questions on raising pigs

amandasmith911(6 INDIANA)July 16, 2005

i would love to raise my own pig for meat but i do not know if i will be able to. i have lots of general questions and i don't want to have to buy a book unless i am going to do it.

can you raise just one or is two better?

how much space do i need to raise 1 or two pigs, this in my main concern.

aprox how many weeks till they are big enough for slaughter?

what is average cost of a baby pig?

what else do i need to know?

thanks , amanda

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My daughter raised a pig for fair for four years. SHe got it when it was about 80 pounds and it took about two months to get to about 230 pounds. Her pig cost 150.00 to buy. But it was a show/meat pig so probably why the cost. We had a house for it 8X4 and the pen was probably 8X10 Hope that helps(-:

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 11:24AM
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woco(z6 UT)

can you raise just one or is two better?

Two pigs are better. That way they actually fight a little over the food and they eat more and grow faster. If you only have one pig, there is no compitition and they eat when they want and do not grow as fast.

how much space do i need to raise 1 or two pigs, this in my main concern.

My pigs are spoiled. They have about a 90' by 60' area to roam. I know people that have raised pigs in a 10' by 10' area. If you have 2 pigs you will need an area a little bigger than that.

aprox how many weeks till they are big enough for slaughter?

We buy ours when they are about 8 weeks old and it usually takes about 6 months to get them to the proper weight to butcher which is about 260 pounds.

what is average cost of a baby pig?

We pay about $35 for an 8 week old.

what else do i need to know?

They will eat just about anything. If you raise them on cracked corn only it is expensive so find some way of getting them some slop. Do not over manage them. Let them eat and grow. Last thing. They love to be scratched behind their ears.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 11:34AM
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One word of caution!
You will fall in love with Him/Her and never be able to
send it to slaughter.



    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 12:33PM
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pamcleod(z4 NH Lakes)

LOL, that is my concern about pigs, too (getting attached). I've heard they are so smart. We'd like to get a couple next year - not only for the meat, but we have some stumpy areas that need cleared.

Is the meat better or worse when they have a little room to wander, and eat some forage in addition to grain?

Amanda, baby pigs around here seem to cost about $65-$100.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 1:30PM
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froglet(NSW Aust)

I was thinking of getting a couple of pigs for ploughing the scrub on my land and later using them for tilling my garden beds after harvest but i have heard that a no-till garden is better??? anyone know if this is true? What other uses are pigs good for? Pig-powered composting?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 10:35AM
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Over the years I would raise a couple of pigs each year. One for our meat and sold one toward expenses. They're alot of fun. I had a 16x16 pen out of hog panels and a good sized area that went into some woods and brush with two strands of electric fence that worked excellent. After a couple jolts they never tested the fence again and were easy to keep in.

One year there was an old guy that ran a small local feed store and he gave me several bags of corn meal that he had obtained for running thru grinders between feed batches. Anyway I would slop the hogs with a couple scoops of cornmeal in a 5 gallon pail with a gallon or so of excess goat milk and some water. They loved it and we had the best meat that year.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 11:30AM
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ebarj1098(z4 WI)

Hi, we just started raising a few pigs this year. We have them in a 10 x 18 pen, with automatic waterers, which work great. Price varies with the market. Pigs were high when we bought, so we paid $2/lb. (35# pigs) I heard that a 60# pig is most expensiver/lb? Ours should reach about 240# in about 3 weeks, which will be about 100 days total time that we raised them. We feed "Lindow Grower" from our feed store, and do not feed them much "kitchen garbage" except bread, cake, etc. We really like the taste of hogs that eat alot of bread. Also, we aren't there yet, but I heard you have to take them off feed for three days before slaughter (don't know if that's correct), but a friend of our fed the pigs sugar water during that time, and said they had a good taste...

I have to say, I haven't had a problem getting attached. Not when I am shoveling the stinky pen everyday and they follow me, nibbling on my feet and legs... :)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 1:59PM
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DPallas(z6, SW Mo)

I've always wanted to try raising a pig or two, but heard you have to nip their teeth? Is that true or do they just do that at factory farms?

Another use for pigs I've read about - they're supposed to be helpful in cleaning out sheds and barns. If you scatter corn chops over a winter build-up of straw bedding, they'll supposedly root it all up so that it's much easier to fork out. Ive never tried it, but would like to.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 2:37PM
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I've seen them raised in a pin they couldn't turn around in, to a a 100 pigs in a 50X50 pin cleaned with two inch hose,and the smeal was about five miles :( Really just depends on what you want to do ? last first hand knowledge of return/investment .55 feed bill/per pound .50 sell price......he got out of the business fast.....with a lost. Mechanical engineer lol

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 1:24AM
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ojai_jim(z10 Southern Ca)

I'm thinking of raising some pigs for personal eating for myself and my friends in an avocado orchard. I can imagine they would be hard on the drip hoses, but I think I can get around that. I do wonder, however, if they would eat the bark off the trees, or rub the bark off. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 5:49PM
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I raise pigs for a living. Yes they will rub and scratch and sometime the bark of a tree is history. glad to help. PK

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 5:18PM
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Pigs will compost bedding of other breeds but will root better if they have a "reward" near the bottom. Too much information about it for me to write it all in here. You may be able to find some information if you do a search for "pigaerator" (I think I spelled that right).

