Pigs 2015RSS feed

Posted: Sunday 22 November, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 8:57pm in Pigs 6 comments Comments closed

As many readers will know, we don’t breed pigs here at TAS. Like many smallholders, we buy in a couple of weaners in the spring and fatten them over the summer.

This year, we had two Oxford Sandy and Black castrates, a bred we haven’t had before. We’ve had Tamworths in the past and Kunekune for the last two years, but we do like to support the British rare breeds if we can.

The two pigs were born 15th March (Mothers’ Day) and w picked them up from the breeder on 15th May, along with two of their sisters, that a friend of ours has bought for breeding.

We had sectioned off a bit of field with new fencing this year – it’s just under 100m square (which regrettably disqualifies it from our Basic Payment area L). We fed Harbro sow nuts at 450g / pig / day for each month of age, in two feeds. We capped the feed at 2.25kg / pig / day. They didn’t get a lot of extras – a bit of fruit and veg and a few eggs, when available. The cost of the feed was just over £100 per pig. They were slaughtered w/c 26th October at Shotts Abattoir, at 32 weeks.

Spoke to the butcher on Friday and he said they were very fat L He didn’t have the figures in front of him but he thought they were about 94kg deadweight. I guess I could have had them away a month ago but I had in my head mid October to get the pigs, lambs and steer away at the same time with the haulier, which is what we did last year. In the end, they all went separately anyway so I could easily have had the pigs away earlier.

With this year’s experience behind me, I’ll be working on the weight tape rather than the calendar next year and when the get close to 100kg liveweight, I’ll get them away.

I’m a wee bit disappointed that I haven’t done a better job with them (although we will have some lovely sausages and lots of them), but it’s all learning. We sold the second pig to four families in Carnoustie – as a community pig. We have to have two for welfare reasons and can’t USE two in a year, so we sold No2 pig at cost. Looking at the FB photos, they’re having much fun sausage making (with sloe gin and raspberry vodka not in the sausages!!!) and we’ve said we’ll be happy to do the same next year. But hopefully, the pigs will be a wee tad slimmer.




Sunday 22 November, 2015 at 10:04pm

You managed to get them away somewhat smaller than ours. Ours were 104kg and 104kg deadweight!


Tuesday 24 November, 2015 at 12:50pm

Hi Rosemary

We sent off two Saddleback males in October who were 32 weeks. We had a very similar feeding regime to what you have described, including capping the feed at 2.3 kg from week 23. They came out at 104 and 114 kg dead weight. They definitely were not fat which the butcher confirmed. The butchering cost was high because of their weight and the resulting amount of sausages. This was our first time with pigs. Next time I think I will follow the same regime but send them off earlier.


Monday 30 November, 2015 at 5:08pm

Yes our OSB castrated boys came back at 100kg deadweight and very fat. I have to say the bacon and joints are excellent, and fried potatoes (in the bacon fat) are heavenly...

I was disappointed at ours, but like you we didn't get them away early enough and they did love their daily pint (or two) of the white stuff....


Thursday 10 December, 2015 at 7:58am

I am loving the information on this website and forum, I'm still looking at specific breeds... house hunting next Monday in Dumfries.... I like KuneKune but still need to figure out which breeds would be best for a first timer. Thanks for the diary pages so much help.

Rachel Joy

Tuesday 23 August, 2016 at 2:57pm


We are just about to start with six Oxford Sandy and Black weaners, kept free range in wooded paddock. Also in Angus, and also about to start feeding them Harbro sow and weaner roll. There is a difference in that we are going to be growing ours over the winter.

We'd be really interested to know if you took ont his breed again if you change the feed, or its quantities, or just slaughter them sooner?

Thanks very much!


I'd be really


Tuesday 23 August, 2016 at 3:11pm

Hi Rachel

We have OSBs this year too. They were born mid March. Still feeding Harbro Sow Rolls but a bit less - they've got a good fat covering though :-( Will know more when we put them away probably next month.

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