are a result of unscrupulous pet breeders who breed everything and never cull. You might get by with breeding them for meat if they are in a protected environment but they will likely have trouble if attacked by predators. I'd get a different sow at least, and aggressively cull anything that doesn't have good conformation. Where are you located?

    Tip on cooking...use the front legs like you would normally do ribs, and when it comes to the ribs, use that meat for sausage, except for the loin which can be cooked like a small roast, or great for kabobs, cutlets etc I have some more exotic recipes on my homepage


    OTOH, if the pigs were raised in-doors they may just have rickets, in which case the progeny, if raised outdoors could be fine
     
  7. bbbuddy

    bbbuddy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    464
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Hi George, no they are not indoor pigs. we got them at the age of about 8 weeks, and fed them primarily pbp feed, until I found out Walmart had some pig food there. We have fed them some of that too.

    I was afraid I was overfeeding them, as the female was getting very jowly, plus they both just LOOKED fat to me, so I cut back a lot on what I was feeding.

    Perhaps I caused it by letting them gain too much weight too fast...
    maybe I can get a better picture of the front lags and post it tomorrow so you can see better.
    I don't think predators are a problem, as their pen is pretty much "surrounded" by our 4 big dogs :)
     
  8. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,370
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    I've pretty much used plain salt and brown sugar, with some liquid smoke, and spices. I use a touch of cloves, lots of nutmeg, a touch of cinnamon.....It is SOOOO good! :)

    I rub the salt and brown sugar into the pork bellies, hard, every exposed surface. Then I pour some of the mixture inbetween the individual pieces so that meat is not touching. These pieces are in a rectangular pyrex baking dish. I cover the whole thing with saranwrap, put my bacon press on top to weight it down (unless I'm doing enough to cure to dishes, then I just put one on top of the other) and leave it in my fridge a week. Then I take it out, rinse, and either freeze it, or pack it in cure again for a bit longer. My family says its the best bacon we've had since we started raising pork. And no nitrates! I wouldn't suggest not freezing - unless you are smoking the pork bellies after the sugar/salt cure. From what I can gather from my research the nitrate preserves only color - not to keep the meat from spoiling, but to keep it form turning an unappetizing color.

    I've also tried honey and maple syrup - we like brown sugar the best.;)

    niki
     
  9. PETSNEGGS

    PETSNEGGS Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,164
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Location:
    Southern Alabama
    Buddy I would never attack anyone for raising their own food. :dance: I eat the vegies from my garden... tee-hee-hee. I think it is wonderful that you can. I would really love to have a working farm. Even to raise just a pig or two and maybe some cows for meat, and a cow and goat or two for milk. My family tesses me because even tho' I eat meat (bought from the store) I don't think I could eat something I rasied but, I know my family would and I would have no problem feeding my growing boys. :) I will still say tho' in my eyes the little potbellies are just way to CUTE :hobbyhors Those I would only be able to raise to love. I also would love some recipes if anyone has any for sausage and jerky. I heard they are easy to make. Oh, and Buddy THANK YOU for not making fun of me for loving on my piggy. I know how easy that could have been. :banana02:
     
  10. myrandaandkids

    myrandaandkids Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    355
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    minnsota
    no they should not be knock kneed, however it should not cause a problem as long as you keep them at the proper size, go to PIGS4EVER.COM for all the info you need to raise them properly, and for those of you who are unaware of this THEY ARE NOT FARM PIGS and to treat them as such is considered abuse to a potbelly, there is a certain diet that keeps them healthy and a certain way to treat them so that they do not become mean , you can contact me with any questions and i am always glad to babble on and on about them, lol they are one of may best joys on life, also vist the site that i gave above, good luck to all you future potbelly breaders and pig lovers :)
     
  11. myrandaandkids

    myrandaandkids Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    355
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    minnsota
    pot bellies are not raised for meat you will get little to nothing usable on them, and they are so scarce because they are in so much demand in many parts of the nation, they are smarter than dogs and have the emotional sense of a human, they are companions. raising for meat will bing nothing but wasted intellegents and a pile of usless fat.
     
  12. myrandaandkids

    myrandaandkids Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    355
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    minnsota
    I Raise All Of Mine Indoors And They Potty Train In 2 Days Or Less
     
  13. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    potbellies are meat to 99% of the world that eats pork. When raised in the proper setting which is natural for them in the wild they produce lean flavorful pork since they are not naturally lardy in the wild and are a good size for the single individual to butcher without any heavy equipment. 9 months is your best feed to meat ratio since they are slow growers (60-90 pounds usually for me). Usually you can get about 60 meals out of one. Commercial potbelly food is overpriced, and designed to malnourish the pig to stunt its growth. It is completely unnecessary if you have pasture and access to whole kernal corn and some salt supplement depending upon your soil composition. As a farm pig you would also not want to stunt its growth. If it has spindly legs and was not raised indoors, you will likely end up having problems with leg fractures. Pigs do not normally have weak bones, just the opposite. That is a problem brought on by unscrupulous pet breeders who refuse to cull the inferior specimens. Pet Pig rescue centers are overflowing with potbellies because very few people have the patience to deal with such a stubborn animal as a pet. They do hunt. they do kill other livestock if given the chance. They are safer than full size hogs only becuase of their size, not their personality. As soon as they hit about 40-50 pounds most people dump them as pets because of this. They love mast, just like every other pig, and they will dig up the japanese beetle larvae for you as well. they will crossbreed freely with every other breed as well, provided there is not a terrible mismatch of size
     
