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||Raising pigs is relatively
inexpensive and they are a great addition to your backyard ranch. When you
raise your own pigs for 4H, market or slaughter, you are in control of
what they are fed, how they are raised and how they are butchered. The
meat from one adult hog can last a family of four almost an entire year.
the morning sunshine on a fall day.
- "pig" is a young animal
- "hog" is adult animal
- "barrow" is a neutered male
- "gilt" is a young female
- "sow" is a adult female
- "boar" is an adult, intact male
|Above is a 4H Pig. Pigs
enjoy human interaction and are very smart. They enjoy playing with
tires, bowling balls and rubber feed pans. They also enjoy playing in
the water hose on hot summer days. See our
pig facts page for more.
Raising Pigs For Market
Above is a piglet lying in the warm sunshine.
|Things to consider before adding pigs to your backyard
|The most common breeds of pigs for 4H, market and
slaughter are: American Landrace, American Yorkshire, Berkshire, Chester White,
Duroc, Hampshire, Poland China and Spots. All things considered, there is not a
"super breed" of pig. Your best bet is to pick a healthy, alert, active growing
pig to start with. Growing pigs are considered to be 40-125 pounds. Finishing
pigs are 125 to over 230 pounds.
Raising Healthy Pigs
||Shelter is very important for raising pigs. Pigs do not
have sweat glands and overheat easily. Ideal temperature for finishing
hogs is 60 degrees. Ideal temperature for growing pigs is 70 degrees.
Pigs will need overhead shelter , bedding and windbreak in cooler
temperatures. They will need overhead shelter (pigs white in color may
need sun protection and will get sunburned easily), shade, misting or
bathing with cool water in higher temperatures.
|Space is important for pigs.
Crowded pigs are stressed pigs and stressed pigs are sick pigs. Pigs
normal body temperature is 102.5 degrees. Any variance in body
temperature of 2 degrees either way and veterinarian evaluation will be
needed. Pigs are susceptible to pneumonia and bronchitis with their long
body cavities and laying on their sides to rest. See more about raising
pigs on our feeder pigs page.