Any pig farmers here?

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chadk

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I know there are other goat, tureky, duck, goose, and chicken farmers here... But wondering if any of you are experienced in backyard pig raising?

Thinking of getting a piglet or 2 and rasing it\them to the ideal weight (~250 ish) and then filling the freezer with quality organic (or close) meat.

Who has some advice?

So far I'm thinking of a pen that is about 20x20. 4ft wire feild fence and t-posts. The lower part re-inforced with boards to discourage escapes. If escapes do happen, the main yard is also fenced...
The pen will be near my garden for easy access to compost bin for the garden and easy access to garden scraps for the pig.
There would be a small covered area stuffed with hay for bedding. A wallow area and food and water area.
 

Laura

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I have a friend who does this and just had some home grown sausage..
I can send your info to her.. she is up in Oregon.. is the link below your name a contact>?
 

Angi

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A lot of the kids here raise pigs for 4-H then sale the pigs at the fair. I will ask one of the Moms that I know.
 

pugsandkids

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I'm digging way back in my memory here...Reinforced bottom is a must. They'll get big, and flop against the sides. Some pigs will actually put their hooves on the fence and rear up on their hind legs to stretch. So you need to be sure your fencing can handle it. Have fun with your piglets, I grew up around meat pigs. Piglet day was the best, meat day was the worst!
 

JenniferinFL

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Have you seen the heritage breeds yet?
I've never gotten to keep them, it's on my 'to do one day' list. BUT, I know I can't kill them and my brothers don't want to either, thus no pigs.
BUT, a gorgeous heritage breed is the Tamworth. There's a lady near us that raises them as pretty much foraging animals on her acreage. She keeps a couple sows, sells most of the piglets and raises a few for the freezer.
They're a leaner pig, so much better bacon then that just about all fat stuff at the grocery store. I'm really beginning to think you can't get good bacon off the modern commercial hog.
http://www.kingbirdfarm.com/Organicpiglets.html
There's a good photo of them..
It's odd though really.. There are no active forums, no care sheets.. You pretty much have to go about it the old fashioned way and talk to a breeder or buy a book. I thought that was really weird myself, it's like farm people just assume that everyone else knows how to keep pigs..lol
Many libraries still have the Storey's guides to animal keeping. Like Storey's guide to pigs, guide to goats and so on. I remember thinking those guides were decent back when I raised rabbits, the Storey guide rabbit book was pretty much the same as the rest of the advice at the time.
There are some newer ones too like: Dirt Hog: Raising Pigs Outdoors Naturally by Kelly Klober that might be more what your looking for.

I don't know how much time I spent searching online to find very little info on pig keeping. It has to be out there somewhere, but, I never could find it.
 

chadk

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Thanks. I've found a some helpful stuff online. But you are right in that it isn't as popular as other farm animals it seems...

I think ANY pig I raise will be better than what is available commercially... I also found a guy who will come to my place with trailer and tools for processing the meat when the time comes. Then I just have to send some off to a smoke house and put the rest in the freezer.

Not 100% sure we'll jump into this yet, but it is looking likely. A friend who we gave two of our ducklings too is going to be having piglets soon (actually her pig is having them....) and we may get a pretty good deal on one of the little buggers.
 

JenniferinFL

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chadk said:
Thanks. I've found a some helpful stuff online. But you are right in that it isn't as popular as other farm animals it seems...

I think ANY pig I raise will be better than what is available commercially... I also found a guy who will come to my place with trailer and tools for processing the meat when the time comes. Then I just have to send some off to a smoke house and put the rest in the freezer.

Not 100% sure we'll jump into this yet, but it is looking likely. A friend who we gave two of our ducklings too is going to be having piglets soon (actually her pig is having them....) and we may get a pretty good deal on one of the little buggers.

I would have to agree with you there, any animal raised with enough space to do more than just turn around has to be much better than what is available commercially. We have a local butcher too who will handle processing, but he won't do the dirty job. If we could find somebody, I probably would pick up a couple pigs.
If you already have a source for local piglets than that's great, that's probably what I would do too. Around here we mostly have people selling trapped wild hog piglets and those seem a bit more then I want to deal with. Apparently those can be a bit predatory and I can just see my chickens getting snacked on.. And there's nothing like a pig bite.. Got bit by a potbelly pig once when I was working at the local animal shelter, never had a bite get so infected..
 
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