Elevating pigs for meat generally is a rewarding and pleasing expertise for these taken with raising animals for meat. They’re one of many first animals to hitch our new farm (proper after chickens).

Not solely are pigs clever and social, however additionally they present leisure.

A beneficial addition to your homestead or small farm, pig is usually raised for meat. Farmers sausage is one in every of our favourite methods to eat pork. 

Not solely do they supply a supply of high-quality, homegrown meat, however additionally they assist handle meals waste by consuming kitchen scraps.

Pigs will eat virtually something.

Opposite to widespread opinion, pigs aren’t to messiest animals round.

Positive they prefer to wallow in mud, however they all the time poop in the identical place, making clean-up straightforward.

When beginning your pig-rearing journey, one of many preliminary selections you’ll must make is whether or not to lift piglets or spend money on breeding inventory.

For many freshmen, buying piglets (or weaner pigs as we name them) is normally the extra sensible choice.

The worth of piglets can range fairly a bit primarily based on elements similar to location, time of 12 months, and breed.

If you’re new to pig elevating, it’s necessary to coach your self on the right way to correctly care on your pigs.

Offering enough meals, water, and shelter, in addition to guaranteeing their total well being and well-being, are necessary elements of elevating pigs that may thrive and produce high quality meat.

Understanding the distinctive wants and behaviors of pigs is not going to solely assist you to reach your efforts, however it’ll additionally make your entire course of extra pleasing.

Understanding Pig Breeds

Elevating pigs for meat requires an understanding of the completely different pig breeds and their traits. Often you need to be capable of ask your provider concerning the breed, and the standard of meat. 

Frequent Pig Breeds for Meat Manufacturing

A number of pig breeds are generally used for meat manufacturing as a consequence of their dimension, progress price, and meat high quality. A few of the hottest meat pig breeds embrace:

  • Yorkshire: The preferred breed of pig in North America, characterised by its pink pores and skin, white hair, and erect ears. These pigs are massive and fast-growing.
  • Hampshire: Recognized for its black physique and white belt encircling the entrance legs, the Hampshire pig is one other widespread selection for meat manufacturing.
  • Duroc: This breed has a reddish-brown colour and is well-regarded for its meat high quality and quick progress price.
  • Berkshire: A black pig with white factors, Berksire pigs are recognized for his or her glorious meat high quality and taste.
  • Landrace: An extended, lean pig with massive, floppy ears, the Landrace is valued for its high-quality meat and prolific breeding talents.

Choosing the Proper Breed

With a view to select the perfect pig breed on your farm, take into account your targets and the precise traits you might be on the lookout for in your pigs. Some elements to bear in mind embrace:

  • Local weather: Totally different pig breeds have various ranges of resilience to completely different climates. Some breeds thrive in cooler temperatures, whereas others can deal with warmth higher.
  • Progress price: Quick-growing pigs will attain market weight extra rapidly, which might be economically helpful. Nonetheless, this may occasionally additionally include trade-offs in regard to meat high quality or taste. What and the way a lot pigs are fed is essential as effectively.
  • Temperament: Some pig breeds are recognized to be extra docile and simpler to deal with, which might be an necessary issue in case you plan to spend time interacting together with your pigs. Particularly in case you plan on breeding pigs, take this into consideration. New mom sows might be very aggressive.
  • Breeding traits: In the event you plan to breed your pigs, take into account the breeding traits of varied pig breeds. Some are prolific breeders, whereas others might have traits similar to massive litter sizes or a excessive price of profitable pregnancies.

When elevating pigs for meat, you don’t have to be as cautious concerning the pig breed. How they’re fed will make the distinction within the quantity of fats a pig has, and the standard of the meat. 

Housing and Fencing Necessities

Elevating pigs for meat requires correct housing and fencing to make sure their well-being and progress.

Save your self a headache by establishing the right fence proper from the beginning. A phrase of warning…most pigs prefer to dig. 