I have heard about giving them beer before slaughter but don't know anything about it first hand.....

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 11:09PM
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The pig's "snout" is it's strongest muscle. It is born in them to root; it comes naturally to them. they do NOT have to have a treat at the bottom to root. turn them out on ground and just watch them go at it. I do not understand your post abut composting other animal's bedding? what does this mean exactly? you can turn 5/6 grown pigs onto an acre of land and they will clear it, and uproot it in approx. 3-6 months. Ours are NOT on ground, all housed on concrete under roof. We don't have time to make sure no one shoots them mistaking them for deer. Pkspigs

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 11:15PM
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We want to start an old fashion farm that lets us rely mostly on what is on the land. Can any one tell me if I can feed the pigs just left overs oat and corn and what type of minnimul housing can I use

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 5:45PM
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i would like to bild a farrow pen for my gilt . what size do yuo think would be good. I would like to stay away from crates and go all natural. help !!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 7:07PM
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I have been offered a 150# sow for $100. I have an unused horse barn and plenty of space for her. The current owner can no longer afford to feed her. I can. My family has a 4000 square foot garden. We intend to raise chickens and rabbits for our table. Why not a pig? My neighbor has the know how to slaughter and butcher her. We have space to store the meat... I know she requires daily care but I am a stay at home dad so have the time to tend to her needs. We live in central New Mexico. It is very hot and dry. Anybody have any pointers or suggestions? Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 6:23PM
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google as much as you can to find info on raising pigs and also go to your local library and tell the librarian to get you a book or just phone her and tell her what you want.

Get all the info you can get. But jump right in and learn as you go. There are no secrets. Food, water, space shelter and slaughter then pack into the freezer to eat.

The big problem might be holding over a winter. So forget that and just buy a new baby in the spring.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 9:38PM
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my husband and just bought a 10 acre farm, and I have never raised a hog, but we have a restaurant, and what I was thinking is..... instead of the busers dumping all that wonderful food in the trash ( 4 star restaurant!) maybe we could raise a hog on that?? What I am wondering, can a pig eat filet,Ribeye, PORK, solfshelled crab bordalaise, how bout can he have escargot? I know the breads , milk product vegetables, but what about all the other?? Please let me know.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 6:18PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

A pig with a companion will be more content and much less likely to want to roam.

Hog panels are 16 feet long. You can buy 4 of them, fasten them together at the corners and the pen will be 16x 16. You can raise 2 pigs in that size area.

I like my animals to have access to more room, and pigs are very easily confined with electric wire.

They MUST have shade. They over-heat easily and can get sunburned. They also need protection from predators and stray dogs.

You must figure out some way to water them where they can't get the water dirty.

I've got apple trees, and we raised a couple of pigs every fall on half windfall apples and 1/2 dry COB with a bit of alfalfa thrown in.

They need to be dewormed. The type of wormer that can be put into their feed is the easiest way.

Talk to them every day and scratch them so they are tame. The meat is best when they have not been stressed and you want them to be happy and confident when the butcher comes out to shoot them. You sure don't want to have to chase them around to catch them so that they are hot and full of adrenaline.

I put a pan of food down, they lower their head to eat, and the butcher stands right in front of them and shoots them in the brain. It is instantaneous. The pig is never aware.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 4:38PM
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If you have woodland on your property which contains oak trees, they give a lot of acorns in the fall. Guess what-- The hogs love to eat them and they are free but, picking them off the ground takes some effort.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 8:49AM
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To courtnye: You asked the question about raising pigs from the resteraunt scraps. We have friends who have tried to raise pigs on both scraps and some meats. What they came up with was never feed a pig any pork scraps, it spoils the meat. Pigs that are fed no meat, all veggies and breads, pastries, etc were much better meat. They said there was a big difference in the meat from the pigs raised without any meat products. Good luck with your pigs!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 8:04AM
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thinking of raising pigs for butchering for the family i butcher myself and always buy my hogs from a local farm what is the feed cost for raising a hog for butcher on a monthly basis?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 9:40PM
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I could easily get lots and lots of fish, can you feed a pig fish? Its high in protein...

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 9:28PM
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I am getting pigs for the first time. I am hoping to raise them organically. Has anyone out there ever done that? I would like some info on how to raise them organically with regard to worming, etc...Also these piglets are 3 weeks old. At what age can I start feeding them slop (food leftovers and excess garden veggies along with goat's milk, mostly) along with the pig starter feed? I'd like to transition away from the feed eventually and feed them slop, vegetables and alfalfa hay - how long should I keep them on the starter feed before I totally replace with the other?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 10:53AM
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We live in the Pacific NW. I have seen a lot of heritage piglets for sale and am wondering how hard it is to over-winter them. We have a small goat shed and pasture (3 acres with trees)

Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 8:04PM
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