Inauguration piglets?

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

It looks like our sow is going to have babies just about the time Barack Obama is sworn in today :) We could name them George, Laura, Barack, Michele.....and then if I need more names, we can go on to Joe and Jill...

Ahhhh, the farm life.....

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Henry, Diane... Oh no, wait a minute...

Citigroup, Goldman, Sachs, Chrysler, GM, B of A...
All bellied up to the trough. =0)

And the biggest piggie... Madoff.

Have you seen the ObamaLlama on Poultry and Livestock?

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

We have 3 so far ;) She's having a hard is very cold here....about 15 degrees.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

I don't know anything about hogs past ham...

how long do they usually go between piglets?

What kind of hogs do you raise?


Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

I can't think of the breed they are right now, isn't that awful. Starts with a T. DH has been out in the barn now since he reported 3, for about another 45 minutes. Could be more by now.

They can go 15 minutes before pushing more out. We've had sows have as many as 15 in one litter.

Tamworth! that's the kind of pigs they are! Great bacon pigs. Long in the loin.........;)

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

So DH is out in the barn doing the bail-out? LOL Just couldn't help myself.
This is one day I wish I had a TV... I'd like to see the main show. A friend is supposed to be taping it, but her relationship with her VCR is often... er.... troubled. =0)

Looked up the Tamworth...

This is my favorite line....
"It is of ancient and uncertain origin, and there seems to be no well authenticated account of where it came from."

Hey, I resemble that remark! LOL

This message was edited Jan 20, 2009 11:34 AM

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Here are two of them :) They evidentally are not full Tamworths now.... Also, she ended up with 7 of them...

So now I have all the names and Dick too... ;)

Thumbnail by MistyMeadows
Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Momma and 5 of the babies..................

Thumbnail by MistyMeadows
Clarkson, KY

Ooooh...been lookin' fer piggies too...How good are they for KY? Were they easy to locate?

And what is it about cold weather that just squeezes the babies right out?!! Cool piggy piccys

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

OMG, they are cute! I've never seen brand new piglets before, just the feeders.
I especially like the look in that one's eye as he/she nurses... looks like trouble already. =0)

Congrats on your new additions! High five to the DH.

So what did you name them?

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Well, they won't officially get names.......but I'm sticking with Barack, Michele, Joe, Jill, George, Laura, Dick............... I won't know who is who after a while..........but it is fitting.

Pigs are very easy to raise in KY, but a lot of problems with the different counties about having pigs! And if you raise them for meat, well.......the demand far outweighs the supply.

Lots of ordinances against pigs....check with your local land offices.

We've been raising pigs for years. WE haven't bought pigs in years....except a boar here or there. Our pigs are all conceived and born here.

;) Kathy

Clarkson, KY

'Nuff pigs in this county not to worry...but I'd love sustainable piggies.
(We're in Grayson)

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Do you pasture your hogs? What's the best kind of fencing for them?

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Ours are pastured/free-range, but hard to pasture in the winter with nothing for them to eat so we have to subsidize with grain.

I think we've tried all kinds of fencing. Right now, I'm thinking barbed wire and some electrified........but they break out all the time!

We had to fence around our pond. We had a horrible incident 3 years ago. It got so cold here that the pigs walked out on the ice on the pond. 6 of them fell in (we weren't home). We saw two and got them out, they weren't alive....we weren't sure if there were more...........until the spring thaw. I cried so hard!

A lesson learned........pigs WILL walk on ice!!!! and FALL in.


Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Ooo, bummer. What a terrible loss. =0(

I might try raising a pig someday, but it would be pastured and we do have a creek, so I was wondering about that. I wouldn't raise litters, just the one for meat. But fencing would be critical... a loose hog around here would probably disappear into someone's freezer. There's a couple of less than honest types around.

Are pigs much bothered by dogs? (I ask as I watch neighborhood dogs trot through my pasture)

Clarkson, KY

Fencing is my main concern as well. We have plenty of room and wooded areas where we should have pigs, but...

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

First of all, one should never have just one. They grow and thrive better if there is competition at the food trough! You should have two, whether that is a m or f or 2 females is your choice. Dont' get boys unless they are castrated if you are planning them for meat. If not castrated, have a gamier taste.

Secondly, dogs beware! If you want to keep dogs out of your pasture, get some pigs. They will charge them. Oh the dogs will bark..............from a distance. If you have woods, this is good for pigs. They love to root around trees and look for nuts. They are foragers and will thrive even better if given trees to wander through....not to mention the coolness of a shade tree for them.... Pigs do need water and a pond/creek is perfect. Our pond is pretty deep and that's why we had the issue we had. :(

Definitely need fencing as they will wander....not intentionally, just looking for food and the neighbors will be in an uproar because they will tear up their flower gardens, food gardens, turn over the lawn furniture, root up their yard and leave their trail along the way. Not to mention scaring the bejesus out of everyone.... I don't understand why they don't want pigs in their yards!! ha, ha.

