Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Breed choice  (Read 3613 times)

Fowlman

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Wiltshire
Breed choice
« on: January 19, 2014, 12:27:40 pm »
So far in my pig keeping experience i have only kept weaners for fattening and it's been mostly GOS which i like, so after all these years my mind has been dwelling on different breeds and the possibility of breeding my own, only small scale as i have arthritis and don't want to be taking on too much really. Everyone has their favourite breeds of course but i'm wondering which breed to go for next. British Lop is a breed i would like to know more about but don't know anyone locally who keeps them. I have been asked about doing the odd hog roast too.
 
Any thoughts on which direction i should go and why ?
Tucked away on the downs in wiltshire.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 02:56:59 pm »
No breed recommendations - it's such a personal thing - and if I am teaching granny to suck eggs, apologies - but please don't breed on the assumption that you will be able to sell weaners. Work on selling quality pork at a realistic price and have your market sorted before you start.

Seems all to often folk get put off breeding pigs because they get left with weaners, growing bigger and bigger, and eating more and more - then they get sent to the market, sold for a song and huge loss sustained. End of pig breeding venture.

There seems to be more value added if you sell sausages and bacon than pork but if you get a butcher to make them, any profit will be swallowed up.

Again, I'm no expert but I see a lot of posts on here that make me think pig breeding is hard to make profitable or even break even, given the cost of feed.

Bodger

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2014, 03:04:11 pm »
Whatever you can find locally at a reasonable price. :pig:

Fowlman

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Wiltshire
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 03:36:43 pm »
Thank you both. I'm certainly not in it for the money but having said that we still have to break even don't we. At the moment i'm building a meat club (lamb, pork,poultry)for locals, it's slow progress but building the market can be hard and we want to walk before we can run. At the moment i have no problem selling anything i produce but i like to keep it realistic and not get ahead of myself. Luckily i have a friend who does the butchering which certainly keeps the cost down. My only dilemma is what breed to plumb for regards breeding, it may come down to what is available locally at the time as Bodger said.
Tucked away on the downs in wiltshire.

Bodger

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2014, 05:19:47 pm »
Two Octobers ago, I went to a rare breed sale at a local cattle market. Coloured weaners didn't sell very well and some pens went for as little as five pounds per head. Who ever bought them, got rare breed pigs and eventually, the chance to get fantastic pork at an incredibly good price.

Fowlman

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Wiltshire
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2014, 06:40:15 pm »
Yes i went to market the other week just for a nose and seen a pen of very recently weaned OSB go for £4 each, chap bought the lot which was about ten.
Tucked away on the downs in wiltshire.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 06:50:46 pm »
Yes i went to market the other week just for a nose and seen a pen of very recently weaned OSB go for £4 each, chap bought the lot which was about ten.

Yes, great if you are buying weaners to fatten but pretty rubbish if you are the breeder - you probably won't bother again. Which is back to my original point  :)

Azzdodd

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2014, 06:56:32 pm »
I am the same as you only ever had weaners and I'm not going too breed some off my own I've gone for a welsh and a welsh X large white (pink pigs) purely because people want what is going to grow fastest and less fat. I will advertise my weaners but if they don't sell they don't sell I'm happy too keep them and sell the meat. I have a good customer base now from my previous pigs & lamb meat selling. I feel for the traditional breeds now cause they are just gonna keep suffering and suffering as all the small holders simply can't afford to breed traditional breeds

Fowlman

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Wiltshire
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2014, 07:05:47 pm »
I completely agree Rosemary and sadly happening too much. Azzdodd thats strange you should think the traditional breeds will suffer even more than they already do because many of the butchers around here are big supporters of them. Obviously fast growing pigs are going to take the lead for feeding the masses.
Tucked away on the downs in wiltshire.

Azzdodd

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2014, 07:54:13 pm »
I know the butchers love them but a lot off people who are thinking about breeding them are being put off by the chance there stuck with the weaners. Like you say some weaners can go for pennies. Which is the reason I went for a more commercial pig to be honest if I got stuck with them I know I could take them too market and get a better price than £5

kja

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2014, 09:35:00 pm »
 :wave: we breed British Lops they are great for both bacon & pork being a long deep pig. numbers are right down so they need all the help they can get atm.

we can still learn if we are willing to listen.

Fowlman

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Wiltshire
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2014, 10:07:23 pm »
Thanks Kja  :pig:
Tucked away on the downs in wiltshire.

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2014, 08:22:39 am »
The trouble with butchers and rare breed pigs is this. The butcher wants to sell the kudos of rare breed pork to his customers but he wants to pay the same price as he does for his mass produced stuff he gets from his usual suppliers, ie about 2 quid a kilo. It doesn't add up for the small producer.

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 08:28:39 am »
Fowlman regarding breeds I would just go with the one you like yourself. If you can produce a decent carcass it won't really matter what breed it is to your customers. We keep British Saddlebacks but we've bought in OSB's GOS and some crosses and the quality is more to do with how they're reared than what breed they are. There are subtle differences in a carcass from different breeds but not anything that a meat buying customer would notice. Of the pure breeds we've had I have found the OSB to be a bit slow growing but that may just be the strain we bought and not the breed as a whole. They have made for a very nice finished carcass though.

Fowlman

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Wiltshire
Re: Breed choice
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2014, 09:57:41 am »
Thanks Hughesy, sage advice and a great point.
Tucked away on the downs in wiltshire.

 

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