Updated: Feb 10, 2020
Our first venture with pigs was feeder pigs. We were amazed at how easy they were to raise and how much meat they gave us.
We decided to add a heritage breed that grazed instead of rooting up your pasture. We purchased Kune Kune pigs and loved them. The problem was that they grow so slowly and required a different type of fencing than the sheep or cows. Which made it difficult when moving them around the property. When our largest Kune Kune boar died from choking on some bread and we had to butcher him, we only got 35 -50 lbs of meat. Compared to the larger feeder pigs, we would get that much in one ham. We concluded that the Kune Kune were not worth the effort for our size family.
So we moved back to feeder pigs that we raise for a few months off our scraps. We know this is not sustainable, but that is the compromise we made. Pigs are now put in 4 designated paddocks with a hot wire and pig panels. They get the spare milk, produce and weeds from the garden and anything else that is surplus. We raised 6 feeder pigs two years ago and fed them our surplus milk, garden excess and waste, offal from chicken killing, our leftovers and only 7 bags of feed. Four of them were between 325 and 385 lb and 2 were between 250 and 300 when we slaughtered them. That means we spent $420 and got around 1130 pounds out of processed meat that investment. We got sausage, bacon, hams, fatback, middlings, dog food and dog chews, lard, and bouillon for 37 cents a pound. This should be enough bacon and sausage for a year for our family of 17.