Pigpen Design and Development

Your pigpen must be sturdy and safe to stop escapes whereas offering a cushty setting for the pigs.

You need to use quite a lot of fencing supplies, similar to electrical wire or steel livestock panels. Hog panels are an awesome begin in case you are uncertain.

Be certain to put in a sturdy wire fence across the pen and use a woven fence that’s “hog tight” with a board on the underside to discourage digging.

Pigs want a shelter with a minimal of two or three sides, bedding to nest in, and simple so that you can entry and clear. The shelter must be spacious sufficient for the pigs to maneuver round and relaxation comfortably.

Constructing your pig pen in a spot with good drainage is important to maintain the pigpen clear and preserve good hygiene.

A sloping flooring or well-designed drainage system will direct wastewater and manure away from the pigs’ dwelling space.

Indoor vs Out of doors Rearing

There are advantages and challenges to each indoor and out of doors pig rearing. We now have up to now by no means been capable of elevate pigs indoors, as we don’t have an appropriate barn.

Additionally they don’t must reside inside, and more than likely favor the outside.

Indoor Rearing: You probably have a barn with empty stalls, you’ll be able to take into account elevating your pigs indoors.

Whereas this could present higher safety from climate components, be ready to haul the manure they produce out of the barn usually. Maintaining the indoor setting clear is necessary for good pig well being.

Out of doors Rearing: Permitting pigs to roam outside gives them with more room and pure foraging alternatives.

Nonetheless, free-ranging pigs want correct fencing to guard them from predators and stop them from wandering off. The extra out of doors house your pigs have entry to, the much less indoor house you’ll want (MeatEater).

It’s beneficial to offer a mixture of indoor and out of doors house on your pigs.

This permits them to get pleasure from the advantages of each environments whereas navigating the challenges related to every. In the end, select the housing and fencing that most closely fits your wants and sources.

Feeding and Diet

The proper diet is essential when elevating pigs for meat, because it ensures wholesome progress and high-quality meat. Your native feed provider might be very useful in guiding you to the suitable decisions for feed.

Feed Varieties and Formulation

Industrial pig feed is obtainable at feed mills and tractor shops like UFA and native farm shops.

Age and progress phases of your pigs must be thought of when selecting the feed, as piglets require completely different feed formulations than grownup pigs.

Feeding a balanced ration helps them to develop effectively.

Sometimes, you need to cut back the protein content material to 12-14% and improve carbohydrates roughly 2-3 months earlier than slaughter to make sure the manufacturing of high quality fats (Melissa K. Norris).

Important Vitamins and Dietary supplements

Correct diet for pigs entails the cautious consideration of protein, fats, carbohydrates, nutritional vitamins, and minerals to help their progress and improvement.

  • Protein: Mandatory for muscle improvement and progress, it must be supplied by means of high-quality sources like soybean meal or canola meal.
  • Fats: An environment friendly power supply that contributes to total pig well being.
  • Carbohydrates: The principle power supply for pigs, it must be included within the ration by means of grains like corn or barley.
  • Nutritional vitamins and Minerals: Important for total pig well being, nutritional vitamins and minerals might be added to their feed as dietary supplements or supplied by means of dietary sources like forages or vegetable scraps.

Guaranteeing a balanced eating regimen with the suitable vitamins helps you elevate wholesome pigs for meat manufacturing. Monitor their progress and make dietary changes as wanted to keep up their well-being.

For feeders, a easy trough will suffice. Water might be in basins however must be crammed usually. 

Well being and Welfare

Elevating pigs for meat requires diligence in guaranteeing their well being and welfare. This part highlights widespread illnesses in pigs and the right way to stop them, in addition to preserve cleanliness and hygiene inside your pig pen.

