15 Comments

  1. Andrew FitzSimons

    Well done.

    We are running 50 head of cattle in kangaroo Valley. Mostly eat our own meat and swap grazing for meat with 10 neighbours.

    I’d be happy to swap beef for pork if you are interested.

    • @Andrew: Wow, that’s a lot of potential meat on the hoof! We have just enough pork at the moment to keep us going, so don’t really need to swap. We only kept one pig for ourselves. Perhaps next time, though. Do you also sell your beef? Some of the farmers near us sell direct (legally, I might note! – they use the abattoir and a nearby butcher) for about $8-$9 per kg for a whole side. We’ll do that one day, but we’ll have to clear some freezer space first :-).

  2. Matthew R Simmons

    I wanted to know how much grain to feed 2 pigs per day to gain maximum growth in a 3-4 month time span. The need for this answer is to see if the over all cost is worth buying the pigs. We raised two pigs the year before last, but we got leftover produce/veggies from a grocery store, but that is no longer an option.

    • @Matthew: Having only done this once, and not feeding them pellets-only, I’m not really qualified to answer your question. You should be able to find some information with a web search, but it’ll be hard to get accurate info due to variations in breed, climate, genetics, gender, etc. Start by looking up the web site for the manufacturer of the feed you’re planning to buy – they should have recommended quantities, nutritional info, etc. Do let me know how you go!

  3. JJFarm

    How many kilos of pellets/feed did you give each pig per day? We have 4 pigs and are also supplementing with scraps/grain etc.

    • JJFarm: The amount of feed varies as the pigs grow. As a weaner (up to 25 kg/10 weeks old) or grower (up to 60 kg/16 weeks), they should have unrestricted access to feed to ensure they put on as much weight as possible. After those stages, they’re a finisher and the feed should be restricted to ensure they don’t put on too much fat. By the end, ours were eating about 2.0-2.5 kg/day each of pellets (depending how much other food I had to supplement it). You should be able to find quantity details either on the feed bags or on the web site of the feed manufacturer.

      What type of pigs have you got?

  4. JJFarm

    We have Berkshire x Large White – they are the greatest little characters, although they are getting rather big now!! They have just hit 5 months old. The male is significantly bigger than the girls. We will keep 1 male and 1 female for breeding, I think. I’m interested in how you used garlic for worming?? Is this a chemical-free/natural alternative??

    • @JJFarm: They sound lovely! Garlic seems to me to be a helpful preventative for worms, if administered regularly. I’m not sure if it would be successful in treating an animal with a huge infestation, though. Some people swear by it, others think it’s mumbo-jumbo! I figure it can’t hurt, and will likely help to maintain their health. I gave them a heaped teaspoon of crushed garlic each with their morning feed, every day for a week, and repeated this every four weeks.

  5. Kudos on raising your own meat! We raise pigs on pasture. You can dramatically reduce or even eliminate the bought feed by pasturing your pigs. We raise hundreds of pigs a year and don’t buy any commercial hog feed. We do get whey from a local cheese maker which provides lysine, an amino-acid that is limited on pasture. Garlic is great as an anti-wormer. We use powered and add it to our whey tanks.

    • @Walter: Thanks for commenting! Your blog was one of the sources of information I used for the pigs – in particular, garlic for worm prevention, info on pasturing, how much and what types of meat to expect, boar taint (we had none), estimating weight, etc. Thanks for all the info you provide. We moved our pigs around a couple times using electric fencing, so they got a good bit of fresh grass (and cleared up a lot of mess for me!), but we don’t have enough land to properly pasture them like you do. They did enjoy daily helpings of hand-cut edible weeds from around the fencelines etc too.

  6. arakelian

    suggestion from my grandma: keep a female, and with the help of the vet, she gives 4-8 pigs, 2 times on a year. If they are too many for you farm, you can sell the small pigs. My grandma sells allways the old female to the abatoire. In plus, to feed, another solution from her part: contact a small restaurant. Every evening they have a extra food not used – for this you should have time to pass every day, and to collect in closed boxes. My grandma uses to feed, too, with vegetales exceses from the garden: pumkins, corns, potatoes, etc. , and in the autumn, she gives freedom in the garden, to eat, and to dig.

    • Hi Arakelian, thanks for the comments! It’s not legal here in Australia to feed restaurant leftovers to pigs. I was able to pick up unsold bread from a bakery once a week though (there are lots of other people about who want it as well!). I’d love to have a breeding sow, but we don’t really have enough space to commit and the feed costs would be pretty high.

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