All the babies are doing well today. They are fun to watch...In a few weeks, they will be running around in circles chasing their tails just like a dog....but then they get fat and can't see their tails anymore.

Have a great day,

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

OK, 2 castrated males... aren't those called gilts (trying to remember my Animal Science class from back in the dark ages)?

I love the red one with the white band...

Not much in the way of woods, just a few trees down by the creek. Will they stay down there or wander 10 acres of weedy pasture? Will field fence work? And I don't care if they eat the neighborhood dogs... I keep hoping my donks will stomp them.

I'm surrounded by cow pastures, so don't have to worry about neighbors flowers... nobody gardens around here but me. And I will eat serious bacon if they get into mine! LOL

How long to raise from feeder to finish?

Can't wait to see more pics of your swinish 'cabinet'. =0)


Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

No, castrated males are called barrows. Gilt is a female that has not had a litter yet, after she does, she becomes a sow. So this momma was actually a gilt.

They would wander your 10 acres. They don't know their wandering most of the time, they just smell a nut in the back 40 and head for it... ha, ha.

I'm thinking 6 mths from feeder to finish. You want them to be around 225 lbs for slaughter weight.

We started out our marriage with 4 pigs. 2 barrows and 2 gilts. We were raising them for meat. We put the gilts with a boar (non castrated boy) and voila....pigs are like rabbits! Well, one of the mommas had 13 babies and was paralyzed after birth. We fed the piglets calf replacer (my son became momma) and I handfed that sow every day. I bought her a watermelon a day and fed her that, grain, and a bucket of water several times a day. I stood her up on her hind legs and worked them and massaged her hips so she wouldn't get stiff. I called the vet and he told me to put her down, which infuriated me. I said no, he gave me antibiotics and for 3 weeks I gave this pig shots, hand fed her, etc. After 3 weeks she got up and walked!!! She never had anymore babies but she followed me everywhere like a dog. When she was about 500 lbs she was huge and got to be rather mean and unruly, so we sold her....for meat. It was the hardest thing I ever did. Oh farm life is not always easy!

But we had kept her line going, having babies, selling some, breeding others, etc. Well, we had about 35 piglets and we had about 20 of them to castrate. It was my DH and I! We went out to the barn and cleaned everything up and prepared for the surgery. We did one pig; I held it, he cut! That pig wiggled and screamed so bad and bled (thus the saying bled like a stuck pig...sort of) and I almost passed out.

Now this is funny.......we didn't have a truck, but we had a Ford station wagon, one of those big boats for cars. I couldn't do the other 19, so we loaded them in the car and drove to the vets. He castrated every one of them for $1.00 each! What a deal. The next day, I'm cleaning out the back of the station wagon and there were these wells in the side by the window and in each one were two perfectly rounded huge.......pig turds and I laughed until I cried. It was like they were purposefully "dropped" there.

Okay, you're probably getting sick of my pig stories by now. You've heard of Boss Hog, well I guess I'm Mother Hog.

:) Kathy

Edited to say that red one probably has Duroc in it. They are the most unruly of pigs that we've ever had....couldn't control them at all and they definitely had a mind of their own. Somewhere along the way, there is Duroc in the blood line.

This message was edited Jan 21, 2009 3:01 PM

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Oh great, I like the unruly one. That just figures. LOL
I love the pig stories... we don't have many in this part of the country, so I've only hear horse and cow stories, with an occasional sheep tail... er, tale.

I remember the first time I picked up a goat kid and nearly dropped it when it started screaming bloody murder! Good heavens, what a set of lungs! I grew up with horses and when you pick up a youngster it'll kick the dickens out of you and mom's liable to bite you, but no screaming. That is maximally unnerving! So I utterly sympathize with the castration 'allergy'. =0)

Can you band pigs like you do sheep and goats?

That sow sounds like a downer cow... and often they don't bother with them, either. Probably partly because when you work that hard on something, you do get attached (my dad would never admit to this, I'm sure) and then it's hard to make the necessary decision. =0( Either that or you hate the thing to the point of meanness. Nope, life with livestock is not easy. It brings out the best and the worst of us.

If they're 225 when you take them in, how much do they generally dress out at? I'm thinking of my freezer space here.


Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Oh, but the pig stories. I had pigs, (actually 3 sow & litters), as my FFA project for 4 years of high school.
We lived in north central MN. Farmers in southern MN would drive up north to buy feeder pigs., (Pigs that are 8 weeks old & weigh about 40 lbs each). There was a market not far from us. Every Saturday morning, (very early), that we had pigs to sell, we would head down there. The highway coming in had a bend in it. You could see downtown after the road became straight. If there were men standing out in the intersection, your asking price for the pigs went up! No men, almost should have turned around & gone home. This was in the 1950's. 40 lb pigs brought anywhere from $7.00 to $20.00 each. (About the same as now. That is why my dad only kept about 5 sows.)
Our sows had pigs in early April, so we sold them near end of May. We would sell around 40 in the spring, keeping 6 gilts for the next spring & 2 barrows for meat. The money from those 40 pigs would buy the seed & fertilizer for the seasons crops, and pay the first half of the real estate taxes.
The sows would have another litter in fall. We would sell all the pigs & also the sows. This money would pay the rest of the taxes & buy a nice new piece of machinery!
That's why back then are the "Good ol' days."
Between my Jr. & Sr. year in high school, I had a corn crib full of corn from the year before. So I kept 6 of my pigs & fed up that corn. I sold them to a local locker plant that butchered them & sold the meat. I gave the meat from one to our family for expenses of raising them. The money from the other 5 paid for a 1952 Ford car for me & I had money left over.
Now for some stories.
One day we were at the feeder pig market. A man pulls in with an old Ford car. The trunk had been cut out. He had a claw foot bathtub in the back with an old screen door on top. He pigs were in the tub. Funniest thing I had ever seen!
We always bought a boar pig & with my dad's cousin mile up the road. One time I went to feed the pigs, no boar pig! Looked all over, then here comes the cousin down the road with the boar in a trailer. We unloaded him into the barn. He went right outside & cleared the fence in one leap & beat my cousin home. We couldn't keep him at either place, he went back & forth at will. He was a purebred Yorkshire & all his litters were 12 to 16 pigs. When we kept his daughters for mothers, they were some of the best ever.

I cleared the fence in a single bound once too. I had a couple mud turtles in an old stock tank behind a shed. To get to it I had to go through the pig pen. One day an old boar spied me & decided he didn't want me there. I am lucky that one was to heavy to jump fences.

I am getting basement ready for starting plants, so better get back to it.


Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

A pig will dress out about 60% meat. Of course this is counting bones, too.

I was looking for some old pig pictures. All I could find is this one of my dad butchering a pig.

Editing to add; after looking closer at the picture, dad's cousin is working on the pig, dad's brother is watching. That is me with back to camera.

This message was edited Jan 21, 2009 3:08 PM

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Clarkson, KY

Can't thank you all enough for the stories. Looking to set up a whole farm here -which means I lack sheep, geese, and pigs. Any and all information we can get about what to get and do is very welcome. Wouldn't put it past me to run around begging for 'gilts' to buy in the near future. First thing though woven fencing and a lot of it!! And plenty o' patience methinks!!!

Priceless pic there CG! Just enough snow on the ground to process easily I take it?

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Really appreciate the pig stories... best way to learn from others.

So, can you band a piglet? Does feeding them the excess milk from goats make them lazy (so I've heard)? How in the world do you load a pig in a stock trailer?

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Anatomically, it would be too hard to band a pig....ha, ha. DH said he wouldn't mind watching someone trying to that; it would be rather amusing.

60% is about right for dressing of pigs. We've been known to dress out at 70%, our pigs aren't as fatty as a lot of them because we don't raise them in confinement. Also when we have ours butchered and sausage made, etc. we don't add fat back into our sausages, etc as most commercial companies do. As a result, our sausage is lean.

Great pic Bernie.

I've never heard that drinking any kind of milk makes them lazy....

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

I thought the milk thing was sort of wierd, that's why I asked. And besides, it doesn't sound like it would be a bad thing to have a lazy hog, what with all your jumping pig stories. =0)

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Awwwww. Look at the tiny piggies. How cute.

How do ya keep them from being rolled over by the mama and sufficated. Do ya put them in a seperat epen andonly let in to suckle. Think that the right word.

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

No, we let mama take care of them and she is doing a great job :) The first few days are the most crucial, but they are running around in the pen and doing well.

Waddy, KY

Star, some places use what they call farrowing crates for the sows. I don't have pigs and they really aren't on my "to get" list, unless they're already at the 225# size, but my understanding is that the crate allows momma to be comfortable enough but she can't roll around and lay on the piglets while they're too small to get out of the way. Babes can get up to her to nurse but she can't hurt them. I'm assuming that they don't leave them in the farrowing crates forever.


Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Think pigs are so cute when they little. Even if they do have muddy noses all the time. LOL

I had a friend that had a pot pelly pig and it had piglets and they lost em all cuz the momma rolle don them and sufficated them.

KyWoods. Ya read Daves whole thread the other night about his new cows. needs an update.

I think abotu gettign some farm animals to raise as food, and pigs are small enough figure they can't hurt ya too bad. Just not sure I knwo how to take care of them properly and sure don't want them to end up being pets, other than breeders.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

I've read that if the family has enough room, the sow knows perfectly well where her babies are and doesn't lie on them. It's when operations are trying to maximize the pig per square foot ratio that things get crowded and babies get laid on.

