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cost of raising a few pigs...who would buy for more than $2/lb

1511 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Up North
I have some really shallow rocky soil. There's about 1' of sandy loam over bedrock, and I'd like to get some feeder pigs each spring to till a section each year, so that I can remove some rocks and develop some pasture.
My plan was to get 3 feeder pigs in the spring, keep one for us and sell two. I was thinking those 3 pigs might prepare 5000 s.f., and that if it went well, I might try 6 pigs the next year or two, once I was sure I had a market for them. This is previously wooded area right now, just tree roots. Not much feed value probably.

My concern is that I'll be stuck buying feed by the bag and won't be able to keep their feed costs down far enough to cover the cost of the one we keep. I'm still trying to find a source for buying it by the ton, but since I'll only need about 1.5 tons for 3 pigs, I'm not sure it would be wise to do that anyway.

Secondly, I'm concerned I won't be able to sell them at a price that will cover my cost. We live in a rural community, but since we aren't from here and don't go to church here, I'm not sure how we'd get the word out.

My kids just got involved in our local 4H, and we were talking about raising pigs. Someone was saying how it costs $400 to raise a pig, and how expensive that was. I was thinking that was reasonable considering store bought pork is often over $3/lb, and of lesser quality. So, I'm concerned that if my one possible market, these people at 4h, think less than $3/lb is too costly, who am I going to sell to?

Recently I saw an ad in the paper for pastured pork...$200 for a 250 market pig. That seems really cheap to me. I guess if you have the pasture, and can raise your own feeder pigs, then you can afford to sell so low, but I'd never be able to compete with those prices raising only 3 pigs. At the Arkansas Eat Wild website, where farms advertise pastured meat, I've seen $2/lb pastured beef, hanging weight.
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Could I call it pastured pork? This is a an area where we've cleared the trees and want to put them in there to eat the root and root up the rocks, preparing for pasture. I want to divide up 5000 sf into 3 paddocks and move them through every 1-2 wks.
Is the cost of raising feeders less than buying feeders?
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