Frequent Pig Illnesses and Prevention

As a pig proprietor, you ought to be conscious of some widespread pig illnesses and learn to stop them. Listed here are a couple of examples:

  • Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS): This viral an infection impacts each copy in sows and respiratory well being in younger pigs. To forestall PRRS, implement strict biosecurity measures and take into account vaccination.
  • Swine Influenza (SI): Pigs might be affected by numerous strains of the influenza A virus, leading to fever, coughing, and different respiratory signs. Scale back the chance of SI by sustaining good air high quality, offering enough house on your pigs, and contemplating vaccination.
  • Actinobacillus pleuropneumonia (APP): This bacterial an infection causes respiratory issues and might result in sudden dying in pigs. Stop APP by means of correct sanitation, air flow, and accountable antibiotic use when obligatory.

Proactive illness prevention strategies embrace common well being checks, vaccination applications, and shut statement of your pigs for any indicators of sickness.

Sustaining Cleanliness and Hygiene

Sustaining a clear and hygienic setting is essential for the well being and welfare of your pigs. Listed here are some steps to comply with:

  1. Recurrently take away manure and dirty bedding to scale back the buildup of dangerous micro organism, ammonia, and different contaminants within the pig pen. Left to interrupt down, this makes nice compost. 
  1. Guarantee correct drainage in your pig pen to stop standing water, which might promote the expansion of dangerous microorganisms. 
  1. Present clear, contemporary water sources on your pigs to drink. Pigs want fixed entry to contemporary water.
  1. Set up and preserve a pest management program to scale back the presence of rodents and bugs that may transmit illnesses to your pigs.

By making a little bit of effort to the cleanliness of your operation,  you’ll be able to assist to guard your pigs from sickness and guarantee their total well being and welfare.

Slaughtering and Processing

Humane Slaughtering Methods

Earlier than you slaughter your pigs, it’s necessary to ensure they haven’t been fed strong meals for twenty-four hours, however present them with loads of water to assist flush out their system.

When slaughtering pigs, it’s essential to attenuate their stress and use humane strategies.

There are a number of strategies, however one beneficial technique to humanely slaughter is utilizing a captive bolt gun or a firearm.

Each strategies render the pig unconscious immediately, and the pig doesn’t undergo.

Meat Chopping and Preservation

As soon as the pig is slaughtered, it’s essential to course of the meat.

Step one entails eradicating the insides and pores and skin. As soon as the carcass is clear, you can begin reducing it into your required cuts of meat: hams, bacon, chops, and extra.

In the event you’re a newbie, its very useful to observe and assist another person earlier than tackling the job your self. It’s unlucky that neighborhood butchering days are not widespread. 

To protect your pork, you will have a number of choices, together with:

  • Curing: Generally used for hams and bacon, curing entails rubbing the meat with a combination of salt, sugar, and different components, then leaving it to dry for a number of weeks.
  • Smoking: This methodology requires hanging the meat in a smoker, the place it’s uncovered to fragrant wooden smoke for a selected time to each protect and taste the meat.
  • Freezing: For long-term storage, freezing your meat is the only methodology. Simply ensure the cuts are sealed correctly in hermetic packaging to stop freezer burn and preserve freshness. We began utilizing a vacuum sealer a decade in the past, and its been a recreation changer for stopping freezer burn.

Processing meat at house is a big job to deal with, so it’s also possible to carry your pig to an area butcher store for processing. Simply ensure to rearrange a time earlier than killing your pig. 

We as a household of seven devour an entire pig in a 12 months.

We make quite a lot of sausages, hams, pork chops, lard, cracklings, and bacon. As I’m scripting this, we’re out of pork meat and my husband is constructing a smoke home.

Make sure you comply with us on Instagram for a glimpse into our pig butchering day!

Elevating pigs for meat is an thrilling endeavor. They’re comical animals, that like to eat.

By guaranteeing you will have the suitable fencing, feeders, feed, and water provide you’ll be nice. As I all the time say: One of the simplest ways to study is to begin.


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