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Any Hog Guys Here?


Sam_SWIN
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I’m not….yet (hopefully). 

 

When I was a kid it seemed like everybody had hogs and then as places closed up and 98-02 happened they all went away. I can’t think of anyone left raising in this county last guy quit last summer. Grandpa had 50 sows farrow to finish (sometimes more) he would usually buy some feeder pigs on the way home from hauling a load off too. He always said hogs were good to him, until they about sank the ship. 
 

Just curious if there were any guys left especially farrow to finish or contract? I always enjoy seeing pictures even literature pictures from equipment etc from hog farms, guess it reminds me of what was once home. 

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Several around the greater area here.  Everyone I know is on some sort of contract.  Nothing independent on any sort of scale. 

Poultry barns seems to be a better option for most locally.  

Small scale feeder pig sales and farm to table meat sales do well too.

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There are a couple good sized hog confinements out here in Northeast CO, one raises Berkshire’s.

We do pigs in 4-H and purchase them through breeders. Our county fair is this week and weight range is from 230-290 lbs. The oldest we have were born from December 24th through the 27th of 2021 and the rest were born from then into early February. Around here sales for Showpigs begin in early March through early April (for pigs going to county fairs the last couple weeks of July through the first couple of weeks in August). Then there are sales later in April for pigs going to state fair (later this month for us) and shows in September and October for the most part. Hogs that were born earlier than April can go to these later shows as well (if they can be held with weight it really depends on genetics and size of pig and how well that pig can handle  being held that long and staying fresh and not looking stale). 
 

When I started showing pigs in 4-H ten years ago you didn’t get pigs for county fair until early April, so things have changed a lot in the last decade in many ways. The Showpig world changes in some way every year really. 
 

That’s kind of a brief overview. I don’t know if you were expecting that kind of answer but that is mostly what goes on in our region. Colorado is very competitive in all four livestock species as far as the livestock showing aspect. 

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I always remember my grandpa Mallette saying hogs is what kept the family farm together during the depression.

Not really in hog growing country, 4H projects mainly.

We buy one every year and have processed.

Bacon is considered a condiment at home 

I f you can't appreciate lil smokies wrapped in bacon with a brown sugar glaze fresh off the grill while waiting for the steaks to get done well then we just have nothing in common🤠

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We never have had any sizable hog operations around here. Few 5-15 sow backyards selling freezer pork and there still around. 
I showed beef and hogs in 4-h mom and dad said I had to go to college and dad said he would take care of cattle while I was at school but not hogs. I sold them and never really looked back. A friend of mine that I used to show with still raises them mostly for the shows. He’s probably the largest operation around last I knew he was over 100 sows. Most show stock some roasters and I think he said he had a market down in Pennsylvania somewhere for a gooseneck load of butchers a month. 

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we are down sizing for winter this year

had 93 going into winter last year and lost 64 of them to covid infection

stroke ,seizures ,blood clots not counting the miscarriage's in the sows 

locked the farm down ,,, no visitors ,,, bio secure

have a nice list of buyers for this years feeders

thank the Lord for a good growing season of pasture to cut the feed cost

Mike

 

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Couple of bigger hog outfits around here. We have a large hog slaughter plant 30 miles from us. Quite a few hog farms closer to the lake and north of us.

We used to raise hogs for market but quit when I was a Junior in high school. Last went in June of 2001. Still a few auctions around here that sell hogs but not many in numbers.

Since we still feed cattle commercially we still have the means to do it. So a few years ago some of the people who buy a side of beef directly from us wanted some pork. I got into raising enough to fulfill their desires. When I buy feeder pigs. I go around asking if they want pork and buy feeder pigs accordingly.

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I have some left.  I"m down to about 30 sows now.  I raise them primarily for direct the to consumer market.  I"m raising Yorkshire sows with a Berkshire boar.  This is the first time I've tried the Berkshire traits.   I'm curious how it will look when I butcher some this winter.

