Potbelly pigs as porkers???

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by CountryHaven, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. CountryHaven

    CountryHaven Well-Known Member

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    My husband and I have fed out feeder pigs for quite a few years, and always enjoyed the benefits of our several months of (very little) labor. We've often talked of actually breeding hogs, rather than simply buying shoats and feeding them up, but to tell you the truth, the idea of large boars, and even sows intimidates me no end. I've thought several times that I'd much rather own a few potbelly sows, and a boar, and could easily see myself managing that, but do they give any kind of decent meat at all, like their larger cousins?
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Many people on here butcher them. They do it before they get a big lardy belly. If you plan on raising pigs to sell, potbellys might not be very profitable. There isn't much demand for them like there once was. The large breeds of hogs were bred up over many years to have more better quality meat than they originaly did. They have a higher percentage of lean meat.
    If you have good pens for you breeding stock, they aren't too hard to handle and care for. Many pig producers replace their boars annualy with a smaller one. They spend most of their time in a small lot by themselves and you wouldn't have to be in with them very often.
    Starting out with a very few bred gilts would get you used to sows. They are mostly gentle unless they have very young pigs. They could be in a small pen at that time where you wouldn't have to get close to them.
     

  3. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I've been pretty pleased with my potbellies so far. I got a breeding pair, and after about five months, the sow (first timer) had seven piglets. I sold five piglets for enough money to cover feed for the year plus change, and kept the two biggest piglets for meat. They're growing pretty quickly, given their original and ultimage sizes. They're two and a half months old and probably weigh around 15 and 20 pounds, maybe more. They don't look like Durocs, but you can certainly see muscle structure, so I can't imagine they're really fatty. I've not butchered any yet, but a number of people on this board have (notably George K., at http://www.windridgefarm.us/potbellypigs.htm .) They all say these pigs are quite lean and tasty. I did a little research and found they're considered quite a delicacy in Viet Nam, but of course that means little. Anyway, I sure like mine. I don't think either one is over 100 pounds, and although they've been handled very little, they seem quite calm. I just can't wait to find out how those piglets grace a plate.
     
  4. CountryHaven

    CountryHaven Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both for the wonderful replies. :) I'm not so much interested in raising them for profit, although it would be nice if, like Laura, we could at least cover expenses. Mostly though I was looking to see if a small, more managable (for me since hubby is gone most of the week) porker could be efficient enough as a meat source. I had no expectations of meeting, or matching, the production output of the hamps we usually get, but with the kids grown and gone now, it's just the two of us, and it doesn't take near as much to satisfy the freezer. LOL

    I'd love to hear more experiences from any out there that have tried this. Thanks for the link, Laura, I'm going now to check it out.

    Tami
     
  5. CountryHaven

    CountryHaven Well-Known Member

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    What a fantastically informative page... THANK YOU very much, Laura!