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Author Topic: Depressed Market & Weaners  (Read 35287 times)

Hairy Hogs

  • Joined Feb 2011
Depressed Market & Weaners
« on: March 23, 2011, 08:09:35 pm »
Hi there.

I am in no position to complain, but its clear that some others are.  My question to the audience is why is the weaner market so seemingly depressed at the moment?  Is it a location thing? A breed thing?  I know one couple who are seemingly stuck with a lovely litter of British Lops...........gorgeous piglets, but no-one seems to want them.

We are lucky in that we have sold all that we have to sell, and indeed interest is great in as yet un born litters, there do appear to be certain breeds 'sticking' elsewhere however?!
I wonder if those with bucket loads of experience might share their thoughts on this subject?  Is there a special, bang on the money time of year to sell them, and hence plan your breeding accordingly?  I guess Sara and I have been lucky with all of our breeds litters so far :pig:

At risk of chucking in a cheap advert, I have an impending litter of Gloucestershires any day now, and an Oxford in May. ;D ;D ;D




  • Guest
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2011, 08:15:48 pm »
IMHO it's all about the timing  ;) People are looking for pigs that will be ready for slaughter in November/December so ideally want to be picking them up sometime in the early summer May/June sort of time. It's still a wee bit early, most people will just be starting to think about it now that the weather is (hopefully) improving  8)
Karen x


  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2011, 08:54:17 pm »
And where are the Lops....?? Too far away for me I'd guess, but if you don't ask.....


  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2011, 09:02:02 pm »
I have a herd of six Gloucester Old Spots girls and have had four litters this February/March - Mo producing seven this morning. I have sold all of my weaners from litters of 8, 5 and 10 - with only six boars to go. This time last year, the phone was ringing off the hook, so I am a little bit concerned that it does seem a little slow and am very concerned about feed prices, but hopefully things will pick-up and people will still be enthusiastic about rearing their own pork. Teresa


  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2011, 09:11:03 pm »
In our experience, some people fail to plan their marketing, and if people don't know what you have and that you are approachable, then you won't sell.

Free-ads - eg preloved, and indeed these forums are a great resource, but only touch a small no. of the local community.  The local ag store and the local freebe should be high on your list -  yes the ads cost, but is worth it.

For instance a litter of 8 piglets sold at £50 each will bring in £400, but some skimp and avoid spending £10 to sell them.

So to save money the advert says

"GOS weaners 0778 942657"

Now people on this forum will know that GOS is Gloucester Old Spot, that an old spot is a pig, that a weaner is a 6-8 week old piglet etc. etc. But someone who is less knowledable will have no idea, and lack of a price just makes them think that they might be conned. They have no idea where you are, who you are, and responses will only be from people who know all about pigs and are looking for a bargain.

"British Saddleback piglets ready w/e 4th April from local small farm, £50 – phone to visit and see - 01892 xxx xxxx any day after 6pm ”

This tells the buyer the breed (which they can look up on the internet!), that it is likely that they can collect on a weekend (many smallholders work, so are keen on evening or weekend collections), the “local” and “small” give the feeling that they will not be pressured, and the “phone to visit and see” tells them that they can come and see immediately. The time tells callers when they can expect a response rather than an answerphone (always annoys responders to an advert), and the “any day” helps to encourage weekend calls which suit people who may not look at the small ads until Saturday. The price gives them confidence on what they will need to pay.

May cost a few pounds more, but which ad would you as a newbie respond to?

Add to that a really helpful attitude to callers, tidying up the place to make it look welcoming, presenting your pigs in a clean environment, and taking some time with new people to show them round and help, and you create people who will buy from you time after time, and recommend to friends.

Guarenteed succes - No!, but don't look after these aspects and you're more likley to get one time buyers only, and have to keep advertising your stock.

Finally on all fourms count the no. ads that fail to say where the sellers are !

Down south, our biggest trade is now!  but we regularly have and sell weaners all year round.
"Perfect Pigs" the complete guide to keeping pigs; One Day Pig Courses in South East;
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  • Joined Feb 2010
  • NW Leicestershire
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2011, 09:19:19 pm »
It's no secret I've not sold any of my saddlebacks. I pm'd a breeder on RC who had berkshires she was in exactly the same position with 2 more litters on the way. I'm able to take all of mine to slaughter weight if I have to but don't want to tbh. It also means my OH is pretty adamant that breeding was a one time only thing and is expecting me to get rid of Boris :-(((
Never having done this before I have no experience to say why it's so slow and I've advertised everywhere Inc local ag supplier and I've paid for ads too. I say where I am bloodlines for those who are interested price etc. Only calls I've had have been for advice which I've given being as helpful as I possibly can. I get the thanks ever so I'll call in a week or two.. Maybe they will but It has definately made me think again about breeding though.

