Huge Dilemma (I mean BIG)

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Tango, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    About 1000 pounds worth. They eat like elephants. My two domestic sows were originally purchased to breed. They have very good genes- AI'd by a big-time boar. Their mother was also a fair champion locally (if I'm not mistaken). I've had a change of heart about these two and my plans. I can still make it work, I'm sure, but I'd rather use their pen (and ALL the money they EAT) for my razorbacks and goats. Thing is, when I calculate what they've eaten and what it will take to maintain them all the way through farrowing- I won't have a profit until next year's fair. I plan to AI them in May and have fair pigs to sell to local youth at about $125 a pop- they go for as much as $225 (which I don't think is fair- no pun intended). I've tried to sell them- have advertised them here on the barter board, in local papers and surrounding counties, in the state agricultural market place, online in livestock classifieds and in feed stores. Never have I had as much as a question on them and they are super nice sows. I've mentioned trades, dropped the price to $175 each, suggested butcher both keep one type deals, etc. Nothing. Can you guys think of anything I can do to help move these two? Or does it look like I am stuck either keeping them or just butchering them? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Charge admission? :eek:

    Man, I had HEARD that they get that big, but I have never seen one!
     

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If they weigh 500 each they are too big to make good sows. Sows that heavy tend to flop down and if there's a pig under them it tough luck because most (not all) will just lay there and let them squeal. That is if there's enough sticking out to squeal. Another problem is heat. A fat sow can overheat while farrowing in hot weather. There's a big chance that selling the pigs for $125 each might not happen. Other than butchering them, selling them for slaughter would be the logical thing to do with them.. 500 pound sows were selling for $.45 a pound last week here in In. At that price you would top the $175 you wanted. That was at auction.
     
  4. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    there's two of them :)
     
  5. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thank Unc. They're not fat at all. They are definitely lean. I'm just guessing at the 500 weight since I don't have a scale but I taped them- a while back and one came out to 450 and the other to 475 but I was doubting their measurements. I am very worried about going through summer here in Florida with them pregnant. The problem with the auction is I don't have a livestock trailer so I can't take them anywhere.
     
  6. If you can get them AI you might could sell them easily all together when the litter gets around 3 or 4 weeks old. They do that around here at the sale barns. You will see a sow pig with about 8 or so young ones with her and they sell the whole set for one price. Don't know if it will be worth the wait since you will be out of pocket money on feed until they're ready to sell.
     
  7. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You need to find someone who can haul them for you. Is there an auction barn anywhere within 50 miles of you? If you can't find anyone you could call the auction barn, and they could put you in touch with someone. Be sure to tell them what area you are in.
     
  8. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    If the AI takes and they raise their babies to weaning, I can sell those bad boys off and pay to have them butchered. Right now I can't even afford that :( Ideally I'd love for them to go into a breeding situation- they have good genes and I love them as log as they stay off my feet. Unfortunately they had the bad luck of ending up with a poor person like me....
     
  9. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Unc. There is an auction I've heard of in another town- our just does cattle. I'll check to find their number. Hadn't thought of that . I appreciate your help.
     
  10. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    I you are going to sell them you want to sell now because the bigger they get the fewer the number of people you will find to buy them.

    Not to many people keep hogs that big any more.

    Hogs that big do not bring much for butcher price, per pound.

    After 240 lbs the price per pound goes down as the weight of the hogs get higher.

    Cost of keeping hog that big will cost to much money ( no profit )

    Hog in my country that big bring about .20 - .25 cents a lb.
    If they are still showing milk at sale time
    they will even bring less ( .10- .20 cents lb. )
     
  11. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I've been trying to sell them for about two months now, with no luck whatsoever. If I could get .20 / pound for one of them- I'd give both of them. I don't scrimp on my animals, but right now the feed bill is killing me. If they were more manageable, I'd shoot them and gut them out myself, but a 250 pounder was HUGE to clean for me. I know that doing one of these girls, will be more than I can do.
     
  12. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    OK, it looks like you'd be better off financially if the sows came down with a severe case of immediate death. That is, you're going backwards whilever they're eating.

    That being the case, how's the weather there? Is it still cool enough for carcasses to hang for two or three days? If so, can you hire someone to help kill, gut and halve the carcasses; and dispose of the offal? Not necessarily a professional butcher, but just hired help who knows what to do? Better still do one this week and one next? Especially if you could barter say half a beast for the work? Once you've got that done, you could probably break up half a beast a day on your own. Doesn't have to be too fancy on the fine detail - remember throwing it away is making you better off than having them keep eating, so rough dog food would be better than that.

    If not, then could you bring yourself to throw a lot of the carcasses away? Shoot 'em, hack off the hindquarters and forequarters, skin and hack off anything you want from the midsection, then dump the rest? I know it's not ideal, but it would actually be better economics to do that, taking just what you can use, than to keep losing money and getting nothing from them.
     
