Want to know how to raise your own pigs? If you’re interested in pig farming, there’s a lot to learn. Here’s how one homesteader began his adventure. Good news is he enjoyed the experience and plans to get more pigs again soon.
First Time Pig Farming
As told by Ed Tatum
With our uncertain economy, I decided approximately 5 years ago to take charge of my food sources; namely my 6.13 acres in North Carolina. My family settled this land and I’m sure they had control over their food sources as well. I started with rabbits and chickens with really no problems from disease or predation.
I am old enough to remember how pork tasted and yearned for the taste once again. I was working on a historical property and traded labor for hog panels. I went to my faithful source for cheap used stuff (Craigslist), and found food grade barrels and buckets for water and slop. I had everything set up just no hogs. My nephew Adam was raising hogs so I bought 2 females. Or so I thought…
I got the new additions home and released them into their new shaded area. Sausage and Pork Chop adapted to their new digs immediately. I spoiled the pigs with hydrated corn (a 5-gallon bucket of corn soaking in water). They were not crazy about the platter choice, so being a carpenter I made a gravity trough feeder instead. They tore it apart, but Gorilla Glue fixed their destruction. I had to add lids since they kept playing in their expensive feed.
I eventually quit the wet feed due to consumer non-verbal complaints.
I only had one escape, Sausage poked his way free one day. But with the help of my resident watch dogs, Elvis and Tucker, I was able to pin and capture the escapee.
This is where the story gets interesting.
I noticed body parts on Sausage that resembled the male anatomy. I called a friend and by popular vote, we concurred that I had two male hogs. I knew I would need to cut the males, hence my request for females.
Turns out it was an honest mistake, but nonetheless they must be castrated. I would have to arrange surgery while the pigs were still small. I asked a friend who shall remain nameless to cut them and he forgot me, luckily I had friends from the local hardware store come one Saturday to help. John and his two boys Wyatt and Ray came along with, Stoney, Adam, Kenny, Wayne and James. Now I don’t recommend the training I got prior to surgery but YouTube made all the difference in the world.
I cleaned the area (what happens on the farm, stays on the farm), whilst my reliable friends held down a terrorized pig. I cut and removed the Mountain Oysters but no one had a taste for them. I poured a generous amount of wound powder on cuts along with spraying area with purple antiseptic spray. I fed the pigs their favorite vine as I was told if they would eat then they were okay. I sprayed and monitored wound areas for two weeks.
Sausage and Pork Chop recovered with no ill-effects, just a long distrust of me. I’d harbor resentment as well.
Let’s fast forward to September and both hogs are flirting with 200 lbs. of delicious meat. I will send them to freezer camp in November and hopefully a gross weight of 250 lbs. I heard and read so many horror stories about having hogs that I almost convinced myself not to get pigs but I have ordered four Large Blacks for breeding and two mixed breed to carry through winter to work the land in my garden area.
As the old commercial used to say, “try it you’ll like it”.
And now, some cute baby pigs:
What do you think of pig farming? Have you ever tried it? Let us know and share your experience with us in the comment section below.
Have any homesteading projects you’d like to share? Share it with us and we’ll give it a try. We’d love to know what you think!