I had about 50 sows 4 years ago.  Just didn't make sense to try to sell to the market anymore.  That seems to be gone.  There's a little money to be made in the summer but then it is gone and then some from October through May.

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Sioux, Lyon, O’Brien, & Plymouth counties in NW Iowa. More hogs than people. At least 5 slaughter plants within an hour drive. Lots of places where you can’t drive 2 miles without passing at least one finishing barn. 

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6 minutes ago, ihrondiesel said:

Sioux, Lyon, O’Brien, & Plymouth counties in NW Iowa. More hogs than people. At least 5 slaughter plants within an hour drive. Lots of places where you can’t drive 2 miles without passing at least one finishing barn. 

Draw a 1 mile radius circle around my house and it will cover about 27,000 head of hogs.  Upwards of 10,000 of them are around a 1/4 mile away. 

Sioux County has about 35,000 people.

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24 minutes ago, Gearclash said:

Draw a 1 mile radius circle around my house and it will cover about 27,000 head of hogs.  Upwards of 10,000 of them are around a 1/4 mile away. 

Sioux County has about 35,000 people.

Huge numbers of hogs here in my area also.  Swift and JBS have packing plants within 50 miles from here.  I think 100%, or 99% for sure, of these hogs are owned by large companies who either own the barns or contract with farmers to raise hogs in their barns.  Most of the farmers who have barns have them as an investment but also for the benefit of getting the manure.  Most have someone hired to do chores, they have nothing to do with operations.

Things were much different 30 years ago.  Many farms had some hogs.  My Dad had a decent size farrow to finish operation, all finished in an open front finishing building.  I spent a lot of time grinding feed and bedding hogs as a kid.  I miss it sometimes now.

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Growing up in the late 60s thru the early 80s a lot of farms had a mix of livestock including a few to a lot of hogs. Including us. We had an old barn remodeled into a farrowing barn. Roughly 30 to 35 head. Always full of hogs moving in and out.  Had a large fat hof feeding building , open front but later somewhat tho not fully enclosed. 

Most old buildings and even what was new when I grew up now sitting mostly empty and falling apart in many cases. Very sad imo.

I fed a few out to butcher for several years but had hard time finding any I could even buy some years. Haven't for a while now tho if I had more time and corn was cheaper  I would like to again.

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3 hours ago, IH Forever said:

I think 100%, or 99% for sure, of these hogs are owned by large companies who either own the barns or contract with farmers to raise hogs in their barns.  Most of the farmers who have barns have them as an investment but also for the benefit of getting the manure.  Most have someone hired to do chores, they have nothing to do with operations.

 

The majority of barns here are similar.  There are some guys that do own their own hogs.  Also have one notable exception right by me.  Guy that owns all his own hogs, does all the work himself (I think mostly next generation now) and uses a non conventional feeding system.  Not just a few hog either.

 

2 hours ago, iowaboy1965 said:

Most old buildings and even what was new when I grew up now sitting mostly empty and falling apart in many cases. Very sad imo.

Few buildings go to cr4p faster than a hog barn.  Poultry barns maybe.

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A few scattered hog confinements around my neighborhood.   Dad and I farrow to finished 250 sows up till "the end" in 1996.  Still miss hogs, they are so enjoyable.   Always wanting a scratch on the head or back. Always curious what you are up to!  About like a Dairy operation, hard to get away very long.  I will try to look up some old photos. 

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I only know of one independent hog farmer in our area, and they had to go to direct to consumer sales. But that has went well for them and now they have some grocery stores and restaurants they supply for. They have also started selling their own beef and poultry. They seem to do pretty well at it, but it seems the retail side of the operation takes at least as much time as the farming.

There are other people running hog barns around here but none that own their own pigs, all contract feeders.

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We done the farrow to finish on about 500 head a year.

These, along with about 100 head of commercial Herefords and 5 quarters of land kept us busy.

Bullnose (Rhinitis) put an end to the hogs on our place.

