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Keeping pigs

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 9:28 pm
by Franco
A quick post to get the ball rolling...

I'm sure lots of us on the forum would love to keep pigs or other livestock, but how easy is it to start for a complete novice? How would you start? Where is the best place to buy a weaner? What is the best breed? etc. etc.?????


Keeping Pigs

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 7:44 am
by Parson Snows
There are actually numerous well written easy to read books that cover these subjects, I'll have a look through my files and dig some of the titles/ISBN No's out.

kind regards

Parson Snows

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:07 am
by porkpal
I'm not shure of the details but if you like beer than having pigs is great.
I had a friend a few years back who would brew beer and use the spent grain to feed his pigs.And by winter we would have beer and sausage and it did'nt get much better.

keeping pigs

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:27 pm
by ceebee
I keep pigs commercially although I don't seem to make much profit! I have 14 Gloucestershire Old Spot sows which produce an average of about 8 pigs weaned per litter and, if you get it right, each sow can produce 2.5 litters per year. In practice you will probably only manage 2 litters because you are late weaning or you miss the first heat. So each sow will produce about 16 weaners each year. Pig breeders using modern cross breeds such as Large White Landrace and Duroc would hope for more like 20 weaned pigs finished in 18-24 weeks but at high feed cost. My pigs live outdoors for much of their life and are fed a miserly amount of grain based ration because they go fat very easily and the modern trend is towards less fat. I do, however, have customers who want fat pigs and I do think that fat laid down over a long-ish period adds to the flavour. Our pigs will not finish (at about 80 kg liveweight) until they are about 30 weeks old so they have to command a premium in the market-place.

Pigs are relatively easy to keep. They will eat more or less anything that is not meat based ( they'll eat meat but you must not feed it to them for fear of disease) and they will clear an area of weeds better than any gardener. Old breeds like the Old spot, Tamworth or Berkshire are pretty hardy. They don't mind cold but wet gets them down after a while (like recently). Give them a nice shelter and plenty of straw and they are happy as larry. If your pigs are predominently pink they will also need sunshade and a wallow to cover themselves in mud which is their equivalent of sunscreen. Kept extensively disease is seldom a problem but you may find older pigs suffer from lameness and arthritis. In the UK you must register with DEFRA if you keep pigs and abide by the increasing number of rules and regulations that successive governments throw our way. In Somerset we are fairly well blessed with small abattoirs who will kill single pigs and, in some case, butcher them as well but if you are going into pig keeping check that you can get them killed locally. If you are breeding pigs don't forget that 1 sow at the start of the year may be 20 pigs by the end.

If you want to keep traditional breeds you can get information from the British Pig Association or go and seek out a local pig farmer and pick his brains.

Have fun



PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:47 pm
by Franco
Thanks for your input, we are planning to move at the end of next year, we are looking for a farm locally but the prices have gone crazy recently, upwards of £1 million for one with good outbuildings, 50 plus acres and a decent house!!!

The intention is to run the sausage business from there and eventually go into small scale salami production for a few local restaurants and delis.


Pest Management Recommendations for Sheep, Goats and Swine

PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 8:58 am
by Parson Snows
Check out this link

hope that this is of some use to you

kind regards

Parson Snows

PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 11:56 am
by Fatman

Can anyone supply me a good old fashioned baconer or the middle for bacon , from a rare breed would be ideal and withinn 50 miles of Ledbury Herefordshire.



Keeping Pigs (Information)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 12:31 pm
by Parson Snows

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:19 pm
by Shaun
You should consider coming over to this side of the penines. property is alot cheaper and it would only take about an hour and a half to get to Bolton. Doncaster is blooming at the moment with new airport on the way and lots of big companys moving in, your buisness would boom.

Regards. Shaun

PS I will even teach you how to speak Yarkshire :D

Small Scale Pig Raising

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 4:16 pm
by Parson Snows
Other books that would be found useful to newcombers are
"Small Scale Pig Rasing" by Dirk van Loon , Published by Storey/Garden Way Publishing


"Guide to rasing Pigs" By Kelly Kobler

kind regards

Parson Snows

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 4:36 pm
by TobyB

do you raise your own pigs in Thailand? Also what breeds are you using for your sausage as most of the asian types are much fattier than their western counterparts (pigs something of a pet hobby of mine)

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 5:47 pm
by Parson Snows
TobyB asked
do you raise your own pigs in Thailand?

As I stated on this forum before, when I first came to Thailand (1979) I planned to raise pigs, and therefore bought such books as Black's Veterinary Guide etc, (no Iternet then), however, the competition was too fierce and decided against it. It is still my plan/dream to do it when I retire.

