Raising Pigs – Barn Yard Beauties

We like to raise our pigs out in the barn yard. They can root around in the grass, splash about in the spring mud and tuck themselves out of the mid-day sun under the shelter we built just for them.

Raising Pigs on Pasture

Pasturing pigs without pens and worry successfully

When pigs are young, fencing isn’t much of a challenge – they stay where the food is! Even in an unfenced pasture as long as some conditions have been met first. Yes, that’s right, pigs can be raised on the pasture…as long as food and water is accessible to them, they are fully weaned, they have a litter mate or barnyard friends, they won’t wander.

A friend down the road lets her pigs run with the cows. Unbelievably these young pigs stay close to the herd and even take themselves back to the barn every night. Of course you wouldn’t want a couple of 300+ pound pigs running wild on your acreage, but when they’re young little can go wrong with letting your pigs live a natural life.

On the other side of the fence, are those who raise pigs strictly in the barn. Below you’ll find an article by Harvey Saul. Harvey has been raising pigs for a few decades and outlines his experience for us below.

Raising Pigs in a Barn

Some advantages are:

  • You are able to collect more fertilizer.
  • You can control what they eat. It is easier to keep them clean(er).
  • There is little to no problem with disease.
  • They don’t tear up your yard or smell as bad.
  • It doesn’t take much space to raise pigs.

I have used this method of raising pigs for about 8 years. I find it to be a good method and would like to share it with you.

The pig barn I prefer is made of mostly concrete. A sloping concrete floor is essential for ease of cleaning. It needs to drain to one corner with a grated drainage pipe. This allows all liquids to drain away. Hosing out the barn the most efficient method of cleaning.

The construction should include a bed area and a feed area. The bed area should be at least 5 feet wide by 5 feet deep and separate from the feed area, with an access door.

Young piglets are a cute addition as well as lucrative to the farmer.

The feed area should be 10 feet wide by 10 feet deep to accommodate 2 pigs. The feed area should have a feed trough, a good watering system and a hose connection. The bottom 4 feet of the walls should be constructed using heavy materials, such as concrete or 2" thick wood with no gaps. (Pigs will chew on wood and it may need to be repaired or replaced occasionally.)

Buying Pigs to Raise

It’s preferable to purchase wiener pigs from a breeder. However there are many places to purchase pigs – auctions, classified ads, etc. If you can find several breeders in your area.

Ensure the pigs you buy have been immunized and don’t be afraid to ask the breeder questions about the different breeds of pigs, disease. Take a look at the breeder’s facilities and their breeding stock. If the animals and the facilities just don’t look healthy avoid that breeder.

It’s a good idea to gain some knowledge of the different breeds and behaviors of pigs.

Make sure there is a vet in your area that is familiar with pigs.

Feeding Pigs

Although pigs are generally friendly and affectionate creatures, they can get rather aggressive when they are overly hungry. If your pigs aren’t hungry they won’t try to eat you.

I recommend feeding a natural grain that doesn’t have a lot of additives. When finding the right grain for your pigs ask your breeders what they feed and where to get it. Too high of protein can cause problems with a pig’s internal organs.

Feeding A Pig at A Trough You Can Make Yourself

To build a feed trough I prefer to use three 2" x 12" x 4′ boards. Cut one in half for the end pieces. Use screws to attach the other two together to make a ‘V’ then attach your end pieces at each end. Use two short pieces of 2" x 4" and attach them at the top to divide the trough into thirds. This will keep the pigs from rooting the food from one end of the trough to the other.

Cleaning the Pig Pen

Cleaning the pen should be done at feeding time and on a daily basis. Feeding them first will keep them occupied which makes cleaning easier.

Use straw for bedding and change it regularly.

Fresh water is important to the pig’s health in the heat of summer pigs like to be sprayed down with a hose. Spraying the pen down will help them keep cool as well.

See the piggy in the puddle? Pigs love to roll in anything wet to keep the bugs and hot weather off their backs.

Waste Removal

A bin outside the barn collects the solid waste. I prefer a concrete bin with three sides and a removable front. For this a piece of plywood or slats can be used.

The bin should be approximately 5′ wide by 5′ deep by 4′ tall. An awning over the top of the bin will help control moisture and prevent leeching of nutrients while composting.

Spending Time with Your Pigs

Piggy noses - something so cute and endearing about this dirty little snouts.

Pigs are very smart and like a lot of attention. When feeding and cleaning the pen take the time to give them some attention. Be in control of them, but be gentle with your pigs.

Raising pigs is good for children as well. Pigs like children because children play and give lots of attention. It’s important to make sure children are supervised when in the pigpen, pigs are clumsy and can knock a child down and step on them.

