Raising piglets on your farm
Berkshire pigs are expensive because of their taste. The low prolificity of the breed is the culprit. A sow-place in a sustainable maternity can cost up to three times more than on a conventionnel farm. We need to ask $250 for a three week old piglet. Otherwise it makes more sense for us to fatten it ourselves. We castrate but do not dock tails or teeth. Our genetiques are crazy.If you take 10 or more, the price is $220.
Our genetics are really good. If you want to start breeding, you should buy (the best) sows, not piglets. To give you an idea: we reform 40% of our sows before the second parity. We will not sell you sows if your infrastructure for parturition is not adequate. Outside is cruel.
Some tips for beginners.
1. A single pig will be unhappy.
2. A mud lot is not a pasture.
3. A piglet needs heat. We never bring them out before 25-30 kg
4. Piglets need specialized feed.
5. Pigs need fresh water at all times and sufficient shade.Forget buckets, black pipe on the surface or IBCs
6. Feed ad lib. You will need a feed station to do so.
7. Foresee pasture rotations
8. Fresh water and pasture rotation are a difficult combination.
9. Pastured pigs can pollute: do not put pigs in the woods, on green manures or fallow land.
10. Butcher at the right weight: 104 kg carcass = 130 kg lifeweight
We can fatten on pasture much better than you can. You will not save any money and the quality of your pork will not be as good. We make 7 different rations on the farm for different size pigs.
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.
We can sell piglets all year. Boars and sows (empty or full) need to be reserved well in advance. Please foresee a warm place where the piglets are shielded from the weather and protect the health of your piglets with a place that does not turn into a mudyard - even in the spring.
For the spring sale, we recommend that you reserve in January or even earlier! We never have enough piglets!