He also asked
what breeds are you using for your sausage as most of the asian types are much fattier than their western counterparts

I use the local pork for all my sausages. They are typically a mixed breed Chinese white etc.SEE BELOW as to the fat content. Yes the pork here is fattier than in the UK, the Chinese Thais like it like that, fatty pork necks etc. Typically a pork belly would be a minimum of 40 % fat (60 vl)

In Thailand development of pig production started in 1960 when the first group of exotic pig breeds were imported by the Department of Livestock Development from the United Kingdom. These were Large Whites, Tamworth and Berkshire breeds. Later, Landrace and Duroc Jersey breed pigs were imported from the United States. Up until these exotic breeds were introduced, farmers relied on the relatively slow growing native pigs that had the desirable quality of not needing much in the way of traded inputs. The imported pigs were used for breeding improvement and were cross bred with the native pigs (Kanto 1991). Throughout the 1960s and 1970, crossbred pigs were raised by backyard producers for consumption by the farm family and also as a source of income. Kehren and Tisdell (1996) point out that while pigs generated the largest value added in the livestock sector in 1975, the virtual stagnation of the industry up through the 1980s was to a large degree due to government intervention that discouraged private investment in the pig industry

kind regards

Parson Snows

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 3:20 pm
by Realcat
Here in France its very hard to get hold of any pigs, particularly rare breed or outdoor types.

Franco perhaps a French branch of might prove profitable here?


Pig Information

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 3:36 pm
by Parson Snows
First of all welcome to the forum
you wrote
Here in France its very hard to get hold of any pigs, particularly rare breed or outdoor types.

pig production in the UK is also on the decline. ... ction2.pdf

Further pig keeping information

Reducing costs in Pig Production ... s/kt51.pdf

kind regards

Parson Snows

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 8:16 pm
by Fatman
Les races porcines françaises
French pig breeds
Las razas porcinas francesas


Quelques mots sur les races porcines en France

race porcines - pig breeds - razas porcinas

Cul Noir Limousin Landrace Français Piétrain Porc de Bayeux Créole (BRG)
Gascon Large White Porc Basque Porc Blanc de l\'Ouest Corse (BRG)



Les race porcines en France

L\'espèce porcine a, dans les dernière décennies, accompli une véritable révolution : la production s\'est développée et fortement concentrée dans quelques bassins de production (la Bretagne rassemble aujourd\'hui plus de la moitié du cheptel national), des entreprises de sélection se sont constituées en prenant en partie le relais des anciennes structures professionnelles d\'éleveurs, de nouveaux génotypes ont été développés et sont apparus sur le marché à côté des races jusqu\'ici exploitées,... La production est ainsi aujourd\'hui organisée au sein d\'une filière sélectionneurs – multiplicateurs – producteurs, exploitant un schéma de croisement à double étage. Dans ce cadre, la truie la plus couramment utilisée est une truie croisée (90 % de truies Large White x Landrace Français), qui est à son tour croisée avec un verrat terminal, lequel peut être soit un mâle Piétrain x Large White (30 %), soit un mâle d\'une lignée originale d\'entreprise (P76, 28 % ; France Hybrides, 8 %), soit un mâle Piétrain (7 %), soit encore un mâle d\'un autre type génétique. Compte tenu de ce schéma de production, ce sont naturellement les races Large White, puis Landrace Français et, à un moindre degré, Piétrain, qui sont les plus représentées dans les troupeaux de sélection.

A côté de ces troupeaux exploitant collectivement ces 3 races, on trouve aussi des organisations exploitant des variétés de ces mêmes races ou d\'autres races (13 variétés) ou des lignées composites (10). Au total, ce sont 22 organisations de sélection porcine (OSP) qui interviennent dans la sélection des lignées femelles et 9 dans la sélection des lignées mâles, ces OSP étant soit des Groupements d\'éleveurs, soit des entreprises.

Les populations animales sélectionnées (PAS) dans l\'espèce porcine en France en 1997

Lignées mâles
Lignées femelles





La sous-population Large White mâle a été incorporée aux lignées femelles

Effectifs en France : 13 795 000 têtes dont 1 112 000 truies


les races domestiques françaises - the French farm animal breeds - las razas de la ganadería francesa


Pour en savoir plus, contactez :
France UPRA Sélection ou le GER \"Génétique, Elevage et Reproduction\" (INA P-G)


Département des Sciences Animales © 2000
gestion des pages - remarques & suggestions : Xavier Rognon (DSA) - mise à jour : février 2001