It is best to introduce your whole family to your pigs at a young age. Like all animals they are uncomfortable with strangers.

Butchering Pigs

I like to butcher my pigs at about 220 lbs.

Here’s an efficient way of obtaining your pig’s weight. This is best done at feed time, however a pig’s head needs to be up to get the best measurement.

  1. Measure the pigs heart girth (HG) right behind the front legs.
  2. Measure between the ears to the base of the tail (L).
  3. Multiply the heart girth measurement (HG) times itself, then multiply that times the length measurement (L).
  4. Now, divide that sum by 400. This is your approximate live weight.

The weigh formula is HG X HG X L/ 400 = WEIGHT.

Cover of Raising Pigs Made Easy

If the pig is under 150 lbs., add seven pounds. If the pig is over 400 lbs. subtract 10 lbs for every 25 lbs.

Measuring and weight calculation should be done periodically to best estimate butchering time.

You’ll probably need to schedule butchering in advance with your local butcher shop. As you schedule the removal of your pigs you might also contact your breeder for replacement pigs.

106 Comments to "Raising Pigs – Barn Yard Beauties"

  1. brenda's Gravatar brenda
    July 9, 2009 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    can u put water on the pigs back or spine i heard that diricly on the back could give them a stroke

    • Eddy's Gravatar Eddy
      November 3, 2009 - 1:15 am | Permalink

      I work on New Dawn pig farm in Thailand. Here we hose the pigs down before they are sold. Each day we hose the pigs to clean them and to keep them cool. We can accommodate up to 2800 pigs.
      Number of stroke deaths = 0.

    • craig's Gravatar craig
      January 5, 2011 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

      yes you can put water on pigs when hot

    • Marilyn's Gravatar Marilyn
      May 6, 2011 - 1:51 am | Permalink

      Hi there, I have a black piggy!

      She is a character and a half, she loves bananas which is weird, sleeps next to my bed at night and gets a bath at least twice a week…

      My question is, is a pig more dirty than a dog… my brother and i have a never ending debate about this…

  2. Lee Ann's Gravatar Lee Ann
    July 14, 2009 - 10:30 pm | Permalink

    How much food should i be giving my full grown pigs?

    • Troy's Gravatar Troy
      September 15, 2009 - 6:15 am | Permalink

      For most normal-sized breeds (such as British Saddleback, Berkshire, Tamworth) the feed is worked out by age. One pound per day per month old – to a maximum of 6 lbs per day. This will be different for a breeding sow, but it’s a good general rule-of-thumb.

    • Eddy's Gravatar Eddy
      November 3, 2009 - 1:17 am | Permalink

      I work on New Dawn Pig Farm, near Bangkok, Thailand. Pigs will eat 2½ times their body weight gain. So if you give them 2.5 lb of feed they’ll gain 1 lb. Give them all the food they want with access to water. They will not overfeed.

    • ricc gates's Gravatar ricc gates
      November 9, 2009 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

      you should give a full grown pig 4 to 7 in a half pounds of feed per day which depends on the pig if she to thin give her more or to thick give her less you dont want her to be to overweight especially if you are useing her to breeding.

  3. lori's Gravatar lori
    July 15, 2009 - 8:47 pm | Permalink

    What determines slaughter time, weight or age, or both. what would the age and/or weight be?

    • Troy's Gravatar Troy
      September 15, 2009 - 6:17 am | Permalink

      Slaughter them whenever you want. You could go for anything from a suckling pig (pre-weaned) to a fat old baconer. It depends what you want to use the meat for. Generally I slaughter my British Saddlebacks when they reach just over 60 kgs (which is around 5 months old).

    • Leon's Gravatar Leon
      October 31, 2009 - 12:05 am | Permalink

      Lori most people butcher hogs at 220 to 250 pounds. They consider this prime weight for a hog. Hope this helps. Leon

    • andy's Gravatar andy
      December 9, 2009 - 6:33 pm | Permalink

      ya we got pig farm of 600 pigs just go off there weight you want them to be about 230-280 so they are tenter if you get them over that 300 they will not as good.

  4. Annette's Gravatar Annette
    July 18, 2009 - 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I have a Kune Kune, at present she is in the stable, due to farrow, but is normally on grass, i feed her scrap everything except meat, but fruit veg, boiled potatoes, however being as she is in and due to farrow anytime, how much feed in wieght should she have or how many cups of nuts she seems starving, but obviously greedy, regards Annette

    • ricc gates's Gravatar ricc gates
      November 9, 2009 - 2:39 pm | Permalink

      You should give her twice a day of feed depending on her size once early in the morning like at 6 or 7in the morning. you should give her about 4 to 8 pounds of feed but if she is about to have the babys only give her 4pound not to much you dont want her to full while haveing birth.

