New to pigs

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by GoatTalkr9, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. GoatTalkr9

    GoatTalkr9 Well-Known Member

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    [/SIZE]Hi all! I've been trying to read up on your posts! I am completely new to pig raising, and need to know as much as I can learn. I live on a farm in Wv. We have decided to raise our own pigs to butcher..but nothing else beyond that.My inlaws and hubb know how to butcher them out. I need to know the best breed for my area and when/where I should be looking for buying? Is the stock sale ok for buying..or should I look elsewhere. Thanks in advance for the info,and I'll be here on a regular basis!
     
  2. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Hiya and welcome! I think most breeds are adaptable to specific places- I tend to like the Duroc or the Duroc cross because it is what I've worked with. To be honest, I'm abandoning the domestic eating machines and going for the much cheaper, much more delicious razorback cuisine. As for purchasing, I've purchased from the Agricultural Marketplace in my state (FL) and have been more than pleased with the breeders, the conditions, and the prices. Never been to an auctionor stock sale. I prefer to go to the home and check out how anaimals are kept.
     

  3. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! I prefer the durocs, hampshires and yorks. You might want to contact your county agriculture agent or local farm/feed store to see what is readily available in your area.
    People usually purchase weaning pigs in the spring, feed them out and butcher in the fall when it's cool. It takes anywhere from 4 to 6 months to get one to butchering size. It wouldn't hurt to start looking for a supplier now.
    I avoid the sale barns for any animal....it's just me. I'm sure there are perfectly good animals there. For an animal you are going to eat, I'd buy from someone that has a good reputation, doesn't heavily medicate. That's just my opinion.

    Your ag agent or local feed store should be able to point you to a good breeder. Good luck! Look forward to your posts! :D
     
  4. GoatTalkr9

    GoatTalkr9 Well-Known Member

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    We've never bought from a sales barn before,I was just curious. I know that with goats,it's a bad idea..so I wasn't sure if that was true for all animals. The only problem I might come across is if the inlaws do decide they want to keep pigs out here as well and the father inlaw puts up a fuss and wants to buy from the stock sale. :/ Wouldn't do me much good to buy mine elsewhere and then let them pen together. Thanks for responding and yes..I'll be hanging around. :) We are slowly getting more self sufficient. We use goats for clearing hillsides,fertilizing the garden,and this fall we'll be able to have the milk also.We'll be selling the registered ones from next years batch. I never thought about using pigs too! How big of an area do I need to keep 2 to 4 pigs till fall?
     
  5. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Hogs don't need a large area, you could keep two in a 16 ft square pen. The thing is (in my opinion) the more area the healthier they are. It's not always true though.
    There are people raising them penned in stock trailers, hosing it out every day, with good luck.
    I just like to keep them happy and give them as much room as I can, They have an area they use for the bathroom and they have their sleeping area, feeding area and a mud hole to keep cool in summer. I know it's just my way of thinking, but I feel the larger area keeps them healthier, less likely to get worms.
    Anyway, remember to locate your pen away from your house and don't keep them upwind. :D
     
  6. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure but I think I saw that you are from West Virginia.

    If you are and you go to an Auction Barn Sale for livestock in West Va. and try to buy a pig or hog they will have to have papers from a Vet that show they have been vaccinated from some kind of a certain disease,
    ( don't know the name )

    If the pigs and Hogs do not have the proper paperes you can not buy them.
    Check with the Action house for more info.

    Only the slaughter house people can bid on them ( even baby pigs ) and they must go to slaughter not back to a farm.

    Best place to buy in West Va. would be the Hog and Pig raiser at the farm.
    Shop around and ask questions.

    Talk to you local feed store and they may be able
    to help you find some pig raisers.

    Find out what paper work you will need for your own Hogs and Pigs.
    .
     
  7. GoatTalkr9

    GoatTalkr9 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Bumpus.Yup,I'm from West Virginia. I really appreciate the answers I'm getting to all the questions I'm throwing out. I'll check around at the local feed stores. I was finding it odd that there aren't any advertisements in the local papers and bulletin boards for pigs.
     
  8. DMC_OH

    DMC_OH Well-Known Member

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    where are you at in W.V.? i am in South Eastern Oh wheeling being about 60 miles from me. I am expecting my sow to have her litter in late march or so. If you are close enough maybe we can work something out with you. they are hamshire blue butt mix. (blue butts are usually a cross between a hamshire and a large white or york) Let me know if you are interested. I plan to sell them for 25 a piece and all the males will be cut before being sold. Let me know either way. :)
     
  9. DMC_OH

    DMC_OH Well-Known Member

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    Depending on how you keep a hog, You may want to consider a few things, like keeping area clean will reduce the smell. raising butchering stock on concrete and cleaning weekly, they can be raised in barn(recomended). By cleaning weekly you not only reduce smell but also cut back on risk of infections. you can raise hogs all year round little more work in winter because of watering. My last hog I had butchered weighed 412lbs live, and 247 hanging weight. So I think I know enough about hogs. If You decide to build an outside pen 16 ft square just make sure you line the bottom inside with barbed wire(to prevent escaping). Build a little shed about 4ft high with three side to get them out of the weather.
     
