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Discussion in 'Pigs' started by steff bugielski, Sep 12, 2012.
Can some one tell me the average life expectancy of a domestic pig?
9-12 yrs or so
The only real "use" for pigs is for food. They don't give fleece, they don't lay eggs or give milk, you just eat them. So very few pigs make it that long unless they are pets.
The bigger breeds die younger than the smaller ones. I know a yorkie who lived to 14. She was a cutie.
=== They don't give fleece, they don't lay eggs or give milk, you just eat them. ===
Or you hitch them to a cart and they take you for rides. [My Hampshire did.]
About 6 to 8 months here..or 250 to 275 pounds..Sows and boars have little longer life span..
The average age is six months. Then they get eaten.
Breeders last four to eight years. Sows drop off at six to eight years. Typically have a weak count and then a single or twins and then they stay open.
We have two , a male ans a female. They were meant for breeding but after about 5 years I am guessing one of them is a dud. I knew this after one year but it seems hubby has gotten attached to them.
I was just kinda wondering how long I was going to have to put up with them. I would not even want to eat them at this point, especially him.
What breed are they?
Richard, poland china boar, died when he was 8. Petunia, the yorkshire, lived much longer. He was huge though, so I guess that is normal.
Thanks for that info. I was wondering how long we could expect our sow to produce viable litters.
I have had two sows that continued to produce fine litters to eight years of age. I have one right now who is about six and a half and doing well but she is the last of her four sisters. She's starting to get a little ornery and head strong which is why some sows have ended up going to butcher. Others stay mellow.
Most sows get replace at a younger age just because there's someone new coming up who's prettier, milks better, produces better litters, etc. Life's tough in the fashion industry, er, I meant farm.
Seriously though, often replacement is simply because I have another generation where I've improved through selection and I retire the least best of the advanced generation. There is only room for so many sows and there are so many pretty faces, rumps, etc.
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Sugar Mountain Farm | All Natural Pastured Pigs, Poultry, Sheep, Dogs and Kids in the mountains of Vermont
We just sent our sow to butcher. I am unsure of her true age but I would guess she was 7 or 8. She had big litters with her last being 13. She was tired of them by the age of 2 weeks. I saw her fling them flying thru the air and up against the fence. She never killed one of them but it was coming so we took them from her and put them on jersey milk.
She was a landrace and the butcher called and asked if we could pick up the meat that wasn't being cured cause it was taking up a lot of space.....she dressed out at 400 lbs. If I recall right 170 lbs is bacon and hams. Thats a lot of bacon.
Industry average is three litters. One reason, as Walter, mentioned is that there is never a shortage of replacements who will improve upon the line. The other is because an older, bigger sow is always more expensive to keep than a younger, smaller one. Pigs nutritional needs come as a percentage of body weight. Where a 250 lb first farrower might be consuming 10 lbs of feed per day, a 400 lb sow on her third litter is consuming 16lbs. That's a 60% increase in input that you have to absorb in your pig and pork prices. Makes it hard to balance the bottom line.
I've heard about the three litters for the industry due to cost of feed - big sows eat more. I've even read that many are culled after just one or two parities. But on pasture the bigger sows actually perform better since they are better grazers, work with the herding dogs better, have learned the system, larger jaws, larger intestines, etc.
Since the feed costs the same (mortgage & land taxes) I like having bigger sows over small new sows. Also big sows tend to have bigger litters, up to a point, and produce a lot more milk which means better weaning weights for the whole group.
Still, that has to be balanced with that improved upcoming gilt, thus few sows actually make it to the eight year span. Same on boars, I've got several right now that I'm considering as keepers but only one of them is going to make the grade and the others will go to market.
Steff, the actual life expectancy of the domestic pig can be anything between 10 and 15 years of age, maybe more.
I had the last surviving member of my breeding herd put down last year at nearly 16 years of age. The last of the breeding boars, a Duroc/Lge White and locally famous, is just over 10. He will probably get through this coming summer but it's doubtful he will get through another winter as he is becoming arthritic, probably because of his size. So, you could have to put up with this pair of pigs for some years to come:grin:
When you butcher a pig at an older age vs. standard 6 - 8 months... is there much of a difference in meat? We raise chickens now and there's a huge difference in a 1-year old vs. 10 week-old.
There are changes, but for the better, imo. It tends to become darker and more flavorful, but they don't tend to get stringy, chewy, and tough the way poultry do. I'm sure there's probably a point at which quality deteriorates rather than improving, but I'm not sure when that is. We don't keep them real old like Ronney has. I know many producers will make old sows into mostly sausage. So that's always an option. Anything ground will mask texture issues -- sausage, bratwurst, ground pork for burgers, etc.
Thanks for the info!
Older sows i prefer to gave them all they can eat the last 30-45 days.
Corn etc. I like the bigger chops and the rich taste of the meat.
Hmm... I disagree. There have been some pigs who have lived to those ages but that is like saying the average life expectancy of a human is 120 years because some people have lived that long. In reality it is about 65% of that. At eight years old a farm pig is looking might worn. Those that have died naturally on our farm have never lived more than eight years.
Yes, it is more delicious. My favorite meat is from four to eight year old sows. Very flavorful, juicy, tender and marbled. I often age it just like with beef, a week to two weeks depending on years. Our old boars taste very much like beef. My favorite cut from these both is the Boston Butt steak. Archimedes pictured below was delicious.
What Good is a Pig: Cuts of Pork, Nose-to-Tail | Sugar Mountain Farm
If you say so Highlands! I only mentioned two. I buried one sow at 12, another at 13 and a couple have gone at age 8 or 9. My other remaining boar is 9 and is in excellent health. Those are the ones that I remember and/or have not been disposed of for other reasons. And much will depend on whether the life is bred out of the sow. The pigs referred to by the original poster don't appear to be having this problem so could live a very long life.