What breed is best for meat?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Chris Barletter, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Chris Barletter

    Chris Barletter Member

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    Thinking about getting a few and was wondering which breed is the best for meat production?
     
  2. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Mostly what ever you can get locally. Some breeds like the Tamworth and such are known to grow more slowly or like the Kune Kune and Pot Bellied to grow to smaller sizes. For meat production Yorkshire, Hampshire and Large Black are all good breeds. Berkshire are known for marbling. Realize that variance within the breed can be considerable and crosses typically out perform pure breds. A good technique is to get pigs from someone nearby who is raising them the way you want to raise them as that gives you a leg up on the genetics.

    Cheers

    -Walter
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
    in the mountains of Vermont
    Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
    http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
    http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa
     

  3. Gailann Schrader

    Gailann Schrader Green Woman

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    Exactly!

    On my "farm" I have difficulties with Boer goats and keeping enough copper for my beloved breed, the Oberhasli (which I came to the conclusion I simply cannot - my sulphur water inhibits other uptake as well. And then there are the mengeal worms too). I know we're talking pigs and I'm talking goats... but my point is this. What will YOUR farm support? 300# sows and litters? A few feeders? A smaller wiry breed?

    Yes, there are always variances in animals, but you may consider the TOTAL picture of what your "farm" can handle. As Walter said, locally is always best (at least to begin with - thousands of local farmers can't be wrong). You will KNOW that type of hog can grow in your area. That is to say if you live in HOT Florida maybe it's not the best to grow a fatty pig that has to stay out in the sun. Or a skinny pig without company in a cold area... Exceptions noted of course.

    Additionally. HOW MUCH MEAT do you want? If you have 500# of hog, can you run through that in an approximate year? That would be 1.4# a day for one person or 9.62# a week for one person. Do you have the freezer room? Can you and/or your family eat that much? Or can you use it for barter for other meats, vegetables, car repairs, etc.?

    Ultimately, the best meat pig is the one you can grow in your area. Good Luck and Good Eating!
     
  4. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Most breeds will make excellent pork. Don't get too hung up on a breed and get what you can find in your area.
     
  5. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Tyusclan, speaking of Florida... I have read that the light skinned pigs have more trouble down south. In the peak of our summers here in Vermont, much less sunny than you in Florida, I make sure there is brush shade available to our pigs, be the dark or light. Does the dark skin make for enough protection or do you still need to provide the shade?

    On an interesting related note, my six year old daughter and I were cutting up a black pig today and I showed her just how thin the layer of color is. Barely a hair's width is the difference between black skin and white skin. Compare that with the half inch or so thickness of the actual skin. It was an interesting lesson in biology and politics.
     
  6. Chris Barletter

    Chris Barletter Member

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    Thanks for the responses .They raise alot of pigs in hog houses(commercial operations) around here and was wondering if they are raising a genetically superior pig for meat production .Kinda like they do with cornish x rock chicken.
     
  7. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    The lighter skinned hogs will sunburn much worse than the ones with more color, but good shade and a wallow hole are musts for any hogs here in the summer.
     
  8. Gailann Schrader

    Gailann Schrader Green Woman

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    Yes, Chris, those are designed for optimum meat production. However, those pigs may not do as well in an "open" design such as us Homesteaders use.

    But they may do ok for you too.

    As for Rock Cornish X, they grow like the dickens for 6 weeks. And eat like hogs. and get so heavy that they cannot stand and drag themselves to the feed trough. and lose all their breast feathers from same. AND if you don't butcher them at 6 weeks? They have heart attacks (flip) and die. I know this from personal and other people's experiences.

    So if you want to grow commercial hogs, know that they've been genetically bred to eat and act similarly to Rock Cornish X. Yep. 6 months/6 weeks seems to be the optimum for them. I don't think they'll die on you like RCX will? But their feed demand may be INCREDIBLE. And if you DON'T feed them as they demand? They are a lot more assertive about getting feed than RCX are... Get a strong pen... :)
     
  9. JimB

    JimB Well-Known Member

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    You all are right they all will produce meat the only thing to consider in the breed is the older heritage breeds Berkshire,spots,landrace, etc have more fat covering the meat usually durocs,yorkshire,tamworth,hampshires are usually leaner. To me it depends on wether you want farm style meat or commercial (leaner=dryer) style. But either way buy from someone that produces them that are not the commercial hogs; I have raised them because of a good deal and they wernt as good as the other breeds to eat and wasnt as good at diease resistance.
     
  10. Mountain Mick

    Mountain Mick Well-Known Member

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    Tamworth, Large Black, Berkshire pigs would be good for orchard pigs all three make great free range pork and are well worth finding. it just depends on how you are going to run them in the pasture or in barn/stye... have fun and happy pigs make great pork.
     
  11. stranger

    stranger Well-Known Member

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    we like Landrace.
     
  12. Chris Barletter

    Chris Barletter Member

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    Thanks for the help guys!