How do you know when they're overweight

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Abouttime, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. Abouttime

    Abouttime Well-Known Member

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    The two threads titled "diet" and "limping" has me wondering-"how do I know if one of my pigs is overweight?" Is it like a dachshund-you should see a waistline? What does it mean to be "nicely covered"? I'm assuming since feeder pigs are typically "free fed" you only need to be concerned about breeding or show stock that are usually older? Please advise.
     
  2. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    I'm hopeless at answering questions of this nature as I've got to the stage where I can look at a pig and think skinny or fat without being able to tell you why. How dumb does that sound. :rolleyes:

    If you notice it's jowls before you notice it's face, it's fat. If the hams are hanging down over it's legs, it's fat. You shouldn't be able to see the spine or shoulder blades, the jowl should be minimal or non-existant, the hams should be plump and rounded.

    Feeder pigs can become fat and overweight too, especially if penned and being fed a large amount of milk.

    There are some on here that can give you a better description than I have but I think your commonsense will tell you when a pig is too fat or too skinny.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     

  3. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I think if you are asking this question then your pigs are fine :) A fat pig is quite noticeable and the little degrees of difference between fat and lean are subjective, imo, and not really health concerns- a fat pig is another matter. Some of this also has to do with breed. My little Grunt has pronounced jowls already and she is muscular with a good covering for her age. Her mother Oinky also has pronounced jowls and is otherwise lean. Squeaker is the same as Grunt without the jowls. Jowls= bacon and some breeds/lines are better for bacon than others. It really helps to have butchered a pig to see what "good covering" is. It is relative but to me it is no more than an half inch of fat betwen skin and flesh. People raising with lard in mind will want more perhaps, dunno. My wild pigs had less than an 1/4 inch of covering but looked like they had much more :shrug: On a lean pig, you can see the ribs but not in outline. Lard production is also a breed thing. A lean pig will have length that is noticeable. When I look at my domestics, I want to see length first. Do you look at your pigs and say "wow, she's long," ? A fat sow will show girth first. When I got Oinky at auction she was fat and I didn't think she was as long as I like but she lost weight with exercise and now I see she has a nice long body. Not as long as my Yorkshires though. Activity level is a good indicator of healthy weight. My pigs will walk a 1/4 mile in the sun at 3 p.m. (then they will promptly go into the spring and cover themselves in mud).
     
  4. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    One indicator I was taught to look for was to look at their hams. If there is a roll of fat hanging at the lower portion of the ham, they are too fat as breeding stock. There should be a slight covering of fat in the area, but not so much as to create a roll.
     
  5. Abouttime

    Abouttime Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys-using your criteria, all four of mine are in olympic shape!