Finally, after too much thinking and introspection, you might have decided to consider raising pigs on your farm. If you are looking forward to it, we have put down some very important aspects to share with you.
It’s a crucial job to find the right pig breeds in terms of domesticating and raising them for commercial production. The right pig breeds can earn you a better financial outcome. Choosing your market and picking up the right domestic pig breed can give you a comfortable start if they are taken care of appropriately.
The best domestic pig breeds are:
- Heritage Pig breeds
- Gloucestershire old spot
- Dutch landrace
- Duroc pig
- Poland China
There are a lot of factors that should be necessarily considered while raising pigs, whether the purpose is to pet them, or for Lards.
As pig meat has a growing demand in the meat industry, the value of pork has brought the attention of many farmers to try Pig farming. Therefore, it has also earned a good profit. You should also check our other article Fun facts about pigs you never knew.
Let’s take a look at some of the domestic pig breeds you can pick for a good start in Pig farming.
Heritage Pig breeds:
These type of pig breeds is the one that was grown in backyards by small farmers in the early times. Heritage pig breeds are mostly old breeds specifically from Europe and America. They are the best breeds for small farmers because of easy rearing.
Major Heritage pigs are Large white, Berkshire, and Tamworth
They are well known for their hardy nature and easy feeding options. You do not necessarily have to feed the supplements as they can rely on pastures or hay.
Gloucestershire old spot
They were formerly used to clean the orchards, Gloucestershire old spots are from England. It is a renowned breed for its quality meat, also suitable for bacon production.
They are hardy breeds, enabling them to cope with any extreme conditions. This breed is mainly gentle with broad and deep body sizes. Just like their name suggests, they are white with black spots as their trademark.
The dutch landrace is without any doubt considered as an efficient breed of pig for meat. They are the fifth most recorded breed in the US. They can be used for cross breeding for good results as the females can farrow large pigs.
Originating from The Netherlands, the breed is highly adaptable to any severe weather condition.
The Dutch Landrace can be medium to large with white, and droopy ears.
One of the famous pig breeds in Northern America, Yorkshires are found in all the major states. They are white with a muscular body weighing around 200kg to 290 kg.
Yorkshires have high value for their lean meat, and their ability to survive tough conditions.
The sows of Yorkshire breed are great mothers with 13 litter per sow.
They are mainly white and have erect ears. Although, in the beginning, they were brought up as outdoor breeds, they perform much better when placed in confinement.
Duroc is an old breed with its origin based in America. It is also the second most recorded breed in the US. They are highly considered in meat production with good carcass quality.
They are majorly red and medium-sized with a long long body. A matured Duroc sow can weigh up to 290kg.
They are hardy and possess the ability to grow faster relatively, in terms of muscle development. They can survive in extreme farming conditions including highly warm and cold climates.
They can also be in golden brown color, or deep mahogany.
They are a combination of Big china and Polish pigs developed in America between 1835 and 1875.
They have a black and white face which makes them easily recognizable as a breed.
Poland China Pigs are well known for their distinct quiet temperament.
In terms of market value, they are a good breed for meat production with their large frame and lengthy muscled body. They are ranked as one of the most popular breeds for meat in South America and across the United States.
To be precise, a good pig breed is a key to successful pig farming.
Pigs are a very important animal in America with its economical value and the role in meat production. But their rise in the current society has a beginning that goes back to around 10,000 years ago, while their existence on earth is believed to be of 40million years old.
Though all the breeds that we use are good for domestication, they all have common ancestors emerging from the wild boars. The initial stages of domestication of pigs began in Anatolia, which is current Turkey, and East Asia about 9,000 years back. It is believed that even at those times, herders preferred pigs with selective traits that could be best for domestication.
Now, when it comes to raising pigs and selecting their breeds, just like any other livestock farming, it has its pros and cons.
Pros of raising pigs:
- Relatively, pigs grow up fast in just 6 months. At the same time, you can sell your pig for meat at any stage of its life, although a proper maturity period will yield well.
- They are clean animals. It’s a huge misconception that pigs aren’t tidy at all. The truth is, if you ask a pig farmer he will tell you that pigs are quite sensible in maintaining their pen. They do ensure that they don’t mess up the area where food is served, unlike other livestock.
- Pigs require a good amount of food to grow healthy. You can serve them anything from high quality formulated feed to kitchen scraps, they will forage happily. However, the proportion and amount of good food must be ensured. You can check our article about Pig food to know more.
- Talking about meat production and its profit, Pig has great value for its meat. Pigs have better carcass efficiency than other livestock in the meat industry.
- If you can settle your pigs in a properly maintained housing system, they can grow fast and well without any health issues. Pigs are believed to have good immunity and can survive extreme conditions.
- They can live on pastures by foraging on everything. If you want to clean up a pasture, pigs can just do it for you at ease by eating up the weeds and undesirable shrubs. By this, they remove the unwanted plants completely and can fertilize the land.
- The maintenance cost of raising pigs is quite low. Startup farmers mostly prefer pig farming because they don’t need much experience to handle them. You can easily set up a pig farm in a cost-efficient way and learn to manage them without any difficulty.
- Pigs are really good domestic animals to have. They are indeed fun and very friendly. They won’t cause you much trouble like other active livestock. Pigs mostly like to stay peaceful and mind their own business. You can opt for a small pig breed as a pet.
Cons of Raising Pigs:
- Pigs are a good animal to raise, but the initial stage of it is what concerns the farmers. As pigs grow fast, a lot of costs and maintenance are indeed required to build a strong pen that can accommodate the pigs with comfort.
- As a part of maintaining their shelter, it gets too messier dealing with pig poop, Though they have a separate area for which they prefer to eat and excrete, it still becomes difficult to clean their shelter. Especially, in hot seasons when the floor becomes too wet.
- You cannot raise one or two pigs, not because they don’t yield well, but Pigs are naturally social animals. they require a group to go on happily. If you are having just one piglet, it could go under several mental strain without a companion.
- You have to provide your Pigs with special treatment during winter times. Pigs need their shelter to give them ample warmth for good body temperature. Therefore, placing hay, or feathers on the floor is necessary. this increases extra tasks until you are happy to serve them!
- You have to find extra time to let them graze around. Pigs are served a huge quantity of food in their pen, at the same time require a certain period, probably in the afternoon, to be left in the pasture for grazing.
- They are not restless animals, but pigs at times try to run away from the pen. unfortunately, they are good runners. this can cause inconvenience for the farmers to run around and get hold of them. A strongly built pen can help you with that.
Understanding these pros and cons can give you a broader plan for setting up your pig farming. The more important thing to it is selecting the breed that I have been mentioning since the beginning of this article.
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Farm Animals Guide
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