  14. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    I agree, they are very cute when they are little, but then so are almost every species of mammalian infants. Seeing a 1 week old piglet racing other piglets across the pasture and hitting short bursts of speeds close to 30 miles per hour is truly a sight to see. Watching them push each other into the puddles is also amusing. When you see a boar attack its young, or see a sow attack its young, that just isn't right, and the big ones become much easier to eat. Pbp's are also rather fertile in general and you can only have so many animals in one place before it becomes unhealthy. The normal farm practice is you save the best and eat or sell the rest. Since to sell meat it has to be processed by USDA facilities and they charge the same for processing a pbp as they would a 300 pound hog, it becomes clear why there isn't a market for pbp meat. It is excellent quality, it's just too dang expensive when it works out to 10 bucks a pound. The good breeders often acquire the rank of pet, or in a couple cases I had potbellies promoted to guard. Those pigs eventually died of old age in their nests in their sleep after a happy pig's life in the woods and wallows sleeping with the other pigs.

    Dog breeders also tend to get upset when a champion dog judge recommends to "put down" what they consider inferior specimens. It's all part of the cycle of farm life and life in general. Whether you kill plants or animals, you have to kill to eat, or you pay someone else to do your killing. I have no problem with you having a pig or a goat or a horse or platymus as a pet. That is a healthy thing to do in most cases. But also thank you for realizing that people have to eat, and that it is the height of arrogance and luxury to complain about what other people are eating when they are merely eating what they have raised. If the pigs had their way they would eat us. It's just that for now we are the ones with the guns.


     
  15. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    When was the last time you butchered and ate a pbp?

    I thought so, never.




     
  16. bbbuddy

    bbbuddy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    464
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    George, I totally agree with you, NOT the crazed "Pets only" crowd!

    We decided on PBPs to raise since there are only the two of us. They will be just the right size to butcher ourselves.

    Thanks for the reply, I will definately cull for better legs on my stock. I am also keeping an eye out for another one unrelated, so as to add to the genetic diversity. I have not had any luck so far.

    Do you think it would work to get a regular sow to breed to the male, and then interbreed those piglets back to the PBPs, so as to get better legs and genetic diversity, or would they end up too big?

    I think you interbred your with some wild pigs, am I right? Did you have a problem keeping their size down, or just eat the ones that grew too fast?

    Thanks, bbbuddy
     
  17. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

    Messages:
    2,479
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Lynnwood, Washington
    Hey, Buddy, sorry to be so long. Haven't been on the pig board for a while. I'll check my pigs' legs when I go out this evening. I've got some babies now, too. Are you anywhere near Washington? I've got a nice boy, and a really nice girl, among the six. They're a little over 2 weeks old at this point.

    And yes, the babies are darned cute (just like chicks, ducklings, bunnies, kids, and calves). And yes, they're kept outside and handled very little. And yes, they eat hog grower 16% when I don't have anything else handy to supplement the sparse forage on my place. Even though they've never seen "potbelly food," somehow my sow keeps having large, healthy litters (now that I know to keep the little boogers warm)! And yes, they live outside, and they get slops - extra milk, alfalfa meal the goats won't eat, weeds from the garden, some dry COB or whole corn when I see fit. And yes, you can see the muscle contour under their skin. And yes, the one I've eaten so far was DARNED TASTY!! Got another I'll butcher as soon as I get the time, too. :dance:
     
  18. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

    Messages:
    2,479
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Lynnwood, Washington
    Hey, I just read your last post. You know, I've read that pigs are among the most rapidly changeable livestock there is. Within a few generations of culling, you can go from lard type to bacon type and back to lard type again.

    I just took a look at legs. I'm not super happy with my boar's legs, a little bit narrow, but I like him 'cause he's a nice guy, and he's doesn't have those folds on his face, so you can actually see his eyes! Plus, he has lots of white and makes purty and kind babies! My sow is pretty straight fore and aft.
     
  19. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    If you go with a smallish non lardy pig you'd probably do fine. OTOH you could see what you get for now too. If they can get around ok you might save the pick of the litter. Genetic traits don't have to be inherited necessarily. As far as I know, nobody has properly mapped out pbp genetics when it comes to leg problems, but knock kneed is probably not as bad as spindly legs. If you are raising for meat and not show, the main thing is how well they get around and if they are healthy.

    Our wild crossbreed was the result of a sow getting out long enough to find some action and then deciding getting daily treats in a protected environment was better than dealing with the coyotes in the woods. I'm waiting to see the eventual size, so far the only obvious crossbreed is growing about the same rate as others born last spring, but then the wild pigs around here are among the smaller ones in the country. That's why boar hunters go to the deep south rather than kentucky even though we have a hunting season

     
  20. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    Hi Laura,
    do you age the meat? Mine are pastured and get a lot of exercise, so I've gone to aging the meat and have been very happy with it. I made some loin kabobs this weekend and they were great!