    • Jenita's Gravatar Jenita
      June 22, 2011 - 7:43 am | Permalink

      Suprebly illuminating data here, thanks!

    • September 4, 2011 - 3:44 pm | Permalink

      4 to 8 pounds is kind of much for a Kune Kune twice a day. An adult should only have about 3 to 4 pounds a day. Kunes are known for being more of a grazing pig than a rooting pig. So, give her plenty of grass and hay to eat on if you have it. The fall is the best time of year, my mini pigs and big meat pigs eat mostly nothing but acorns. They just love them. Kunes dont require as much protein, since they are mostly kept for pets.

  5. Annette's Gravatar Annette
    July 18, 2009 - 6:34 pm | Permalink

    she is about a 72 inch waist a big girl who looks more like a glouster old spot at the moment

  6. jeff's Gravatar jeff
    July 19, 2009 - 3:40 am | Permalink

    nice blog…. can you estimate how much supplemental feed/grain it would take to raise a pig to slaughter? 200 to 300 or so, is that ballpark or too low? im just wondering how much the grain would cost per pig…thanks

  7. robert's Gravatar robert
    July 21, 2009 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Thinking of raising 2-3 piglets to hog wt on a combo of mini barn and pasture. What size of pasture would I need to keep them happy and well fed.
    Goats and cattle = OK , Pigs and goat?,chickens? cow? or are they best with other pigs only?

  8. Julian's Gravatar Julian
    July 25, 2009 - 11:43 pm | Permalink

    What breed of big pig is perfect for raising to slaughter? Is there a difference between boar and pig?

  9. Patrick's Gravatar Patrick
    August 21, 2009 - 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Can you make the pen out of 1in. to 1 1/8in plywood? Or even smaller? Another thing is my land lord doesn’t want us to get pigs because he says they are distructive. What do I say to that?

    • Troy's Gravatar Troy
      September 15, 2009 - 6:23 am | Permalink

      They’re not destructive if they’re on concrete (though their urine will eventually eat through it, but it’ll take a few years!). If you put them on earth, they’ll dig it over with impressive speed, removing anything that’s growing there.

      As for the timber – I’d go with the recommended thickness, pigs are really strong!

    • Leon's Gravatar Leon
      October 31, 2009 - 12:22 am | Permalink

      Patrick, I am not the smartest guy in the world but if pig urine will eat concrete I don’t think these commercial hog producers would build their facilities costing hundreds of thousands of dollars with concrete floors! But anyway pigs can be destructive if they can get where they are not supposed to be. There is a lot of questions here, 1- is this an indoor pen, 2- are you raising pets-butcher hogs-farrowing pigs, etc. 3-how much land do you own…and so on.

    • May 24, 2010 - 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Pigs can be destructive just by their sheer force and power. Not necessarily trying to be, but they get BIG quickly. More importantly though, you really need to respect your landlord’s wishes. It is their property that they have purchased with their money. If you go against it, guess what happens when you try and rent next time…

  10. ryan's Gravatar ryan
    September 5, 2009 - 10:01 pm | Permalink

    ok im getting a couple pigs soon and i want to know what kind of pig should i get? and i want to sell it for money.and what kind of food should i give it i live on a beef cattle farm so will cattle feed work ? and big question do you think pig will get along with goats? plzz answer back id realy appreciate it thank you

    • Troy's Gravatar Troy
      September 15, 2009 - 6:21 am | Permalink

      OK – a few questions there, Ryan. This is my take:

      1. Type of pig is entirely up to you, though the market for ‘rare breeds’ is good at the moment and they command a high price. Rare breeds include Tamworth, Oxford Sandy & Black, British Saddleback, Berkshire and the like.

      2. Pigs thrive on pig food, and they don’t eat that much of it (1lb per day per month old up to 6lb per day max). Your cattle feed supplier should have pig feed, and it comes in at around £7.50 per 20Kg. Giving them cattle feed may present problems due to protein imbalances etc. – it certainly wouldn’t be as cost effective.

      3. I keep goats and pigs and generally they get along marvellously. Pigs and horses, however, is different, and they tend to hate each other!

