9 Crucial Tips On Keeping Pigs For Meat
Pigs, no matter how dirty they may seem, are very much a part of our lives. There are two reasons why you may want to know how to raise pigs. One is you want your own source of pork and other pig products. The other more common reason is to earn from them. Pigs sell. As long as people continue to enjoy pork, there will never be a shortage of buyers.
If you are intent on raising and keeping pigs for meat, then here are some tips you might want to take into heart.
- First, you must consider how many pigs you can afford, which is one of the important factors on how to start a pig farm. Money will always be an issue. Before you earn money, you have to spend some. You need to start your farm with four- to eight-week old piglets that weigh between 20 to 50 pounds. Stay away from runts or those that are smaller and look weak.
- You need to think about the area where you’ll set up your pig farm. Remember that pig waste is not that pleasant to the nose. Build your pig farm in an area far from neighbours.
- This brings us to the enclosure. To keep labor to a minimum, having your pigs in a pen or barn is essential. This way, you have easier access to feeding and cleaning them and their individual stalls. Separating them into stalls will also prevent injuries, diseases and infections from spreading.
- You also need to factor in space. The number of pigs you can raise depends on your available space. Every pig needs at least a ten by ten foot space for their daily activities including sleeping, eating and moving around. Anything less than that qualifies as animal cruelty.
- Few people know that pigs do not sweat. Because of this, they cannot cool themselves down. It is important to keep the pigs cool. You can do this by watering them down regularly and having enough air flow in their enclosures.
- Food and water are two of the most important things when you are keeping pigs for meat. They need to eat right and drink clean water to grow. They also need vitamins and minerals to go with food scraps to keep them healthy. You also need to keep the water clean for their consumption. Because of the fact that pigs don’t sweat, they tend to cool themselves down using the water provided for drinking. Replace their water regularly. Remember, the healthier the pig the bigger the income.
- Since we’re on the topic of health, it is also essential to monitor the pigs’ health. The pigs have to be vaccinated against diseases and given monthly medicines against worms. You can either use commercial wormers or go the natural route. Some natural worming methods employ the use of garlic, rosemary, and some other herbs and crops. Just mince them and mix with their food and their medicinal qualities will keep them healthy and worm-free.
- Keeping pigs for meat also means you have to be prepared to slaughter them. You can set up an area where you can do the slaughtering yourself or you can take them to a USDA-certified slaughterhouse. If you have your own place, you need a certification from the Food Safety and Inspection Service to fully operate. Their representative will look into your slaughter area and determine if it is meets the standard. They will also inspect your pigs if they are free of any kind of disease.
- To fully realize the potential earnings of keeping pigs for meat, you need to advertise. If you have a small farm, it may be enough to sell your products within your community only. But if you own lots of pigs and intend to reach a bigger market, you can sell them online. Believe it or not, everything can be sold over the internet. Have someone who knows about creating websites make one for you. Your website needs to have your name and business name in it. Of course, you need pictures, contact numbers, shipping details and other important bits of information.
Keeping pigs for meat is a lucrative business, but it is not an easy one to maintain. Before you begin, ask yourself if the money generated makes up for all the trouble. For some who enjoy the farm life, this is kind of therapeutic. Make sure you are up to it.