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Old 03-13-2010, 03:44 PM
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Default Raising hogs



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Hey -
Basic question - how much purchased feed (corn, sweet feed, hog chow, etc.) does it take to take to bring a feeder pig up to slaughter weight?

I'm assuming you buy your feeder pig in the early spring and slaughter around 12/1 or so, as soon as it's cold enough to kill and hang the meat.

I am having a hard time finding any numbers on this. I understand you might supplement with free sources of feed, but if I was only feeding bought feed, would I need 200, 300, 500, or more pounds of feed on average to fatten the hog?

Would it make financial/practical sense to slaughter him before winter, or does it do you any good to keep him and let him get bigger? Are you only putting on more lard when you do this?

Also, what's your favorite easy keeping homestead hog?

Thanks very much. I have a hunch that pig raising could be summed up in about 10 good sentences, but I'm having a hard time finding those sentences!
Old 03-13-2010, 04:37 PM
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Hick Industries Hick Industries is offline
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Young hogs turn their feed into mussle at a ratio of 6 to 1. Meaning that it will take 1200 lbs of grain to fatten your feeder pig to a 240 lb butchering weight. 1200 lbs of corn is 24 bu and would cost about $80. This is why very few people make money feeding pigs on purchased feed.

That same pig will fatten up to 240 lbs on 1000 lbs of corn stalks, sweet corn cobs, rotten lettuce heads from the supermarket dumpster, plus about 200 lbs of grain. You make the call.
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:01 PM
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Thanks very much. And the carcass will dress out to about, maybe half that weight in pork? Maybe less? So you're paying about $1 per pound or a little more for your pork I suppose, not counting fencing and other costs.

I appreciate your help.
Old 03-14-2010, 01:17 AM
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awwwwww how can you eat such a cute thing?








lol (just kidding)


personally, though, i'd rather have some kinda poultry or bunnies. cheaper, smaller, can eat the whole thing in 1 sitting- less to worry about preserving!
Old 03-14-2010, 07:09 AM
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i don't think it is cost effective to purchase feed to raise hogs.. go to your green grocer and ask if you could have his unwanted veg n stuff he can't sell.. feed them to your hog..
Old 03-14-2010, 10:17 AM
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i don't think it is cost effective to purchase feed to raise hogs.. go to your green grocer and ask if you could have his unwanted veg n stuff he can't sell.. feed them to your hog..
Money wise, it is probably more expensive to raise your own pork than to buy it. But I do it anyway. I know what it eats, and I know it isn't full of growth hormones and antibiotics.

We also get unwanted food from a local cafe. It save them room in their dumpster, and the pigs love it. We get 4-5 5-gallon buckets a week free food.
Old 03-14-2010, 03:26 PM
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Hogs are the probably the fastest growing meat. I don't have the numbers in front of me now, but I don't push any of my animals.

The biggest cost is the butcher. It isn't that hard just make sure you have a helper. I have done it alone and it isn't that hard, they are just big.

A good source of feed is a breadstuffs distributer. I used to get a truck load every week or every other week. Less in hot weather, store in the shade and it keeps much better. Keep the sweets to a minimum, like donuts, bread and the like are better for them. This can be had free. They just throw the extra in a dumpster and that costs them money. Check your yellow pages. In a post SHTF this or store bought feed will not be a choice, but this is good practice. I'm going to try a suggestion I heard a while back; that is make a three sisters garden for my pigs. I try to give mine as natural a diet as possible. This will solve the age old question of what to do with all the zuchinni.

The younger a pig is the more thrifty it uses feed. You can use them at any size, from suckling to 500#.

Give them enough space and they will keep themselves pretty clean and not so stinky.
Old 03-15-2010, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by reavilh View Post
Money wise, it is probably more expensive to raise your own pork than to buy it. But I do it anyway. I know what it eats, and I know it isn't full of growth hormones and antibiotics.

We also get unwanted food from a local cafe. It save them room in their dumpster, and the pigs love it. We get 4-5 5-gallon buckets a week free food.

Missouri Regulations on feeding garbage to swine:
http://mda.mo.gov/animals/health/dis...arbagefeed.php
No one shall feed garbage to swine, except to their own swine and then on the garbage obtained from their own household, unless they have a permit from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

The permit is obtained by submitting an application along with a $25 fee to the Department of Agriculture. Department of Agriculture will inspect the equipment and premises before issuing the permit. The permit shall be issued for a period of one (1) year.

The permit stipulates that the garbage must to heated to a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit (212F) for 30 minutes before it can be fed to swine, recording thermometer charts must be maintained and stored properly and daily cooking records must be kept for a period of 90 days.


Feeding garbage is a potentially very dangerous practice.
Old 03-15-2010, 08:06 AM
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Also, what's your favorite easy keeping homestead hog?
If you are going to keep the "mama" hogs, then some kind of Yorkshire cross sow is what you want. They are called the "Mother Breed" because they do such a good job of raising their pigs. If you provide a good warm dry spot and an ample supply of bedding material, sticks, hay, etc, they will raise a litter of pigs. Probably a York/Landrace cross, or even a York/Spot cross. A Hampshire or Duroc boar is good.

Raising hogs is a good practice for subsistence type farming, because you can make good use of most crop byproducts, such as corn cobs, pea hulls, etc. After you are through harvesting a crop, such as peas, corn, etc, you can turn the hogs in on the residue. You must have some grain or purchased feed, though, because they just are not going to produce the pork without it. Feeding a couple of sows and their pigs, and a boar is an expensive proposition if you are buying the feed. For most people, it is a whole lot cheaper to buy their pork at the grocery, or even to go to a farm and buy a ready-to-slaughter hog. In a survival type situation, it would probably be a good practice for one farm in an area to produce pork for sale on the hoof to neighbors. Otherwise, as someone already said, other types of meat production might be more viable. Hogs have to have some good fences, too.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:36 PM
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Yes its true that pigs will eat most anything, and convert it to usable meat, however after raising literally thousands of pigs in a variety of situations I have to emphasize the importance of protein in their diet. Without a consistent source of protein it will take them much longer to get to slaughter weight. I think this is what levelfarmer is saying when he says they just wont produce the pork without it. Protein can come from a variety of sources such as soybean meal, fish meal, alfalfa and other legumes, and dairy products. In the past even tankage (discarded meat and by products from slaughtering and rendering operations) was included. It seems as though this practice is much less prevelent today with the rise of prion diseases such as mad cow and scrapie. So go ahead and feed what you want and learn it first hand, just include adequate protein!
Old 03-16-2010, 01:00 PM
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Most restaurants, truck stops, etc have throw away bins that they put all the food waste into. They would be happy to provide it if your willing to carry it away. Pigs will love you for it.
Old 03-18-2010, 09:24 PM
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Don't forget pigs can graze! Especialy the Tamworths and some of the older breeds can earn most of their living off a good legume based pasture.
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