I know there has been some topics on this. I could not readily locate. I am a first time farmer. I have a new litter of piglets and I am more interested in finishing the hogs for the meat!
I want to have them processed and sell the meat. I am feeding an organic feed at 8lbs a day. At this rate does anyone have experience on how long this is taking with this breed? The feed is VERY expensive!
Also, I have seen a lot of talk about market weight. I see 250lbs and 325lbs. Any experience with this also? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
There are a lot of people here that have way more experience than I do, and I hope they chime in too.
But I believe I’ve read that 275 is a bit of a sweet spot for LBs. Between 250 and 300 is acceptable. Over 300 and you’re just buying expensive organic feed to turn it into fat. Some people like a fattier pig. Some people enjoy rendering fat, so the more the merrier. We just took a barrow to process and hanging weight ended up 170lb. I think that would be around 200-210 live weight. You might want to do this for any number of reasons: timing for an event (such was the case with our hog, less meat was better than no meat), spreading out cash flow if you only have one age of feeder, or even for a discounted share. We sell hog shares by the pound, and not everyone is able to afford a 275lb hanging weight hog. A smaller carcass can be presented as an option to your clients that are taken back by the sticker shock of high quality (in your case ORGANIC) heritage hog.
In terms of timing it all depends. At 8 pounds a day I bet you’ll get there fast. We feed a lot of pasture which slows things down dramatically. It takes us about a year to get to weight. You’ll be there closer to 7 months at that rate I think. PLEASE someone tell us if I’m way off here.
Good luck twinoaks. Crunch those numbers on how much you’re going to spend and then get a feel for what you have to sell the meat for in order to make your money back. Then make sure you have a market willing to pay that premium for that ORGANIC feed because if you don’t, well you’re going to have to buy another freezer. I applaud you on going the organic route, very few people do. I doubt any processor is willing to label it organic without certification. Anyone out there certified organic? How are you planning on selling this meat, twinoaks?