  11. RITA's Gravatar RITA
    September 17, 2009 - 2:12 am | Permalink


  12. Shirley's Gravatar Shirley
    September 17, 2009 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

    How do you tell a feeder pig from a potbellied pig when they are small. went to auction and think I got stuck with 3 potbelly

  13. Chris's Gravatar Chris
    September 17, 2009 - 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I am a first year 4h attende and i was wondering what type of pig to get

  14. Adrian's Gravatar Adrian
    October 6, 2009 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    Me and a friend have the run of two acres. We’d like to keep pigs for home and profit, i’d like to know how many to a pen, how many to a pig hut, what food should we feed them (i’ve been told pig nuts), but we also have plenty of waste veg from a veg supplier. Any other help would be greatly taken on board, thankyou Adrian and Jonathan

    • ricc gates's Gravatar ricc gates
      November 9, 2009 - 2:29 pm | Permalink

      If the pigs are young gills you should only have about 15 to 18 in a pen and you should feed them corn feed with nutrients but if they are babys well they can eat anything with oates make sure it flaky not hard ,there is also a new hrydration drink for them .Its like Gatorade, but its a Gatorade for pigs of course.

  15. Olivier's Gravatar Olivier
    November 20, 2009 - 5:42 pm | Permalink

    why are pigs known to eat everything but cassava or its derivatives?

    • Ron's Gravatar Ron
      December 3, 2010 - 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Pigs LOVE cassava. PUT raw it is high in cyanide so you should peel it (pigs wont eat the peel) and soak it in water for at least 15 minutes. Or Boil it PIGS LOVE BOILED CASSAVA and it adds weight fast. Plus cassava is cheap feed. I use it as a noon snack for my pigs.

  16. Phil's Gravatar Phil
    November 29, 2009 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I’d appreciate some feedback. ‘ve been using sawdust as bedding but it disappears quickly. Are the sods eating it? It can’t be good for them. The have a good shelter where I’ve made a ‘bin’ for the bedding. Is straw or old hay useable? Also they insist on pooping and urinating in their bed. They (4 pigs) have unrstricted access to an outside run about 60 ft by 30 feet. How can I get them to stop fouling their bed?

  17. Phil's Gravatar Phil
    December 5, 2009 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Laura! I gave them some good hay. Straw here is quite expensive but we make our own hay at .60 a bale. They still eat some of it but have quit fouling it so that’s a marked improvement. They’re 5 months old and have been nose-to-nose with bears and no fear, and they choose to be out most of the day. Water, food, and the bed are the inside attractions. They can choose sun or shade and they have a wallow as well. I appreciate your response.

  18. Nelson's Gravatar Nelson
    January 3, 2010 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    Let me know the quantity of food necessary for pigs to grow so fast like here in my country Uganda.

    Let my address be given to some farmers whom can relate with me to share about piggery.
    For fast reply call me on + 256 752 183262 as I live in a far village where I can’t access internet so soon before traveling to town.
    Thank you.
    K Nelson Jagendas
    +256 752 183262

  19. Teresa's Gravatar Teresa
    February 13, 2010 - 11:22 am | Permalink

    What size area do you need for 2 pigs?

  20. Sara's Gravatar Sara
    March 29, 2010 - 6:30 pm | Permalink


    My family and I are thinking about raising a few pigs this summer. Do Pigs get along with Chickens?

    Thanks, your website is helpful!

    • Phil's Gravatar Phil
      April 1, 2010 - 10:15 am | Permalink

      I think it depends on the pig since chickens have no say in the matter when they come face to face. I have a friend who had a large boar who snapped them up if he got the chance. My pigs got loose in the chichen pen and I came home to find them romping like dogs and playing with the birds, no harm done. I have also had a few chickens get into the pigpen and found them sleeping on the pigs. Nice and warm! Same with horses. I’ve read that they hate each other but our horses often hang out with the porkers. A pig got out and “latched” on to a horse. All I had to do was lead the horse to the pigpen and in went the pig…

  21. Caroline's Gravatar Caroline
    April 4, 2010 - 10:23 pm | Permalink

    how much should a 1 month old piglet weigh?

  22. vikina's Gravatar vikina
    May 17, 2010 - 7:07 am | Permalink

    what are the sicknesses involved with the raising of pigs that i should be aware of especially in the southern africa

  23. ounheuane's Gravatar ounheuane
    May 21, 2010 - 12:06 am | Permalink

    Some more free range ideas and methods for raising pigs?

  24. Pat's Gravatar Pat
    May 22, 2010 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    Is it ok to feed pigs food scraps including meat?

  25. Heather's Gravatar Heather
    May 27, 2010 - 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Hi, last year we had two pigs, one male and one female. The male would started urinating in the puddle that would form after it rained….didn’t think too much about it. This year we got two male pigs, they are still very small, about 40 pounds I would guess. From the beginning, both would pee in the puddle…now they are peeing in their drinking water as well. Not only does it smell HORRIBLE, we seem be done with the rainy weather and have moved on to the 90degrees and humid weather and I don’t know that they should be drinking water that they have urinated in! They are still #2ing (haha) in the corner they chose where when we brought them home. Anything I can do to deter their behavior?

