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My wife wants to get pigs. Just a few,  for the family.  Start in March and finish and slaughter in early October. What breeds do you guys recommend.  I don't want anything expensive or fancy.  Docile.  The last time I had pigs, my Grampa used to get them, I was a little guy. Figured it would be good to have the kids learn to raise them and have an investment in their food supply. 

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We did that for a while here. Short answer is whatever you can find. Everything has went mostly factory farm and its tough to find a few. Can be done but not as easy as it once was. Also was told by one old farmer i used to  buy from that by current laws he really wasnt suppose to sell to me for some reason.

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Good for you , I think we had duroc been 60 years ago . 
some don’t s And safety 

don’t feed them table scraps 
don’t let’s little Kidd’s in the pen with them or go in by themselves 
 Castrate early

separation of boar early

ya they are domestic but they will turn on you in an instant . 
read up on care 

they get out if hungry so have a feed bucket they recognize as a treat they will come to you and walk them back into fenced area . And fix the fence , if they want something they will get out to get it. 
 

they will root up your smooth hay fields , so nose rings. 
 

they don’t have sweat glands ,need  a cool place to shade to lay down ,they do sun burn 

If you have a liter ,get any aggressive one get rid  of them ASAP 

bone up on Their health 

just my suggestions 

 

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If you want standard slaughter wt in Oct you might not want to get your feeders till July. Pigs grow really fast. I have been out of pigs 10 yrs, but farrowed and/or finished them for 32 yrs. Life span of a pig has been reduced greatly in the yrs I farmed pigs from genetics, feed changes, etc. I suspect birth to meat in sub 6 month on best performers, maybe most pigs today.

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I prefer Durocs or Berkshires.  I hate my hamps and yorks.  They just have excitable attitudes.  Duroc and Berk are also some of the best eating, marbled pigs out there.

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25 minutes ago, Scott! said:

I prefer Durocs or Berkshires.  I hate my hamps and yorks.  They just have excitable attitudes.  Duroc and Berk are also some of the best eating, marbled pigs out there.

we had the opposite experience with durocs - they were the most dangerous/hysterical when something squealed, they would attack and not relent. We usually had around 10 sows, one boar, 100 feeders, 5 to 10 we were fattening up for ourselves and family/neighbors.

Note on Hamps vs Yorks,  a hamp will put his head down and go UNDER a fence, a York will climb, jump and try to go OVER. 

I worked for two other farmers that had around 50-60 sows each. They had between 500/1000 depending on the rotation. My dad would not let a duroc on the place even if crossed. Maybe now they are bred with better temperaments or we just got a couple bad batches. One had free range hogs that were berks, they were crazy WILD. Not downing on the berks as the calm ones seemed nice but they were hard to handle being free range. I wont even go into the scary things we encountered with those free rangers and trying to take care of them. 

The other outdoor confinement at the other place had crosses like us. Spotted poland china, york and hamp. We had good luck with ours but there is NO SAFE HOG in my opinion. We never went in a pen alone until I was 14 or so. I had a couple dogs with me that were protective. 

We had multiple weapons of choice laying around the fence where you entered our lots. You NEVER got into a lot w/out a weapon of some sort. We NEVER got in a farrowing pen w/out someone else with us. The NOSE is the spot to deter a hog, basically the top is the sweet spot. Like our Shinbone, they will back off if you let them know you are not going to tolerate their attitude. We used boards, big sticks, pipes, broken steel posts. 

We had a peeling bucket from our house and gmas that was the extent of our slopping. None of the farmers I worked for slopped they only fed grains. 

With your small numbers they will be more manageable especially when it comes to a squealing baby and not having that theatrical problem. Mothers simply attack w/out regarding for anything. Yours will establish a pecking order and be rotten. They are VERY intelligent and will come running at feeding time. I would get a feeder that they can eat out of so u have less contact and more safety and not going out to dump food daily. They will be pushy and possibly knock u down to get the food. Carry a big stick and let them know you are the boss. 

From Birth to 6 mos you will have a 200 lb hog if you feed it right. We always figured 50lbs per month after that for butchering. Most folks like 200 to 250 lb hogs to butcher. 

Of course those are ballpark numbers depending on the food/weather/stress/hog but will get you very close. 

Be glad you are not farrowing in winter is all I have to say. I have sat in houses in jan/feb under heat lamps with towels to dry off the pigs. Dont miss those days. 

I dont know how old your kids are but DO NOT let them go into the pens alone. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, searcyfarms said:

we had the opposite experience with durocs - they were the most dangerous/hysterical when something squealed, they would attack and not relent. We usually had around 10 sows, one boar, 100 feeders, 5 to 10 we were fattening up for ourselves and family/neighbors.

Note on Hamps vs Yorks,  a hamp will put his head down and go UNDER a fence, a York will climb, jump and try to go OVER. 

