Growing Your Own Pork – When is the best time to Raise Pigs?

Raising Pigs – It’s time to get some piglets for the winter season!

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I’ve been raising pigs for a few years.  You can raise them over the summer.  You can raise them over the winter.  You can raise them year round.

I thought I’d do a little comparison on summer v/s winter.

We have always raised our pigs in the summer but many folks buy them in October and raise them over winter.

Here’s why:

3 Reason to Raise Pigs Over Winter

If you are a wintery kind of person, live in a frigid climate, or maybe winter is the nicest time of year where you live; there are perks to raising pigs in cooler weather:

ONE:  Less Smell.

In the summer when it’s hot and humid the stanky-stinkiness seems to linger.  In winter there’s breezes, wind, rain, and other weather to take some of that stank away.  All the poop and other stinky stuff will generally be frozen stiff or at least cold enough that it isn’t festering on the entire farm.

TWO:  Less Mess.

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You won’t get covered in slime, mud, sewage or have to wade through a pig-swamp when you go into Pig-Wonderland to care for your piggies.

Frozen ground is definitely a perk when it comes to pigs.

THREE:  No Pool.

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You won’t have to worry about your porky friends building you a swimming pool in the winter.  Piggies build swimming pools to stay cool in the hot summer months.   If it’s not hot – no water feature.  Bonus!
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If you are considering a few pigs for the fall/winter be sure to get a cold hardy breed, have adequate shelter and plenty of warm hay.  You may also want to consider getting a couple extra hogs.  The more pigs the more body heat there will be to keep them toasty in frigid temperatures.

As far as pigs are concerned, if you’re raising one you might as well raise 4 or 5.  It’s really not much additional work and you could sell the extra meat to cover your costs.

Of course, your winter will be long and the pigs will always be there haunting you.

Consequently, if you missed the pork-boat and didn’t raise any over the summer this year …. And you like bacon …. Then you should consider spending your winter with a few pigs.

 

As I mentioned, we do raise ours over the summer.  Here’s why:

4 Reasons to Raise Pigs Over Summer

ONE:  Weight Gain.

Pigs will typically get to slaughter weight faster if you raise them when it’s not freezing.   You know how your body burns energy (calories) to stay warm when it’s cold out?  Same with pigs.  If you are raising them over winter it can take longer to get them to ideal slaughter weight because they are burning through the calories just to stay warm.

This can also increase your feed bill.  Since they need more calories to stay warm, they need more food.  In the summer they don’t need to use any of that glorious feed to stay warm so it all turns into pork chops for you!

Summer time around here is either :”Hot” or “Less Hot,” so all the pigs do is eat, lay in the shade and get fat.

TWO:  I have a low tolerance for pigs.

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I enjoy pigs for about 3 1/2 months.  After that I’m done.

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I like them when they’re cute.  I like them when they’re little.

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I don’t like them when they weigh 300 pounds and are nudging me in the butt with their snouts.  If I raise them over summer, it’s all about over when I hit my pig-limit.

THREE:  Winter is hard.

It’s difficult enough to milk the cow, care for the chickens and keep the ice broken on everyone’s water tanks.  I do not wish to add pigs to my list of winter chores.  The end.

FOUR:  In Spring I’m SuperWoman.

It’s true.  In spring/ summer I have unheard of energy, enthusiasm and excitement for things like chainsawspiglets, pumpkin patches and other random chores I would never consider any other time of year.

Summer or Winter – it depends on your personality.  I’m a summer girl.  Summer works for me.

If you are a wintery person – go grab some feeder pigs & set out the buffet!

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OINK!

Candi

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