    • Godfrey's Gravatar Godfrey
      September 28, 2010 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      I think you could try raising their water drinkers a little higher from the ground. Normally they wont pee in their water conciously. This should be able to work.

    June 25, 2010 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    I am thinkinig of making a perforated iron floor for my new pen, in order to drain water and sieve the feces. What do you think about that?

  27. maxine's Gravatar maxine
    July 25, 2010 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I recently changed over to automatic watering. How can I be sure they are getting enough water? Are there specific signs of dehydration I should be looking for?

  28. phil Masini's Gravatar phil Masini
    July 30, 2010 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    Just make sure there is always water available. If they run out they won’t eat. If pigs won’t eat you know you know you have a problem and if they all won’t eat it’s probably lack of water.

  29. Herbert Amoah's Gravatar Herbert Amoah
    September 22, 2010 - 4:31 am | Permalink

    I want to start raising pigs. I have never done this before. how can you help me?
    I am in Ghana, Africa and need a copy of your book. I do I go about it?


    • Kojo's Gravatar Kojo
      February 6, 2011 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m in Ghana since october 2010 to run a pig farm. I found already a lt of info. In Tema a lot is available.

  30. shiera's Gravatar shiera
    October 19, 2010 - 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Last year we raised two pigs from wiener to 300 pounds. I really enjoyed it. I’d heard a lot of stories but none of them were true! They are really sweet animals. I think I’d like to try raising them and breeding next. When do the females come into heat? I’d really appreciate any ideas and advice on starting anew. :) Thanks Shiera

  31. shoshade farm's Gravatar shoshade farm
    October 27, 2010 - 3:27 am | Permalink

    I will like to get more info on pig rearing

  32. gbuyi's Gravatar gbuyi
    November 15, 2010 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    You really dealt with the issues raised by many which is actually helpful to me but the issue of drugs to be administered was not.

  33. John's Gravatar John
    November 21, 2010 - 9:45 pm | Permalink

    i have a question for how profitable are raising pigs and selling them. i know this has a big variable but i would like a example of breeding and selling cost versus the average income

  34. Patti's Gravatar Patti
    December 10, 2010 - 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I have two potbellied pigs that are grown up to about 150- 200 lbs. The one is a female and they bred. So in January I should have piglets. Let it be known, I chose these animals for eating. My thinking was that a smaller pig might be cheaper to feed, and safer to manage than a larger pig. Well I think I was wrong on the safety issue. The male pig gets REALLY uptight whenever I mess with the female, because she grunts and howls and gripes about everything. She’s just an old grouch. You can’t get her to move anywhere without a bunch of noise from her. So the male tries to bite whoever is in the pen messing with his woman. His behavior is getting worse. He is an excellent physical specimen, well rounded and not overfat and very healthy. I thought he would make a good sire for eating piglets. Now I am thinking if he tries to bite my leg or jump up on me and bite my chin again, I may butcher him myself and be done with it. Thoughts? Suggestions? I am afraid to get a full sized boar or sow because of this very same behavior.

  35. derek's Gravatar derek
    December 12, 2010 - 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Is there a way i can tell if my sow in in pig she is a big sow and supposed to giving birth now but no sign,, my daughter sugests I try a human pregnancy test on her urine do you think this will work many thanks, derek worc uk

  36. natali's Gravatar natali
    December 13, 2010 - 11:03 pm | Permalink

    I am confused about what to do with the waste. We have 3 pigs and my husband rakes it into a pile and then burries it in the ground. It is stinky! What is the least smelly and most efficient way to deal with waste removal?

    • Jawiambe Arnold's Gravatar Jawiambe Arnold
      January 11, 2011 - 9:31 am | Permalink

      Dear natali, what your husband is doing is right but you could even improve on it by constructing a relatively small concrete underground litter with a cover. You would then dispose the waste in it for a few days of farmentation before it is taken out and applied in a garden or plantation as organic manure. The advantage is that the smell would be covered off and the later-manure would be a cost-cutting resource in your garden. If you don’t have a garden you can add value to it and put on sale.

  37. param's Gravatar param
    January 4, 2011 - 5:08 am | Permalink

    Would like to have more info on why the new born piglets lack of iron contain?

  38. Jawiambe Arnold's Gravatar Jawiambe Arnold
    January 11, 2011 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    I am greatful for this website for it has got lots of valuable information regarding pig raring that I had all along sought. I am new in Pig raring but very determined to take it from scratch to a commercial level owing to the advantages. My most immediate challenge is the lack of immediate source of water which every farmer agrees is very useful on a farm and more so for pig raring. I would like to know how, with limited financial resource and storage facilities, I can provide my eight relatively-mature pigs with enough water.