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 09:45:24 am »
Would agree it has been slow this spring, normally the phone is ringing off the hinges and i have a waiting list for piglets from end March to Easter so much so i pass sales on to other people with litters. This year 2 enquiries so far. Have managed to sell 7 gilts from litter of 11 but it looks like i will have to take the 4 boars to pork myself. It is very worrying. Quite a few people who rented land off local farmers have lost it because the farmers want to put it into wheat or rape which has been going thro the roof pricewise at the moment. Its a better return than rent for them! I will hopefully have two litters due in July but lord knows what i'll do with them as they'll be tight to fatten in time for Xmas. The local mart might be my only option and i'll be lucky to get a couple of quid each for them! :(
Fingers crossed things pick up - Budget certainly didn't help!
Mandy :pig:


  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2011, 10:04:30 am »
Its the same here.  Between Feb and April 1 last year had 21 pigles born.  All were reserved or sold by 3rd April.  Had a waiting list for any more. 

This year first litter of 10 born 9 days ago.  Still have 3 to sell.  The sales include 1 buyer who paid upfront for this years weaners.

Next litter due April, am hoping things will pick up.  I think the huge rise in cost of pig food is to blame.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Leafy Surrey
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2011, 10:06:39 am »
i am in the opposite camp.  Looking for weaners and there don't seem to be any around, and the people I have contacted have said they would get back to me and haven't!

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2011, 10:09:42 am »
Whereabout are you Greenerlife?
Look on the GOS website (for sale section of forum) there are loads of weaners around the country available.
Mandy :pig:


  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2011, 11:44:00 am »
we have a number of people with porkers and baconers for sale. i think that the slaughter house being closed for a few months has made some folks end up with very fat pigs. the cost of pig food has scared us off keeping anymore for now. we have also reduce the chuck flock for the same reason.


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Dornoch, Sutherland, Highlands
  • It's a Landrover thing, you wouldn't understand :)
    • Ospisdale Herd of Gloucestershire Old Spots
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2011, 12:28:36 pm »
I'm in the Highlands and it's a similar situation up here. There seems to be a bit of interest from potentialy new pig keepers but when I tell them everything they'll need before they can keep pigs it usually puts them off and I never hear from them again. Also, it evident that people in general are not happy to pay a premium price for quality pork. I've been lucky to sell some whole and half pigs but not many pork cuts.

Does anyone have experience of selling pork on the web? If so, how do you package / deliver it?

You gotta ask yourself, 'Do I feel lucky'?

Billy Rhomboid

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2011, 06:34:59 pm »
I expect this will generate a lot of outraged comment but I suspect the prices many people expect for weaners may be part of the problem.
The notice boards of the agricultural merchants hereabouts always have standard GOS/saddleback or Tamworth/Berkshire cross weaners (etc etc) for £25-40. And yet I see similar or pure versions of the same breeds advertised on the net for £50 and sharply upwards.
If i were selecting breeding stock then the bloodlines and all that might be more of an issue but for fattening up for sausage and bacon I am not going to pay £65 for a weaner I can get for less than half that elsewhere.
If it were something very special - a Mangalitsa for example, I would expect to pay more - up to £85 perhaps, but i see people asking £150 for unregistered Mangalitsa boars and wonder who is paying these prices. I could have 6 Berks/Tamworth crosses for that money and as nice as the Manga-meat is, it is not worth 6 pigs of another breed.

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2011, 07:28:15 pm »
it will not generate an outraged comment from me
what you have written is the foundation of the current problem or a part of it
with current feed prices you work out the economics of pig keeping 4-6 kilos of nuts per day for a sow now from the bore poking her you have 3 months 3 weeks and 3 days till the piglets arrive say 10 then keep sow and piglets for another 8-10 wks by 10 wks old they will be consuming another 8-12 kilos per day excluding your time straw and vet fees if required o and include £40 for the boar poking her now anybody that is selling weaner's at £25 upwards is wanting rid of them also they may look like what ever breed they are described as  now if you research the case that the gos people were successfully in winning  it is only pedigree birth notified gos pigs that can be rightly called gos
all pigs are special not just mangolitsas
so you buy these bargains and help these poor breeders of dolly mixture pigs because once they get shot of there bargain basement deals and work out there losses they will not be breeding anymore
o and the unregistered manga boars are just that UNREGISTERED DOLLY MIXTURES yes there are a lot of people out there that are being conned and if you go on the gos site there is a thread on unregistered stock passed of as pedigree time it was f*****g well stopped :pig: :wave:

Re: Depressed Market & Weaners
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2011, 07:40:59 pm »
To give my perspective, at the Melton market a month or so ago, Saddleback weaners were going for £5.00 !

A lot of people are shedding pigs due to the ever increasing costs of feed. - Safe Secure shopping for all your livestock equipment and supplies.
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