What is best?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by caroline00, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    buying pigs yearly to quickly fatten and butcher or breeding our own and letting them grow a bit slower?

    WE have some about the right size to butcher now... we havent given an immunizations or anything... do we *need* to do anything prior to butchering? if so, what and when?

    We have never had a pig butchered.
    What do you ask for besides the typical chops, hams, bacon etc?

    When did you go from just raising meat on a yearly basis to keeping a breeding pair? If we have a breeding pair, do they have to live separately or can we routinely keep them together?

    Whats the best way to get them into the truck? Do they need a livestock cage or will they stay in the back of a pickup?

    Thanks
     
  2. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    A lot depends on what your preferences are. Do you enjoy breeding and raising your animals? Or do you like to get them in, fatten them up, and then butcher and be done with it for a while? Overall, it's probably cheaper to buy a couple of feeder pigs and feed them out than to keep breeding stock, but, again, it depends on what you want to do. There is no right or wrong.

    If the pigs are healthy there is nothing you need to do before slaughter. If they do get ill and require medication, most medication will have a withdrawal period you need to wait after the med before you have it slaughtered.

    The slaughterhouse will want to know such things as whether you want the shoulders in picnics, in roasts, or sliced for pork steaks. Do you like a lot of sausage? If so, then you may want to put one or both shoulders in the sausage. Do you want pan sausage or smoked link? Or some of both? Do you like to keep the ribs or put them in the sausage? They will usually ask you those kinds of questions, and again, it depends on your preferences. It's your hog; you can have done however it suits you.

    If you do get breeding stock you will need to have seperate pens to put your feeders in when you wean them.

    They can get out of the back a truck. You will need a trailer or some way to contain them in the truck if use it. You could make a cage out of cattle panels to fit the back of the truck, or something of the kind.
     

  3. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!
    do we need to worm them?

    Does anyone keep the fat to use? if so, what do you use it for? I think it is too soft for soap, isnt it? Is it worse for you than Crisco?
     
  4. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    what is a good breeding age?
    we have a castrated male and 3 females right now... it looks to me that the females are in heat right now... (OK, if they were goats, I would say they were definately in :) )

    Thanks
    what do you feed pigs out on to grow them for butchering?
     
  5. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    I only worm if they show signs of needing to be wormed.

    We do keep the fat. We render it down for lard. Kelley (my wife) prefers lard for pie crusts over anything else. You can make soap from the lard, but it will be darker than soap from beef tallow. It's better than Crisco, because lard will go liquid at 85 degrees. Crisco has hydrogenated and trans fats in it, which are the worst fats to eat.

    It's usually safe to breed a gilt at about 6-9 months the first time. The boars will usually be a little older before they're very interested.

    At first I'd suggest a good commercial hog feed that you can find locally. You want to start the pigs at about 16% protein while they're on the sow, and for the first 2-3 months. Then go to a 12% finisher for the last month or two. Try to find unmedicated feed if possible. Later on, as you know more, you can start to mix your own feeds if you want to.
     
  6. SpringCreek

    SpringCreek Active Member

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    Yes, keep the fat and render it for lard. Crisco, in my opinion, isn't fit for human consumption. Keep the leaf lard (around the kidneys) separate, if possible. It makes the best lard and is best reserved for things like pie crusts.