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PART-TIME Pork

Raise your own pork without becoming a pig breeder.
CRYSTAL FARMER/SHUTTERSTOCK

Whether you want better tasting pork, healthier pork, less expensive pastured pork or more food security, growing your own piglets from weaning to slaughter is a great way to have it all. Pigs were initially temporary residents on our farm, arriving in spring after weaning and then going to the processor in the fall before the pastures were barren. We started with two Tamworth barrows (castrated males) in 2004 and raised them for about six months. After having one bite of our homegrown pork, we couldn’t go back to store-bought. We’ve been raising our own pork ever since.

We raise our pigs outdoors so they can soak up sunshine, eat grass and root around and act like pigs. I can’t imagine not having our own homegrown pork to eat. But I can understand that not everyone wants the year-round commitment of becoming a hog breeder. What can you do if you want the delicious taste of your own pork but you don’t want to become a hog breeder? You can buy a couple of piglets at weaning and raise them for six months to a year, depending upon the breed and how much pork you want, and then drive them to the meat locker for processing. Two or three weeks later, you pick up your ham, bacon, sausage and other delicacies.

“Pigs have few sweat glands, high body fat and a barrel-shaped torso that stores heat,” writes researcher Marc Bracke of Wageningen University and Research Center in Applied Animal Behavior Science. “Wallowing can lower a pig’s temperature by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, making it more efficient than sweating would be even if pigs had lots of sweat glands.
ILANNA_ROSE/SHUTTERSTOC
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About Hobby Farms Magazine

Hobby Farms January/February 2019, Homegrown Hogs, Be a Part-Time Pork Raiser, 7 Medication Management Musts, And More........