  39. christyn's Gravatar christyn
    March 9, 2011 - 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I will soon be getting two baby pigs, and i dont know how much to feed them when they get here. Also, how often should i replace the straw in their sleeping area, aside from the daily cleaning of the pen?

    • Gabrielle's Gravatar Gabrielle
      June 22, 2011 - 8:59 pm | Permalink

      This makes everything so completely painless.

  40. Ron's Gravatar Ron
    March 26, 2011 - 10:07 pm | Permalink

    About to start raisng a few pigs to sell for meat. I live in Venezuela, South America.
    talking about pig feed with the locals here and I hear say that if you feed them chicken feed used to fatten broilers that pigs fatten quicker?
    Also, by the more orthodox means, how long does it take to fatten a pig from birth to 220 lb (100 kg)?


    • Simon's Gravatar Simon
      September 2, 2011 - 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Mais Fina es la mejor.
      Fine ground Corn is good for fattening them.
      (If you give them plenty of Kitchen Scraps, and Grass)
      If you dont have Kitchen scraps, add Balanciado (Pellets) to the Corn, (Half and Half).
      I dislike Pellets, because they often dont say whats in it.

      To 100 KG it should take about 7-8 Months
      depending on the Breed

      (Raising 4 Pigs in Ecuador)

  41. Marg Sewell's Gravatar Marg Sewell
    April 25, 2011 - 6:24 pm | Permalink

    We are considering raising a pig for the freezer. Someone told us we need to get two piglets. Only one will not fatten up because it will be lonely. Sounds odd to me but i don’t know. No it wasn’t a breeder who told me this.
    Thank You

  42. Ron's Gravatar Ron
    May 6, 2011 - 7:29 pm | Permalink

    The other day two of my young females, only at about 50-60 pounds, not yet mature, urined both at different times, they share a pen) and towards the end of the pee there was a whitish thick liquid/subsence that came out….It was not a parasite….and it was thicker in consistency than the urine but not a solid….any ideas?
    both pigs are eating well, acting fine, showing no signs of being sick in any way.
    I live in Venezuela, South America (tropics)

  43. Keisha's Gravatar Keisha
    May 11, 2011 - 4:01 pm | Permalink

    My family used to have a farm of pigs. We sold and butchered the pigs around the suggested times. We decided to discontinue our farm but kept one pig. Many years later the pig is now 7 years old and is well over 350lbs. What can we do with her?

  44. Keith's Gravatar Keith
    May 25, 2011 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi Yall, we just purchased 2 Chester White piglets (little cuties, they give us piggy kisses all the time lol) we named them Mork and Mindy, they are from different litters with different parents from different parts of the state (we are in AZ). We are raising them for breeders to help the local FFA and 4H as well as a couple for food. We have a couple questions, (we haven’t had pigs for about 14yrs now so we are relearning again lol) the gilt is 8wks old and the boar is 6wks old. OK back to the questions lol :) , 1. On the back of Mindy’s ears and neck to on her back between the front legs are getting dry and cracking, we were wondering what we can put on her to help with this? 2. They havent been vacinated or dewormed, should I do this right away or wait till they are a bit older? And what should I use and should I vacinate (I know there are several opinions on this)? 3. We are feeding them pelleted hog feed, ground corn that we grind ourselves (by very very old hand mill) (we also soak it to make it more cost effective and to improve palability and digestibility) we also have a slop bucket in use and give them bermuda grass and alfalfa to chew on if they want via a horse style metal hay feeder, the question here is, is slop ok still to use for pigs along with the other foods we are giving? 4. The pin we have is 12′ x 20′ or so long, a 1/4 of the length is covered to get them out of the blistering heat and weather, its a dirt floor which makes cleaning pretty easy on us. The question here is the watering system, what do yall prefer to use? We atm have a metal crisper drawer we took out of one of the old non working refrigerators so they can reach the water atm, we were thinking a pig lick when they get older, would that be the best thing to use to keep water mess and freshness in check? Hope to hear from yall soon :) Sorry to be so long winded lol :)

  45. Rhonda's Gravatar Rhonda
    July 12, 2011 - 3:18 pm | Permalink

    My little man is a brat. When are they to old to be cut?? He is still about 70 lbs.

