Saturday, November 15, 2014

Big Pigs Spared From The Freezer

Hammie and Chopper are leaving soon but rather than heading directly to a dinner table, they are heading for the breeding pen. 
Pictured above, these two are enjoying a snack of taro sweet bread. They weigh in at between 135 and 150 lbs. They sure grew fast! Yes, they are a bit muddy because they spent a good portion of the early afternoon in their wallow cooling off. Pigs can't sweat to cool off when overheated, so they will lay down in water or cool mud. 

Because hubby dislikes the idea of any animal we own being used as food, I posted an ad for the pigs, letting fate decide what would happen. Last week I had one sold, so I assumed the other would go into our freezer. But when the buyer arrived with gun, knife, and truck, to take away his pig, the buyer's partner decided to take both in order to breed them. She liked the idea of breeding more pigs. With Hammie and Chopper ready to breed (in fact, they might be already bred), in a bit less than 4 months the buyer should end up with a good return on his investment. 

What a turn of events. I went from two weeks ago wondering how I was going to fit two pigs into the freezer, to freezing only one pig, to now zero pigs. Hey, plenty of freezer space now! 

So how did the farm make out financially? Surprisingly well. 

Cash out for ---
....two piglets --- zero
....fence panel --- $105
....purchased feed --- $76

Total cash out came to $181. The fence panels will of course be reused for several years to come. 

Sale price of two pigs, including a partial sack of sweet cob --- $300. 

So the farm ended up $119 in the good. Not bad. Of course that means no fine pork in my own freezer. 

The big savings in raising these pigs were:
1- zero paid to buy the piglets. Around here non-fancy piglets cost $50 each. 
2- inexpensive pen. I used heavy duty pallets for much of the pen. The fence panels made easy access gates. More importantly, they were gates that the pigs couldn't break through. 
3- a lot of their food was home grown or foraged. No cash outlay but it meant a lot of time and effort invested on my part. 
4- no illnesses, parasites, or injuries. Therefore there were no veterinary expenses. 

1 comment:

  1. Jakethemaker said via email, "You're not feeding those pigs right if they are only 150 lbs at six months. You'd do better feeding them commercial feed."

    Thanks for the observation, but I'd like to point out that these particular pigs are basically our run of the mill feral Hawaiian pigs. They are not a big pig even when fully grown. In fact, these two are actually fairly large for their age.

    Most domestic pigs have been selected for fast early growth. At 6 months of age it's not uncommon for them to be 200-260 lbs. but that's not the case with Hawaiian ferals.

    These two are decent size on a homestead style diet, finishing with some commercial feed. I could have made them fatter but that wasn't the goal. When i started this pig project I had assumed that at least one would be in my own freezer and I wasn't interested in a lot of lard.

    I agree that anyone raising domestic pigs should be concerned if their 6 month olds are only 135-150 lbs.