April 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm #16759
OK forgive me for this Question, Old school thoughts coming back to me.
When raising a hog to butcher does anyone use a finisher to get them to Market Weight.
If so what’s the difference that your doing, and at what weight are you doing it?
Sincerely PatrickApril 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm #18388Member: TX Shiner PorkParticipant
Get them to “market” weight, or get them to “butchering” weight?
If butchering weight, for us, it depends on what the customer desires. If they want that nice ring of fat on their chops, unless your forage is 14-16% protein, you’ll need to supplement their foraging diet with something. We use non-gmo feed (mix our own, otherwise it’s cost prohibitive) to supplement their diet while they are still foraging/eating grass. Other people do it with milk, eggs, spent grain (like from a distillery/beer plant),etc… but they’re still adding protein to their diet to pack on the pounds. Maintaining the pigs on grass/forage is very important to the overall taste of the pork. We’ve pulled pigs off in the past and given them a straight grain diet (because we really wanted them to pack on the pounds) and the pork lost some of that “special” flavor that Large Black’s are known for. So, don’t pull them off of grass completely, (because they’ll also lose the higher Omega 6 fatty acid content), or you’ll have just another pork product that really doesn’t differ than other pork products on the market.
What’s the difference? Your customer. They usually have an idea of what they are looking for. Listen to them, ask them, and modify your pig’s diet accordingly. It’s all about the customer!
As far as weight is concerned… to get the loin chops to a good size, with a nice ribbon of fat on the outside, we try to get them to at least 300+ pounds. Our customers want that nice ribbon of fat on the outside, but want to know that they are getting a good portion of the meat also.
Hope some of this helps.
RossApril 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm #18389
Hi Ross thanks for the reply. I have a hog at 250 #, my Market weight for Butchering is 325#.
So all mine are raised like yours, they’ve been on pasture since the first of March, they actually have an open door, and come and go as they please.
So my question is because this one is going to the butcher for a customer per-determined at the 325# weight is that! do you or anyone else reading this post use a finisher to get the hog up to the weight one desires.
If so what?April 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm #18373Member: TX Shiner PorkParticipant
Yes, we use a finisher, but they still have access to grass the entire time. We feed twice a day, and don’t use an automatic feeder. At any one time we’re feeding out 8 hogs, as we have them all (we have over 90 hogs in different age groups) staged accordingly. We feed the hogs we’re feeding out 25#’s in the morning and 25#’s in the evening, and they eat grass at their leisure. Our finisher is a milo (nearly all milo is still non-gmo)/sorghum base with non-gmo soybean meal/mineral concentrate that we mix ourselves.
How old is your hog? You can get them to 325#’s on grass, but it’ll take a long time, and usually pretty lean, but a lot of that has to do with where you live and what access they have to protein in their diet. I know some that finish them on alfalfa, but you have to be careful, as it has a high fiber content as well as high protein.
RossApril 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm #18374
We live in Michigan they are out to pasture as I write this, they also get Organic grain daily.
I need to, or want to get the Butcher hog up to the 325#, they all are together at this point.
But I Just need to know what folks are doing to increase the weight to finish the hog.