  13. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The slaughter houses are paying over 45 cents for 500 pound sows. At the auctions butcher buyers get them and take them to slaughter houses. It's very rare for any hog over 200 pounds to go from an auction barn back to a farm. A sow at 550 lb. brings more per lb than one weighing 400 lb. Top butcher price is for hogs less than 260 lb but over 230 lb. Sows over 500 lb will bring within 2 cents a pound of the top price. They require more feed to put on a pound of gain as they get larger.
    If you can buy big dry sows for 20 cents you can make over $100 per head hauling them to a slaughter house.
    Some areas that don't have many hogs would probably have to go too far to find a market.
    Are there any places down there that do custom butchering? Call one of them and they may give you some good advice as how to market them. Be sure to mention that they were never bred.
     
  14. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I wish I could just shoot them and salvage what I could. That would be one excellent rib dinner with 1/2 a slab of the four I would be getting from them :) Right now we are getting into warmer temps and it isn't a good time to butcher- mid 80' s during the day. I also recently butchered a hog for my dogs so my outside freezer, which stores my feeder rabbits and chickens for my business can't hold much more (yes I definitely need another freezer). I've done the math and figured that it would take about $520 to get through the year with the AI cost (I have $636 into them right now). If each had ten piglets and I got only $60 for each (say I sell them all for half of what I can sell them for) I would break even.
    I haven't made up my mind yet- and I really would like to free up their pen- but I have to consider this some more. Being so new to homesteading I've had a lot of losses from my learning curve. My original intention to breed these two for 4H fair pigs came from there not being any local choices for youth. A person in a town an hour away trucks fair pigs in from Michigan and sells them for $150 - $225 each. A business in town trucks them in from Georgia and sells them for $125.00 each. The breeder I got mine from breeds for 4H in another town and sells out every year at $125 each, if I remember correctly. I can easily set up a misting system for summer to keep them cool- already habve the hoses, nozzles, and timer- These girls are healthy- they've never been sick. I think they would do well in the summer if I kept them cool. I'm just looking at this as another loss and with all the responses the loss seems to be much bigger in the window. Is it crazy to go through with it?
     
  15. TabletopHomestead

    TabletopHomestead Well-Known Member

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    I had a similar problem last year - (2) 450lb sows and a 700lb boar. I traded one sow to the neighbors for hay, butchered the other (canned most of the meat - about 200lbs total boned out), and donated the boar to the local wild animal park to feed the kitties (shot him first, used a come-a-long to winch him into the pickup and hauled him to the park.) Other posters are correct. You're losing money every day between feed and depreciation.
     
  16. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Here's a thought. I see where you butchered a hob for your dogs: did you do it yourself or did you hire a butcher for that one?

    I am envisioning having a hunter assist you to do the killing, skinning, and gutting, and paying him in meat. Use the car as power to hoist it over SOMETHING, I don't know how you are set for really BIG tree limbs in your area. Rent a locker in town for the meat. YES, it would be better to chill the meat, perhaps the meat locker in town could give advice???

    Perhaps you could sell a share in a pig by placing an ad in the feed store? I doubt that you could sell meat by the pound after it is butchered, but many states will allow you to sell a live animal or a share in a live animal, then arrange the butchering as a courtesy. The customer picks up the meat in neat white packets.
     
  17. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    The largest pig we've butchered was 250 pounds. Mostly we've done in the 50 - 60 pound range. The large one was a back-breaking job. Just thinking about the task of doing these is enough to turn me off :( I was checking out bulk feed prices and can save $25/ month by switching to All Stock and supplementing with eggs for protein (which I have an abundance of). But alas, today my doe kidded and she has two beautiful kids- both 50% boer and I am looking at the pen again where those huge sows are taking up space and eating me out of house and home and really getting mad at myself for not making a decision and sticking with it. The problem with asking anyone to help is that- aside from being a loner- there is no one to ask. I don't have any neighbors that can help. All three of them have health or physcial limitations. I could get my son's friends to help- and wish for the best :rolleyes: whatever that might be with teens. I'm going to put another ad in the feed store for the butcher two- keep one idea and the carcass sharing idea. Those might do the trick. Thanks Terri. :)
     
  18. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Yeah- I think I can understand the losing money everyday part. I can give them away- I saw an ad for carcass removal. I hate to do it because I'd like something back but if all else fails I have a place in mind now.
     
  19. diamondefarm

    diamondefarm Well-Known Member

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    Thank God hogs aren't ruminants, or they would take over the world!

    Cost of feed is the only thing that keeps them in check.
     
  20. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    "The problem with asking anyone to help is that- aside from being a loner- there is no one to ask"

    Actually, I was thinking more like posting a notice on the bulletin board at a shooting range, or wherever a gun club meets. Seems likely that some of those guys would hunt.