  10. GoatTalkr9

    GoatTalkr9 Well-Known Member

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    Well,the barn is out..simply because the goats will be kidding there in one half and then being turned out into the other half as the kids get older. Three sided sheds are easy to make,and you answered a question I had about how high to make the shed. :) The inlaws will be out today helping to clear more land...we'll ask them if they're interested in buying piglets soon.I'd like to get them here and settled before the goats start kidding! :rolleyes: My husband will no doubt be outside today "pondering" about where it would be best to put a pen...and will end up right where I already was going to put them. :p
     
  11. rickochet

    rickochet Member

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    A friend of mine is selling me 2 little ones out of a litter appx. 2 months old. He's giving me another month to build my first pig pen, I've decided to go with hog panels with barb wire at bottom. I will build my pen rather large as this seems preferable posssibly sixty by fifteen. I like the idea of the pallets for flooring in their house. Which I will cover with plywood to keep them from getting hung up. My location will be on an acre of land I purchased next to homestead about 150 yards from house. Wind should take smell away as I plan to butcher them this winter anyways. Appreciate all the tips I have read on this site. Plus my wife will be helpful as her father raised hogs when she was young. Any tips will be greatly appreciated like I'm wondering if 150 yards is far enough away from home? As far as using electric wire to keep hogs in my friend I'm buying hogs from uses electric fence but moves it around his land to keep brush down as he keeps hogs year round. Thanks for the info wish me luck. Rick
     
  12. unixguy

    unixguy Member

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    Good afternoon;

    Wy waife and I are raising pigs for the first time this year, and I understand what you are up against.

    We purchased three pig from a local pig man who advertizes in the local free-trader/thrifty nickel paper. We were able to see where the pigs were raised, and how healthy all of his animal looked, so there were no problems there. You should double check and make sure that if the pigs you are are males that thay have been castrated, or know someone who knows how to do it for you and teach you... See my other thread.

    We have plenty of space, so our pig pen is about 50X50, and we only had three hogs. They don't need near this space, but they seem to enjoy having it, and get more exercise. We don't worry about the extra food consumption that comes along with the exercise, as we get most all of they their food from a local restaurant as food waste.

    The other down side of a larger pen is more fence to maintain... We have a single strand of smooth electric wire that protects the bottom of the fenceline. This has worked very well, and only failed us during a lion attack.

    The pig's shelter that we use is an old pickup topper mounted on railroad ties. Works very well, as we don't need to get in there very often, but can when we need to. It also helps that the topper is on an angle, so that condensation from their breathing doesn't drip on them as they sleep.

    We got three pigs to allow for the case of one dying, and two of anything is better, happier than one. We are glad we did, we are now down to two, but next year I think we will raise five- The costs and overhead in terms of chores etc, would be the same, and we just like the dang critters.

    If you can, have utilities run to the pen. Water and electricity at the pen, at a touch of faucet and switch would be REAL nice, but I've been accused of having overly esotric solutions to simple problems.


    Good Luck, and welcome.

    Unixguy.
     
  13. rickochet

    rickochet Member

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    hey colorado thanks for the reply, in my other post "I'm new" I had another reply answered about castration as I don't know gender of pigs yet but will find out tmw. as I'm buying them from a co-worker. I will ask him gender. Why the need to castrate males? please advice, thank you for your time take care Rick
     
  14. unixguy

    unixguy Member

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    Why the need to castrate males?

    The reason is called 'boar taint'. Like the males of many animals, but not all, when they reach sexual maturity the horomones released by their bodies changes the taste of the meat for the worse. I've never had or been around it, but generally this meat is considered unfit for human consumption.

    Many Roaster Chickens are capons ( desexed males ), but intact roosters are Not good eating. What I can't figure out is that we just smoked a Tom Turkey we raised from a chick, and boy was he tasty; Wonder why the difference.

    Unixguy
     
  15. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Boar taint is nasty in young wild boars before they reach maturity. It starts early and by about 40 pounds they are too strong for my personal taste. And if it doesn't show up too much the first tme it is cooked wait until it is reheated in the the microwave- get that whole house smell. Puke :eek: It doesn't make the pork unfit for consumption however. There are people who seek out this pork as I recently found out. Most of the meat chcickens sold for market are intact males I would venture and not capons. The commercial meat breeds reach butcher weight in about 6-8 weeks. The chickens are huge but immature. Generally speaking they have no muscle tone and no flavor. Capons must be a specialty meat. I've not seen them often. Roosters and toms are fine for eating. Depending on the age. Our mature roos are a bit tough but the flavor is great. Wouldn't trade it for a mature hen but that is just me :)
     
  16. Paul O

    Paul O Well-Known Member

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    I recently read an article in Countryside Magazine where a family was raising pigs mostly for their own consumption. They did not castrate; they just put down the males early. They claimed the meat was fine. Of course this wouldn’t work in a lot of cases, but it might work for a small, homestead herd.
     
  17. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Most any breed will likely be fine in your mild climate. I would check around with your neighbors near and far who have pigs and see what is being kept locally. They may have piglets to sell as well as knowledge of local tricks to share.

    We keep Yorkshires (4 sows and 26 new piglets in the start of Sept) on pasture with our sheep and chickens. We have stone walls around the fields with a strand of high tension electric along the road side and around the gardens. When snow flies they all move into the garden corrals which makes for good rich soil all tilled up and weed free the next year. We feed them hay in the winter as they're already adapted to it from the pastures. We also give them garden gleanings and a little waste bread from the bakery - but that is more of a training treat than anything as it is not much. This way you also get to see how the piglets were raised up, the condition of their mothers, etc. Personally I would avoid the auctions - but that is in part because I don't do high pressured hectic scenes.

    Big things that make it easier are having conditions setup so the animals can pretty much take care of them selves. We intereact with them daily for the most part but they can be on their own for days if necessary. Having running water helps a lot. We have spring fed barrels buried in the ground that stay moving and ice free for the most part in the winter and fresh and cool in the summer.

    For shelters we have some pole sheds and we also dug pig huts into the hill and roofed them with logs and planks. These are cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

    Cheers,

    -Walter
    in Vermont
     
  18. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Hmm... I never caponize our roosters. Tasty anyways. Very good eating.

    -Walter
    in Vermont