I worked for two other farmers that had around 50-60 sows each. They had between 500/1000 depending on the rotation. My dad would not let a duroc on the place even if crossed. Maybe now they are bred with better temperaments or we just got a couple bad batches. One had free range hogs that were berks, they were crazy WILD. Not downing on the berks as the calm ones seemed nice but they were hard to handle being free range. I wont even go into the scary things we encountered with those free rangers and trying to take care of them. 

The other outdoor confinement at the other place had crosses like us. Spotted poland china, york and hamp. We had good luck with ours but there is NO SAFE HOG in my opinion. We never went in a pen alone until I was 14 or so. I had a couple dogs with me that were protective. 

We had multiple weapons of choice laying around the fence where you entered our lots. You NEVER got into a lot w/out a weapon of some sort. We NEVER got in a farrowing pen w/out someone else with us. The NOSE is the spot to deter a hog, basically the top is the sweet spot. Like our Shinbone, they will back off if you let them know you are not going to tolerate their attitude. We used boards, big sticks, pipes, broken steel posts. 

We had a peeling bucket from our house and gmas that was the extent of our slopping. None of the farmers I worked for slopped they only fed grains. 

With your small numbers they will be more manageable especially when it comes to a squealing baby and not having that theatrical problem. Mothers simply attack w/out regarding for anything. Yours will establish a pecking order and be rotten. They are VERY intelligent and will come running at feeding time. I would get a feeder that they can eat out of so u have less contact and more safety and not going out to dump food daily. They will be pushy and possibly knock u down to get the food. Carry a big stick and let them know you are the boss. 

From Birth to 6 mos you will have a 200 lb hog if you feed it right. We always figured 50lbs per month after that for butchering. Most folks like 200 to 250 lb hogs to butcher. 

Of course those are ballpark numbers depending on the food/weather/stress/hog but will get you very close. 

Be glad you are not farrowing in winter is all I have to say. I have sat in houses in jan/feb under heat lamps with towels to dry off the pigs. Dont miss those days. 

I dont know how old your kids are but DO NOT let them go into the pens alone. 

 

 

Tell us how you really feel about hogs😄 

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1 minute ago, Reichow7120 said:

Tell us how you really feel about hogs😄 

i ate so many of them i dont really care much for them now days - we never had beef it was the rich folk meat when i was a kid

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last one i raised was 2 yrs ago, it was gifted to me via leap from stock hauler from the top deck on i-29 doing over 80mph. 

My daughter and I watched it happen and barely missed running over him  - 

speedy grown 2.jpg

Speedy on floorboard 1.jpg

Speedy.jpg

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46 minutes ago, searcyfarms said:

i ate so many of them i dont really care much for them now days - we never had beef it was the rich folk meat when i was a kid

Exact opposite here. Run a feedlot and have brood cows. Always had beef around here even when we were broke. Easy to peel one of and butcher it. Pigs were more of a specialty around here. We fed a few but rarely butchered any for ourselves for some reason. Got out of hogs in 2001. I now feed a few for our own use. (Wife likes pigs too for some reason)

You talk about wild hogs. Ive dealt with some true outlaw cattle in our years feeding cattle that make your pigs look calm. If a steer is willing to take on a loader tractor or skid loader, oil well pipe gates, or gates of any type. There is not much they won't take on. Don't mind cattle but when full grown that's a living Ford Tarus coming at you.

Not much on meat now?

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We always had a few around when I was a kid .  My advice is the first thing you should do is build a really good fence . 
if your going to rely on an electric one You have to keep close watch on it because they somehow know when it’s not working. Even with a good fence they are going to get out At some point  no matter what.

don’t let everyone scare you about pigs being so dangerous. Yes certainly people have died from falling down or being knocked down in the pen but not every pig is out to eat you or kill you. We had pet pigs , showed them in 4H, We even rode them , Other classmates in school did the same thing, don’t recall a single incident where someone was eaten by their pigs but have heard about it happening. I believe you’re more likely to get hit by a bus. 
 

check your local craigslist or Facebook marketplace they are on there constantly around here.

3D8FD419-4D06-40A0-B18D-A28523B75A6D.thumb.jpeg.4c721de56d64f098c2e50025fe1cc938.jpeg

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5 minutes ago, Reichow7120 said:

 

You talk about wild hogs. Ive dealt with some true outlaw cattle in our years feeding cattle that make your pigs look calm. If a steer is willing to take on a loader tractor or skid loader, oil well pipe gates, or gates of any type. There is not much they won't take on. Don't mind cattle but when full grown that's a living Ford Tarus coming at you.

Not much on meat now?

That is why I have mini ones............kids are not as scared, and I am definitely not scared of them after fighting dairy breeds all my life. If the OP is after some food for the family and a kids project that isn't a massive headache, they might be a better fit.  

