Raising piglets on your farm
We sell only very few Berkshire/Mangalitsa piglets. These pigs are expensive because of their taste and the low prolificity of the breeds. A sow-place in a sustainable maternity can cost up to three times more than on a conventionnel farm. It seems nobody wants to pay a fair price for a humanely raised piglet.
We sometimes sell adult animals for reproduction.
Convincing clients to pay more for pastured pork has apparently become easy. While it is certainly possible to have a positive impact on taste, environment, animal welfare and consumer health, unfortunately, it often stays mere marketing without real effects.
Some tips for beginners.
1. A single pig will be unhappy.
2. A mud lot is not a pasture. In winter there is no pasture. Green manures, woods and fallow land are not pastures but exercise yards.
3. A piglet needs heat. We never bring them out before 25-30 kg. Make sure that you know what they need.
4. Pig diseases rarely devasted finishing pigs, but diseases like SRRP, PED, worms and others can cause lower growth. Make sure to know the sanitary status of your animals.
5. Pigs need fresh water at all times and sufficient shade.Forget buckets, black pipe on the surface or IBCs. One water point for maximum 15 pigs.
6. Feed ad lib with specialised feed stations. Waste is environmental nor economical. To efficiently satisfy pig's needs, you will need at least five different rations. Avoid industrial byproducts such as brewery waste and biscuit.
7. Foresee pasture rotations. Fresh water and pasture rotation are a difficult combination.
8. Our pigs have continual outside acces without obligation. That is the only way to ensure optimal water and pasture management.
9. Pastured pigs can pollute: do your agro-environmental calculus (phosphates balance), even if you are not required to do so on a small farm.
10.Registering with Porc Trace and ACQ is mandatory. A strictly regulated public consultation is mandatory for each new pork project.
11. Butcher at the right weight: 104 kg carcass = 130 kg lifeweight
12. If your marketing is based on fulminating against industrial farmers or scaring the consumer, please make sure you have the knowledge and authority to make such statements. Visit a good
A well-raised pastured pig will grow as fast as a pig raised inside. Mortality should be below 2%. Cost of feed is around $140 for Duroc or pink pigs, $175 for Berkshire and $225 for Mangalitsa. GMO-free feed should cost around 25% more. Mortality is never exceptional or accidental, but always a consequence of poor management.
Buying piglets for reproduction is a poor strategy. Anyways, do not attempt to breed pigs unless you have mastered finishing pigs. It is a whole different ballgame.
Weighing your piglet
1. Obtain a fabric measuring tape or a piece of string to use as a measure. If using string mark the dimensions on the string and then measure the dimensions using a steel tape measure.
2. Place the tape/string under the pig just behind the front legs and measure the circumference of the pigs girth in inches. This measurement is known as the Heart Girth (see graphic)
3. Then measure the Length of the pig along its back from the base of its ears to the base of its tail, again in inches. (see graphic)
4. To calculate the pigs weight, first square the Heart Girth to get the Girth Result.
5. Now Multiply the Girth Result by the Length and DIVIDE by 400.
6. You now have the weight of your pig in Pounds.
Porky Pig has a Heart Girth of 50 inches and a Length of 40 inches.
Squaring the Heart Girth (50 x 50) = 2500 = Girth Result
Multiply the Girth Result (2500) by the Length (40) and divide by 400 = 250 Pounds.