Breeding pigs?

Bettacreek

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The bf's grandparents have a lone sow, probably a yorkshire. They raised her for butcher, but she's been past due for months now. She's in a big pasture (at least an acre) with General, the horse. They have a barn with an open stall for 24hr access. I thought about convincing them to breed her. Can you simply toss a boar in there, and let them all do their thing, or is there a good bit of effort in breeding and raising the litter?
 

ohiofarmgirl

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yikes!

you know, i thought about the same thing for a good long time and i dont think i'd take on a breeding sow operation for a couple of reasons. mostly boars are extremely dangerous and once the breeding is over, i believe you have to keep them separate. next, in the danger category - there's nothing scarier than an angry momma pig. also - golly after that darn sow gets to be 600 lbs she'll be as big as a rhino!

unless they are really ready for that i'm not sure if i'd push that idea until they've visited someone with breeding sows and done all the research. The Big Man's grandfather was a hog farmer for years and he kept a healthy respect for the boars and the sows.

lets see if FC weighs in. i believe she said they wont even mess with it and she's a pro!

also there is a guy over on the Herds site who generally has advice on this kinda thing... let see, its jhm47... and his quote was "Out here in the farm country there is a very gross saying: "I ain't had so much fun since the pigs ate grandpa". Sadly, there is a ring of truth in that."

yikes!!
 

Quail_Antwerp

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I could scan in some pics (if my scanner was plugged in) of the piggies with my DH at 6 years old standing next to 'em...even got hog butchering pics from the '70's!!

Those sows were HUGE and E remembers nearly getting bit by one when she had babies. he said lucky for him his grandpa was right there and snatched him outta the pig pen.
 

Wolf-Kim

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While I have also contemplated this, every thing I've read and research had led me to firmly nix this unless I am full ready to jump in.

Pigs can be aggressive. Mom remembered as a child someone picking up a piglet to fawn over it and the mother sow jump OVER a gate and came charging.

Since you only have a single sow, I would not purchase a boar. If you do decide to breed her, breed her to an outside boar. That way, you don't have to deal with it's temper or it's feeding or sheltering.

Do you have a suitable place to keep a sow and her brood? A fence should be piglet proof and also sow proof. No need to get in trouble for a dangerous escaped very angry momma mrs. piggy.

And as with any breeding operation, what would you do if the sow rejects piglets?



Honestly, I've contemplated getting a hog or two and I'm a sucker for baby animals; so I have considered the possibilities of breeding pigs myself.

Here are the reasons I would:
-Baby pigs! To raise one or two myself and then sell the rest.
-Self reliance, so I don't have to buy baby pigs from someone else.

Here are the reasons I don't:
-My current setup would need rearranging. I have a 6 acre pasture and then the house and gardens. A full grown hog could run with our two horses, but the piglets would escape.
-Risk. There is a 14 and 11 year old boy on the premesis, as well as 2 dogs. I would hate for a protective sow to hurt the kids, the dogs, or the horses, or even the random stranger if she ever got loose.
-Feed. I'm sure a sow can put away feed all by herself, add in a litter of 10-12 growing pigs!
-Sanitation. To pen up a sow and her piglets, I'm sure they'd make a mess that even if set up on the back border of our land, would be smelled from the house if the wind blew just right. Quite frankly, that's not a mess I'm willing to deal with, versus letting a pig or two roam with the horses on a 6 acre pasture


I am not against breeding pigs, just have the right setup and know what you're getting into. One day, I hope to buy a large plot of land, fence it in and running 2-3 sows and a boar on it. Feral hog style, but in a fence. Basically free range pork, I love feral pork.
 

Wifezilla

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I have considered the possibilities of breeding pigs myself
What about pot bellied pigs? I know most people think of them as pets, but small pigs can be food too.

I would rather deal with a 150lb pig than a 700 lb pig. My uncle raised them and those big sows are MEAN!!
 

Wolf-Kim

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Wifezilla said:
I have considered the possibilities of breeding pigs myself
What about pot bellied pigs? I know most people think of them as pets, but small pigs can be food too.

I would rather deal with a 150lb pig than a 700 lb pig. My uncle raised them and those big sows are MEAN!!
I was reading some homesteading book and they spoke of a miniature meat hog that was being raised in Italy on people's balconies! I didn't think about it until you mentioned pot bellies.

When you want to raise animals for meat, you have to take into consideration their feed to meat ratio. Don't know much about potbellies, but I wouldn't be surprised if this ratio is very inefficient. I wonder though, the possibilities of keeping a potbelly sow and then breeding her to a commercial boar?

Also how good are potbellies at being mothers? I know many potbelly pets are bottle raised, not sure if this is due to poor mothering skills or purely for imprinting purposes. Do potbellies have birthing issues? Especially if bred to a commercial meat boar?

Not criticizing, in case it sounded that way. Simply thinking out loud.

Now I'm off to google "mini meat pigs". :D
 

Wolf-Kim

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Did some research. Some people do raise potbellies for meat, but I found out that there are also several other types of miniature pigs.

My goal is to find a site that compares the qualities of each as homestead meat animals.

Potbelly pigs would be the easiest to find, since they are the more popular. Although, I'd bet the other mini breeds would be more suited as a meat animal, due to anatomy and whatnot. That's just an assumption, definately don't take my word on it. :p
 

Wifezilla

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Not criticizing, in case it sounded that way. Simply thinking out loud
Totally valid questions and a few of those came to mind for me too.

Some people do raise potbellies for meat, but I found out that there are also several other types of miniature pigs.
I remember seeing National Geographic specials about people living in the tropics. All the villages had pigs and they were pretty small. Whenever there was a wedding or important occasion, one of them went in the fire pit. They seemed pretty tame and very manageable.....unlike the giant evil sows I remember at Uncle Kenny's.
 
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