Pig raising questions

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Biskit, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. Biskit

    Biskit New Member

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    Feb 25, 2003
    My wife and I are currently working to get our farm going. We have raised steer in the past on a small lot, but we have now moved to 5.25 acres and are working that out.

    One of our goals is to feed our family from the farm as much as possible, and take the remainder to sell and make some $$$ from. I work in town (about 15 miles away) and have a number of high paid technology workers around me who are willing to pay a premium for good food raised properly.

    Because of this, we have decided to have a diverse farm with a large garden, an orchard, a market garden (which we hope to use to feed our animals rather than sell at the market) and 4 1 acre pastures. The pastures are in very good shape and we had them reseeded with a pasture mix last year. We didn't run any animals on it last year, but gave the sod a chance to form.

    For this year, we will be getting 3 #500 steers, but are looking purchasing a bred Dexter to start our own herd from. Additionally, we are building a portable chicken coop for our 30 egg-layers to run in the pastures. We will be getting a few lambs from the auction for people who have requested them, and we're thinking of adding swine. If we did, we'd be interested in something we can run on the pasture, farrow in the spring and raise 6-10 piglets to butchering weight in the fall. From what I've read, full sized breeds would need to be ringed extensively to not tear the pastures to shreds, but what about smaller breeds? Specifically, the Potbellied Pig? From reading about them, it seems they can finish around 80-100 pounds by fall and they don't cause as much damage to the land because of their size. Any thoughts on these? Maybe another breed I have not thought of?

    Thanks for your input,
    Tom
     
  2. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    Biskit
    All pigs root no matter what the breed, Potbellied pigs have almost no meat yield they are mainly fat, if you want smaller size use standard breeds and butcher at a younger age. Pigs dont gain weight very good on pasture unless you have them on a heavy grain diet. As far as raising your own pigs, it wouldn't be economical to raise 1 litter per year. There is a lot of feed required to keep a sow and boar and they would take up space needed for your other livestock. I would buy pigs in the spring and then butcher at various sizes so the feed bill could be paid as you went along. If the pigs didn't work out you would not be out much for the time and trouble.
     

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wanda is right all the way. You may be over loading your pasture. Early in the spring the grass grows fast, but when it slows down later on they will need more than it can produce, especialy if it's very dry. I'd put the pigs in a lot of their own. Either way I'd ring them. It's not very difficult on small pigs under 50 pounds.
     
  4. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    From a 9 month boar I usually get about 25 pounds of very lean meat. They mature fast until about 9 months then slowly and dont reach full size (50 pounds of dressed meat) til age 3-4 years. They are very easy to raise. I have a farm website www.windridgefarm.us
    George
     
  5. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    That is simply not true. A penned, overfed potbelly will be all fat, but a pastured potbelly has great meat and is easy to raise.
    George