  46. Pam's Gravatar Pam
    July 18, 2011 - 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Hello, we have new neighbors and they have pigs. The smell is horrible, there are flys all over my house and getting inside. We also have a well and am worried that their waste is going to get into the spring that we get our water from. What i was wondering is how far the pen should be from someone house and what I should do. Several other neighbors have said something to them but they won’t get rid of them or move them. I don’t want to be mean, but my kids can’t even play outside because it smells so bad. Please help with some info. Thanks.

  47. Connie's Gravatar Connie
    August 4, 2011 - 10:27 am | Permalink

    Is it safe to feed pigs mixed beans ie. kidney,lima,pea etc. and/or linguines?

  48. Jaime's Gravatar Jaime
    August 17, 2011 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    I have two pigs and they are always peeing and pooing in their water trough. We have to clean it constantly and it’s a total pain. Putting it up on blcoks wont’t solve anything because they can just drag it off. We can’t bolt it to the wall because of the way the building was built (long story and I’m not very god at explaining sorry). I have gone to farm supply stores and priced sturdier troughs that are higher, heavier and tip resistant but they are way out of our budget. Does anyone know of any way to discourage this behaviour? We’re just so sick of having to clean this all the time and it cna’t possibly be healthy for them to be drinking their own waste but we don’t know how to stop it…….so worried about them……

    • Sam, Cambodia's Gravatar Sam, Cambodia
      October 4, 2011 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

      We can’t stop this type of behavior as I used to face this problem. Pigs like to play with the water trough but it doesn’t mean they like to drink every time, they drink at certain time they’re thirsty and Pigs drink more water after they eat, if I were you I would take out water trough out from the pen then put it away then put it back after they finish eating. We put the water trough in the pen whenever they wanted to drink the water or they will use the trough as the game.


    • Amy Lindo's Gravatar Amy Lindo
      February 5, 2013 - 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Use a water tank, or a water drum & attach piping with nipples ( about 1 to 2 nipples per pen ) or get a plumber to to run piping from a water source leading to the pens & to install the nipples in the piping. It may cost a few extra $$ up font but I can tell you it will solve this problem big time & will be more sanitary & much less work for you. It will be very very cost effective in the long run. You can get these metal nipples @ any animal feed store. We had that exact problem, we visited a pen a few years back & saw where a small water tank with piping & nipples attachments were used, We did not want to keep filling a tank, so we did the piping extension from a faucett 20 feet away & installed 1 nipple in each pen, the pigs catched on quickly as to where to get their water, There is absolutely no messy water troughs to clean. We have been using this water system for 10 years now & it’s very effective. We have 25 to 35 pigs/7 pens.

  49. Sam, Cambodia's Gravatar Sam, Cambodia
    October 4, 2011 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I started to raise pigs in 2009. First I bought 16 fats then kept one as a sow gilter. Now I am raising both, the sows and fleshy fats. I am now raising 6 sows and plan to have more in the future. I feed my pigs 2 times a day. Below is pig’s food program:
    1. The Gilter: Between 1-3 % of feed of her total weight. Ex. if she weighs 125kg, I give between 1.25kg 0r 2.5kg or 3.75kg of feed perday=62.5g/pertime or 1.25kg/pertime or 1.875kg/pertime depending on how fat or thin she is,
    2. The sow : 2-3% of feed of its total weight perday depending on how fat and thin she is.
    3. The market fats: between 4-5% of feed of their total weight then the healthy pigs will grow at least 0.5kg perday.
    Good drinking water is very important for the pigs.



  50. Kathie's Gravatar Kathie
    October 8, 2011 - 10:11 pm | Permalink

    We are considering raising pigs. How do I know when they are ready to take to the butcher? How do I know where to take them to the butcher or to sell them? Where can I find this information?

  51. Kathie's Gravatar Kathie
    October 8, 2011 - 10:12 pm | Permalink

    What is the going price when I take them to sell them?

  52. diane's Gravatar diane
    October 11, 2011 - 3:03 am | Permalink

    we have black pigs,and my husband would like to feed them on acorns we have tried to buy them but cant find a supplier? any ideas thank you

  53. Francisco's Gravatar Francisco
    October 12, 2011 - 11:58 am | Permalink

    I am located in Southamerica subtropical area (Santa Cruz, Bolivia)

    Now that feeds based on grains are so expensive, commercially, is it possible to raise pigs just on pasture ? If so, what is the expected weight gain on a typical breed ? What are the alternatives to grains (corn, etc.) ? Which pasture is the most recommended ?

  54. tahlates's Gravatar tahlates
    October 30, 2011 - 2:23 am | Permalink

    Are 350lbs Breeding Boars worth Buying to Butcher?

