How long to pigs live till?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by speakmanfamily, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. speakmanfamily

    speakmanfamily Well-Known Member

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    How long do pigs live assuming there healthy? and im talking like birkshire pigs.
     
  2. bruceki

    bruceki Well-Known Member

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    Longer than 8 years.
     

  3. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    On average, around the 10-12 year mark for a healthy pig.

    I had a lovely old sow put down about 6 weeks ago - she was coming up for 16 years of age. However, I must admit that for the last year she had become hard work in some respects, mostly with what she would eat. She refused to eat grains of any sort, and cooked pig food. Her diet became increasingly high protein until it was made up of almost all meat (she helped clean the freezer out) with odd deviations into sweet things such as cake. Milk was acceptable, bread, which is the perenial pig favourite, was completely off the menue.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  4. speakmanfamily

    speakmanfamily Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the help!

    Very interesting about your sow! What was her name?

    i bought a sow (soon to be) from my parents and her name is Piglet :3 she is a Birkshire Tamworth X (shes 4 months old)
     
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Her name was Shorty - she was neither tall nor long and in fact counts as one of the smallest Lge Whites I've seen and had probably been inbred. She was bought to go into the freezer along with her sister (Scraps) but they had such great natures and personalities that nobody had the heart to do the deed so they they became breeding sows. Shorty consistently had litters of 10, her sister had litters of up to 17. They would usually farrow within a day of each other and share the nurseing and by the time they were weaned I would have no idea which piglet belonged to which sow - and they didn't either:) Scraps died 3 years ago.

    A Berkshire/Tammy makes for an interesting cross. Neither breed is easily obtainable in NZ although I can remember when Tammys were two a penny. The Berkshire, for some reason, just never took off here but I have had a Berkshire sow and she was a lovely girl - a good doer, a good producer and a laid back nature. What breed of boar are you thinking of using over her.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  6. speakmanfamily

    speakmanfamily Well-Known Member

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    Interesting! We have a purebred Birkshire boar :)
     
  7. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Lucky you:) Are you aiming for the weaner pig market? If so, you shouldn't have any problems at all selling your piglets. Even if you wanted to take some through to porkers, I think you will find they will grow well and you would have no trouble selling them. Good luck with your venture.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  8. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Average life-span of a domestic pig is just over six months. That's because that's when 95% of them go to butcher.

    In the wild the average life-span is probably considerably shorter - predators eat most of them in the first few months of life.

    Our older breeder pigs have been seven to eight year end of age. Once they are no longer breeders for sure I slaughter them - that is a lot of meat that I don't want to waste. Putting the old animal out to pasture is a quaint idea but a farm has bills to pay and the banker, taxman, etc aren't interested in providing a rest home for old livestock. I don't run a sanctuary. I run a business. This is my income, how I pay my mortgage, taxes and put food on the table for my kids.

    A big old sow or boar can mean $1,500 to $2,000 in income easily as hot dogs or sausage. Personally, I love the meat - it is delicious. More flavorful than young finisher hogs.

    If we let them they would live a couple more years perhaps. The key is to catch them after they're no longer good breeders but while they're still good meat. We generally slaughter a dozen or so older sows a year. Theoretically you might spread them over the year but I tend to bunch them up in the fall somewhat because winter is the harshest season. Both livestock, wildlife and people are more likely to die over the winter. Better to slaughter them now in the fall when they are at their finest if you don't think they'll make it through the winter.

    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
     
  9. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,635
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    Mountains of Vermont, Zone 3
    Average life-span of a domestic pig is just over six months. That's because that's when 95% of them go to butcher.

    In the wild the average life-span is probably considerably shorter - predators eat most of them in the first few months of life.

    There are reports of pigs living as long as 16 years or more but that's like saying people live to 120 years of age. Yes, a few get that old, and older, but it is extremely rare. The reality is the average life-span, aside from market hog finishers, is more like six to eight years for pigs and 70 years or so for humans.

    Our older breeder pigs have been seven to eight year end of age. Once they are no longer breeders for sure I slaughter them - that is a lot of meat that I don't want to waste. Putting the old animal out to pasture is a quaint idea but a farm has bills to pay and the banker, taxman, etc aren't interested in providing a rest home for old livestock. I don't run a sanctuary. I run a business. This is my income, how I pay my mortgage, taxes and put food on the table for my kids.

    A big old sow or boar can mean $1,500 to $2,000 in income easily as hot dogs or sausage. Personally, I love the meat - it is delicious. More flavorful than young finisher hogs.

    If we let them they would live a couple more years perhaps. The key is to catch them after they're no longer good breeders but while they're still good meat. We generally slaughter a dozen or so older sows a year. Theoretically you might spread them over the year but I tend to bunch them up in the fall somewhat because winter is the harshest season. Both livestock, wildlife and people are more likely to die over the winter. Better to slaughter them now in the fall when they are at their finest if you don't think they'll make it through the winter.

    I figure, based on observing how pigs age, that one calendar year is about equal to ten human years. This analogy doesn't quite work out since pigs come into breeding age at about eight months which would be roughly like a seven year old human. Humans are developmentally delayed. But if you ignore that and observe the wear and tear of life an eight year old pig looks similar to an eighty year old human in good health.

    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