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Raised them years ago, got out of them, then this last year the wife wanted pork in the freezer, and help 2 of our sons do the same. Raised 4, build a good fence, run hot wire around it about a foot off the ground, they will root the area up better than a roto tiller. Won't go near the electric if maintained. As others have said, place to get out of the sun, and cool off. Butchered 2 a Cple weeks ago, home smoked bacon, hams, and sausage.  Now to finish up the last 2

Mark

IMG_20200912_104123553.jpg

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4 hours ago, TP from Central PA said:

That is why I have mini ones............kids are not as scared, and I am definitely not scared of them after fighting dairy breeds all my life. If the OP is after some food for the family and a kids project that isn't a massive headache, they might be a better fit.  

Must be Pennsylvania Dairy breeds are more fiesty than the Dairy cows that were in our area. The dairy guys who for whatever reason ended up dealing with some of the beef cattle around here were really out of their element. We had a neighbor who milked cows get trampled by some 600 pound feeder calves out of Missouri while helping a neighbor process them. Broken ribs and collarbone. He said he had never had cattle turn on him that quick when he was milking. A few other dairy/former dairy guys remarked the same sentiment. With a dairy cow they could sense or see what set them off. Beef cattle for them seemed to go from 0 to bats--- crazy in 2.2 seconds they thought.

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3 minutes ago, nomorejohndeere said:

Humans are real nice to stock

until we eat'um

 

Little gamey, aren't they?😄

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5 hours ago, Reichow7120 said:

Exact opposite here. Run a feedlot and have brood cows. Always had beef around here even when we were broke. Easy to peel one of and butcher it. Pigs were more of a specialty around here. We fed a few but rarely butchered any for ourselves for some reason. Got out of hogs in 2001. I now feed a few for our own use. (Wife likes pigs too for some reason)

You talk about wild hogs. Ive dealt with some true outlaw cattle in our years feeding cattle that make your pigs look calm. If a steer is willing to take on a loader tractor or skid loader, oil well pipe gates, or gates of any type. There is not much they won't take on. Don't mind cattle but when full grown that's a living Ford Tarus coming at you.

Not much on meat now?

oh i love good smoked meat.........bacon, backstrap out of deer, swine, grind all my turkey up and mix with about anything. I worked for a guy that got rid of all his baldys  - black white faced.........HUGE MISTAKE - we couldnt keep those stupid limousin in for nothing and they would run you down in a chute or go over the top. Leaped like a deer. He kept them one year, sold the calves, bred them back, sent them packing and bought all black/black white face again. 

Never had much trouble with teh baldys, very nice to work around in the pasture. I cant even imagine a crazy wild cow, just plain ole dangerous. I was very afraid of those limousine. 

Fish, prime rib are my fav outside of good brisket and pulled pork. Got soured on sausage and bacon ate waaaaay to much of that crap. 

 

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3 hours ago, td9inidaho said:

Raised them years ago, got out of them, then this last year the wife wanted pork in the freezer, and help 2 of our sons do the same. Raised 4, build a good fence, run hot wire around it about a foot off the ground, they will root the area up better than a roto tiller. Won't go near the electric if maintained. As others have said, place to get out of the sun, and cool off. Butchered 2 a Cple weeks ago, home smoked bacon, hams, and sausage.  Now to finish up the last 2

Mark

IMG_20200912_104123553.jpg

that looks like a lotta work!!!! 

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6 hours ago, searcyfarms said:

last one i raised was 2 yrs ago, it was gifted to me via leap from stock hauler from the top deck on i-29 doing over 80mph. 

My daughter and I watched it happen and barely missed running over him  - 

speedy grown 2.jpg

Speedy on floorboard 1.jpg

Speedy.jpg

I remember that thread.

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2 hours ago, Reichow7120 said:

Must be Pennsylvania Dairy breeds are more fiesty than the Dairy cows that were in our area. The dairy guys who for whatever reason ended up dealing with some of the beef cattle around here were really out of their element. We had a neighbor who milked cows get trampled by some 600 pound feeder calves out of Missouri while helping a neighbor process them. Broken ribs and collarbone. He said he had never had cattle turn on him that quick when he was milking. A few other dairy/former dairy guys remarked the same sentiment. With a dairy cow they could sense or see what set them off. Beef cattle for them seemed to go from 0 to bats--- crazy in 2.2 seconds they thought.

Never was around any dairy breeds that wouldn't be high strung early in life?????   I had a cat jump under a holestein fresh cow one time after only being milked a few times in the stall, she hauled off and kicked and I went flying across the alley into the other row of cows for example, luckly the two in the stalls across the alley were older cows and not as exciteable and didn't kick me when I fell into them....................Not sure how those guys weren't used to dealing with that???  Had others that were mellow, but that didn't happen instantly and was a aquired trait with time.  And dairy breeds that were kept for steers were really nuts, that was all we raised years ago, fished acouple out of the river and had to round up some way up on the mountain..............when they got out they were gone.  Compared to the Herefords my grandfather had at the same time, they acted like breathing was as much work as they wanted to do, unless they were eating.  The Dexters I have now are like those Herefords.

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We are running Idaho pasture pigs.

so far we only had 1 get stupid,,the rest are doing great

grass fed with a small amount of hog pellets.

pictures later

Mike

idahopasturepigregistry@yahoo.com 

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