  55. Dayle's Gravatar Dayle
    November 6, 2011 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    Hi, we have pet pigs, they are normal pigs, but they are pets, one had piglets (managed to get to the boar) and we now have a problem with the 2 little male piglets, they are trying their luck with every sow in sight, we want to seperate them and keep them on their own but are scared they are going to fight if not castrated, of I give them away they will end up on the table, I don’t want more pigs and I don’t want the drama of boars fighting, we have enough problems with the father trying to get to his sisters. (The original 7 were orphans which we raised by hand, 1 boar, 6 sows). We also have a rescue pot belly pig, we think he may have been castrated as he has no testicles at all (definitely males though), he has a very potent musky smell.
    My questions are, can we put the two uncastrated males together without them fighting? They are about 3-4 months old now.
    Does a castrated male still have the potent musky smell?
    Thanks tons
    Dayle – South Africa

  56. jimnah muchene's Gravatar jimnah muchene
    November 17, 2011 - 1:33 am | Permalink

    hi how can i get the book Raising pigs made easy?

  57. parker's Gravatar parker
    December 4, 2011 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    I mite get a couple of pigs in march 2012. have the land just need shed for them. what should i do?

    • michael's Gravatar michael
      April 26, 2013 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

      they need to be covered from harsh elements,…sun,rain,sleet and especially snow. Cheap way is to find someone who has skids(large ones) and put together. its a cheap way and can also be very productive

  58. Riley's Gravatar Riley
    January 15, 2012 - 9:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m looking to buy a pig, first time owner, could you guys tell me the advantages and disadvantages of a female pig, and vice versa

  59. Allen k's Gravatar Allen k
    April 21, 2012 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    one person will tell you pigs are the best for commercial livestock and another day some one else says its the worst so which is which

  60. Katelyn's Gravatar Katelyn
    May 2, 2012 - 7:54 pm | Permalink

    So I have a pig thats not that big yet. I built his pig pen and he has straw, and some mud, but all of his straw has like water all over it.. Alot of water, He even shivered since the weather hasnt warmed yet, Is this ok?

  61. martin's Gravatar martin
    May 8, 2012 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    My sow gave birth to 16 piglets on Sunday but as of today she still has not got on her feet. She is a first time mum and I am not sure if there is something wrong with her or not!

  62. Truckingwater's Gravatar Truckingwater
    May 23, 2012 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    How long does a pig need to be casterated before butchering? I have a 75 pound hog given to me. It hasn’t been casterated yet.

  63. Pauline's Gravatar Pauline
    June 9, 2012 - 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Was give some uncooked bagel dough, can I feed it to my feeder pig? I have heard that you shouldn’t feed tomatoes to pigs, is that true?

  64. mziwakhe shosha's Gravatar mziwakhe shosha
    June 21, 2012 - 2:28 am | Permalink

    How long does a grownup pig have? Is it a year or month? Reply by email is prefered.

  65. james bright's Gravatar james bright
    October 11, 2012 - 1:54 am | Permalink

    can i join my boar with his own off spring

    • jack's Gravatar jack
      November 3, 2012 - 8:58 pm | Permalink


      It’s not an ideal situation, and doing so can pull genetic variations on the breed of the offspring.

    • michael's Gravatar michael
      April 26, 2013 - 3:50 pm | Permalink

      don’t believe so until they have started feeding on their own. The boar will kill them and eat them

  66. shelley's Gravatar shelley
    November 14, 2012 - 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I have three 4 month old male mixed breed farm pigs. Happy in their large 60 ft by 50 foot pen. My neighbor wants me to raise one for her. Plenty of room but I’m not sure how the old ones will be towards it?. Can I do this?

    • Saige's Gravatar Saige
      January 7, 2013 - 8:15 pm | Permalink

      I have a 6 week old pig and she has not eaten the past few days and has been. Having diarrhea uncontrollably. I gave her an antibiotic shot at 10:30am and she is still no better. She has been winged for the past 2 or so weeks and now she’s sick. Does anyone know why or what I should do.

  67. Sam's Gravatar Sam
    April 4, 2013 - 6:13 am | Permalink

    I have 2 sows and a boar they are large white x landrace they are free roaming in a large area with shelter and plenty water. they are all about 18 months old the sows have come in season but the boar is not interested in mating
    What can i do

  68. michael's Gravatar michael
    April 26, 2013 - 3:48 pm | Permalink

    recently my buddy and i bought two small berkshire pigs to raise and bred for freezer and to sell. We have housed them together in a 12*12 fenced feed area and they have a homemade shed area that is around 10*10 for sleeping and shade. My questions are…….1) is that enough room for them and 2) will that be ok for when the sows have piglets and finally 3) how long after they are born can they be let go for sale and how much do we ask for $$

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