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Raising hogs

20805 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Robroy
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! :)
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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:
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 (212°F) 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.
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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