Now within a few miles, there are at least four commercial finishing operations that are raising a lot of pork.

I know of no small hog operations still in business.

With well over 10,000 head of dairy cattle and all the hogs, Clark County is the crap capitol of South Dakota.

 

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2 hours ago, iowaboy1965 said:

Growing up in the late 60s thru the early 80s a lot of farms had a mix of livestock including a few to a lot of hogs. Including us. We had an old barn remodeled into a farrowing barn. Roughly 30 to 35 head. Always full of hogs moving in and out.  Had a large fat hof feeding building , open front but later somewhat tho not fully enclosed. 

Most old buildings and even what was new when I grew up now sitting mostly empty and falling apart in many cases. Very sad imo.

I fed a few out to butcher for several years but had hard time finding any I could even buy some years. Haven't for a while now tho if I had more time and corn was cheaper  I would like to again.

Dad's open front sat unused for many years....except as storage for some of your small old collectibles that we didn't want to "waste" space in the machine shed for.  A wind storm finally took the roof off so it was torn down and replaced by a large pole building.

I believe it was Pax hog feeders that Dad had in the open front finishing building, 60 bu. if I remember right.  I can still remember laying in bed on a summer night with the windows open and hearing those metal lids banging as the hogs opened them open to get something to eat.  Later the replacement lids were plastic....just wasn't the same when you didn't hear those lids banging.

When Dad would move them from the hog houses used for gestation buildings to the farrowing building my job as a young kid was to put the rings in the hog ringer and hand it to my Dad.  I hated the sound of those sows squealing as Dad would put a ring in their nose.

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20 minutes ago, IH Forever said:

Dad's open front sat unused for many years....except as storage for some of your small old collectibles that we didn't want to "waste" space in the machine shed for.  A wind storm finally took the roof off so it was torn down and replaced by a large pole building.

I believe it was Pax hog feeders that Dad had in the open front finishing building, 60 bu. if I remember right.  I can still remember laying in bed on a summer night with the windows open and hearing those metal lids banging as the hogs opened them open to get something to eat.  Later the replacement lids were plastic....just wasn't the same when you didn't hear those lids banging.

When Dad would move them from the hog houses used for gestation buildings to the farrowing building my job as a young kid was to put the rings in the hog ringer and hand it to my Dad.  I hated the sound of those sows squealing as Dad would put a ring in their nose.

We had 80 bushel Pride of the Farm feeders and can remember that sound.

A hot summer night, with the windows open and the house being NW of the hog barn would almost make your eyes water.

The smell of money!

 

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I do a small operation, direct to consumer of about 5-10 hogs at a time.  Maybe I will grow it out more, but it's kind of fun and I want to raise some beef, again for direct to consumer.  I'm only a part-time operation, just a spit in the wind compared to anything most folks have on here, but I enjoy it.  I have 5 at the slaughterhouse now, and the next 5 are already sold.

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We’ve had different Pride of the Farm, Brower, and Moor Mans feeders over the years. Currently we use a Brower and Pride of the Farm feeder. They have four holes or lids for feed, two on each side. They are nice but the Pride of the Farm feeder has a cast iron bottom so it’s heavy. We did have a Moor Mans one sided six hole feeder that the bottom rusted. We had a single hole Pride of the Farm feeder that we kept inside it for storage. After we took the Moor Man’s out to scrap we forgot the single feeder was in there so that was pretty unfortunate. I also picked up nine years ago a feeder at the farm that was my great grandpas. It’s a nursery feeder with a cast iron bottom that can be bolted to concrete, no lids, and the piglets are able to turn it 360 degrees so the feed goes in around the bottom of the feeder. It’s a Pride of the Farm too. 

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Just a few contracts in the area and one owner/operator outfit left. Our town festival growing up was “Pork Day USA”. You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a hog farm. Mid to late 90’s happened and they all went away here. Uncle always had hogs growing up. 

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