I'm thinking of growing a couple of pigs for meat next year...

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by RedTartan, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. RedTartan

    RedTartan Icelandic Sheep Supporter

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    Can anyone tell me what kind of pig I should get? I'd like to get a piglet in the spring and butcher in the fall. Will any pig work? Should I look for a certain breed/cross?

    Thanks,

    :baby04: RedTartan
     
  2. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    If you're just wanting to raise one for meat, buy whatever is available locally. I'm sure there is someone within driving distance that has decent quality feeder pigs to raise for butcher. If after you raise one or two you decide you want to start breeding your own, you can research the traits of the different breeds, see which one suits your fancy, and buy breeding stock at that point. Certainly go with a crossbred to begin with, especially for meat.
     

  3. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    The kind of pig you should get is a healthy, Vigorous Pig! They should have clear, alert eyes, be energetic and respond quickly to any food offered. If a pig stands off in a corner, is sluggish, or has a runny nose or bad cough I would avoid that pig. As far as breeds, probably have the most selection and the least investment if you stay with the big breeds- Hampshire, Yorkshire, Duroc, Spots, Polands, or ANY CROSS THEREOF.
    Most animals do better with a companion, and if you feed and house one, doing so for two is minimal additional effort. For a first time :1pig: project,
    "One is not enough, and three's too many"
     
  4. RedTartan

    RedTartan Icelandic Sheep Supporter

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    Okay, thanks for the advice. I can't wait til spring to get my little piggies :)

    RedTartan
     
  5. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Why Wait? You could get a 60-70 pound pig now and harvest it just prior to the Christmas Holidays!
     
  6. RedTartan

    RedTartan Icelandic Sheep Supporter

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    Why wait? I don't have a pen yet for them. We just moved into our house two months ago and all of our resources (i.e. money and sweat) are going to making the house ready for winter. :)

    Though, I would love to get my goats and pigs now...

    :) RedTartan
     
  7. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Ah, Well, Get'em next year!!!..cheers.
     
  8. soapmakermom

    soapmakermom Well-Known Member

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    We live in NE Ohio also, and buy our pigs from a local breeder. If you want his phone #, PM me, ok? He raises Yorkshires, the pink ones. Good for bacon, long and lean. They are very healthy, too. We've purchased from others in the past and got sick pigs, which are a real pain, you have to give shots. So we are very happy with him. Our pigs are just about getting ready to butcher. He usually sells in April/May/June time frame.
    One other suggestion: buy two piglets. They grow faster because they compete to eat more. Also, they don't get lonely, animals are social. It's easy to sell the second pig half or whole and this helps recover your costs.
    Mary
     
  9. saramark

    saramark 1 acre homesteaders

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    is it too late to get a pig in early sept? We are going on vacation and wont return til sept 1. Housing I got, but dont know where to get fence, would prefer electric and would want to butcher by late november, as we have snow by then. Is this a good idea?
     
  10. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Supporter

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    Go with what ever breed you can find locally. Mixed breeds typically perform better than pure breds (Hybrid Vigor).

    Don't wait until next summer, do it now and you'll have meat in the freezer in the winter. If you buy even small piglets now they'll do fine in the cold weather and be ready to butcher in January or February. We raise pigs year round here in the mountains of northern Vermont _without_ a barn or heat. Just give them plenty of hay to bed down in and eat. If you want to go the extra mile, increase the calories in their diet a small amount to make up for the cold.

    Pigs are fun!

    Cheers,

    -Walter
    in Vermont
     
  11. soapmakermom

    soapmakermom Well-Known Member

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    If you get small piglets, it will take about 4 or 5 months to raise them to butcher weight. We always try to finish them before their water will freeze. If you have them in cold weather, you have to carry out water to them. The nipple/line system won't work in the cold, the water freezes. When you carry water to a pig, it immediately tries to dump it, so you are left with trying every which way to secure their water pan, or carrying out water 2-3 times a day.... a real pain.
     
  12. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    For 1- 5 hogs, carrying water is good exercise for heart and respiratory circulation - NO HEALTH CLUB FEES required!
    A trick for winter water troughs is to pour water around base of a heavy trough, intentionally freeze it down so hogs cannot move it. Then you can clean it daily with a shovel or hoe.

    HEY-HERE'S A CRAZY CONCEPT- If more people had pigs in the winter, there would be less depression(SADS) and holiday suicides in the Northern Climates. Why?
    Because folks that have animals have responsibility to coffee up, muster up there courage, and leave the house to feed & water them. They don't have time to sit around the house dwelling on their problems and feeling sorry for themselves. Once they are out there, the pigs give you a chuckle with their antics, and you see that life is ok, even if it's - 25F and you haven't seen the sun in as many days.
    :1pig: PIGS ARE THERAPEUTIC!!!! LOL.
     
  13. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Supporter

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    Not if you have continuously flowing spring water. That is how we do it - it works fine year round even in way below zero (F) temps. Check out our ice sculptures :)

    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2005/12/ice-sculpture-progress.html