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Farrowing crates are usually used in confinement operations. The momma pigs cannot move :(. I won't say we've never had a momma roll on her babies, but the percentage is less than how many we've had survive, maybe 10%.

For the most part, our pigs aren't aggressive and they tend to be calmer, I believe because they can get up and out and aren't confined to a certain room, etc.

When they get bigger is when they can hurt you and, not intentionally, but they absolutely love Ralph and when he goes out to feed them, they just about bowl him over. Imagine 30 pigs about 200 lbs each coming for they don't mess around with their food...they take that seriously.

A child should never ever, ever go into a pig area unless the pigs are used to them, etc. And one should never put their hand in to pet a pig unless you know the pig. They think everything is food .... ;0

One rule of them, if you have to name your pigs, name them something you will eat, i.e. bacon, sausage, pork chops, etc.... it makes it easier come time to butcher.

And pigs can't be pets forever, they get too big. Don't ever expect a pig to be a pet, unless it is a pot belly pig. They are as good as having a dog and many owners keep them in their house like a housepet.

And never get just one.........always have at least two so they can compete for the food. IT will make them healthier, heavier, and happier....

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

I knew (briefly) a lady that had a pet hog... the thing was the size of a huge draft horse with no legs. She thought it was cute... I thought it was a lurking danger. It was one of those So Far nothing bad has happened situations... she did say we shouldn't go in with it, but it was behind a mere 4' chain link fence...

Right up there with keeping a dairy bull in the back yard, from what I've heard.

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

What about shots and stuff. I knwo they rol in mud and water and anything that nasty looking that will cool them off. How do ya keep them from getting sick to eat th emeat and do they get wormed like dogs every so many weeks when young?

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Pigs roll in mud to keep the insects off; it is a natural instinct. Pigs are actually very clean animals. They will only do "their duties" in one corner of their pen. Now, they don't have the ability to clean it up, so if the person taking care of them, doesn't clean out the corner, they WILL find another corner.

All animals, not only pigs have worms. Worming medicine works on that, although we have never really had a problem with that. Again, you'll find that more in a confinement operation.

I think it is cruel to keep an animal to the point where it is so large that it cannot function; we had a turkey that dressed out at 63 lbs and we felt so bad how big it got, but it was our first time raising turkeys. We learned some lessons from that and know that we let it live too long. I agree right up there with the bull! By the way, no bulls in dairy ;)

We don't give our pigs shots unless they get sick (this is very rare). They are very healthy pigs. We had a bout of pneumonia a few years ago with a half dozen of our pigs and we had to give them antibiotic, one round. We use it so little, I can't even think of the name of the medicine, but it started with an I.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

I'm curious about the few piglets you've lost...
have they been along the sides of the pens (do you recall) or is it more random? The reason I ask... they use a 'tail board' in horse stalls (for an entirely different reason) that might help keep sows a bit away from the walls (say, 6-8"). I'm just curious if you think that might help...

I don't even know if sows like to lay along the walls...

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Years ago when I raised pigs in pens, I had one corner boarded off & a heat lamp bulb hanging there. The babies liked the warmth & would sleep under there. (They sleep all the time when little except when nursing. Also I had a 2 x 6 board about 8" off the floor all the way around the pen. It was a little was from the sides too. That way the mother couldn't squeeze the babies between her & the pen walls.
I lost very few that way.
Most of the mothers were real good about laying down. If they heard a piggie squealing, they would jump back up.


Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Yeah, that was what I had in mind. Thanks for the info, Bernie. Good to know about the 'brooder', too. =o) That's what it looks like MM has set up for her pigalettos. I don't plan on raising pigs, but one just never knows when good info will come in handy....

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Yes, Jay, that is what we have, boards and heat lamp. Usually piglets get crushed while trying to eat. Mama just wants them to stop and moves or tries to get up...some sows are pretty messed up after giving birth and don't care. A few years ago we had a momma that just lost it and wouldn't bother with her babies at all. We had another that had 6 or 7 of her own and took on the other babies, so she had like 13 babies nursing on her. They all survived! That is rare though.

And I told you about the ones that we had to feed years ago. I'll try to find the picture of my son feeding them and try to scan it.

;) K

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Cool. Woudl liek to see it. I wonder if I couldn't raise two pigs here.

Don't even know where I woudl try and find any bitty ones. Use dot have a guy aroudnthe corner that had pigs , but his place was a mess. Got so bad ya couldnt even stand to have windows rolled down in car when drivign by. he never move dthem and always kept in same pen and nevr cleaned it.

Only other time I see piggie s is the county fair in think is september.

if I did get a piggy what normal price for piglets?

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