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Author Topic: starting with pigs  (Read 4426 times)

jacob and Georgina

  • Joined May 2010
starting with pigs
« on: May 13, 2010, 05:46:52 pm »
just a question for anyone who will know. We are considering getting 3/4 rare breed pigs possibly old spots or saddlebacks. However the first thing i would like to know is will they make a big dent in my bank balance for very little return. Or will they cover their costs once sold to the butcher? i am not looking for any profit but obviously i do not want to be spending all my money on pig food and other items? We are doing purely for the enjoyment and maybe something for the freezer at the end of it.

Secondly for the first timer which would be the best pig to own. My favourite would be the tamworth however i have heard they can be boisterous and in some cases slightly aggressive? saddlebacks would be my second choice but am open to suggestions?


  • Guest
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 06:01:04 pm »
Hiya, you should manage to cover costs and maybe make a little bit of profit from 3 or 4. Check out your local fruit and veg shop to see what they do with their 'waste' as often they're happy to give you it in return for the promise of a few chops - this will supplement the bags of feed and make them go a wee bit further.
Tamworths are nuts  ;D ;D ;D It's all to do with them having 'pricked' ears  ;) any breed with floppy ears that cover their eyes are usually a bit calmer (but there are exceptions to every rule ::)) Old spots, saddlebacks, Oxford sandy and blacks, large blacks etc are all good choices. But that said, Tamworths ARE great fun (as long as you're nice and fit for chasing them when they escape  :o)
Good luck and let us know how you get on,

jacob and Georgina

  • Joined May 2010
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 06:31:57 pm »
thanks for your reply. I Think that tamworths will be the breed for me, do they need more space if they are a bit more active? if i have 3/4 how much land would you recommend i set aside if i do not want it to go looking like a muddy mess within a few weeks?  :farmer:


  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2010, 07:24:25 pm »

If you are thinking of raising pigs to sell to a butcher, I would line one up before you start.  Most butchers are not interested in a one off purchase of what is likely to be an unknown quality and I think you would struggle to sell them.  Putting into the market will almost certainly make a loss.  Selling to family/friends can be profitable, but you need to then organise butchery and delivery.

Raising pigs can be great fun, and don't let me put you off, but you should go in with some good reasearch and happy that you will not be making a loss before you start.

I would agree with HH that tamworths are not as easy as saddlebaks due to prick ears, and maybe should be the next lot after you get a lop eared breed and some experience.

Good luck

« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 07:26:52 pm by oaklandspigs »
"Perfect Pigs" the complete guide to keeping pigs; One Day Pig Courses in South East;
Weaners for sale - Visit our site for details


  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Shillingstone, Dorset
    • Bere Marsh Farm
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2010, 07:35:46 pm »
I started with 6 glos old spots and they are very docile and happy piggies!  I knew nothing when I got them and have no regrets choosing this breed.


  • Joined Aug 2008
  • Belcoo, Enniskillen, N.Ireland
  • Crazy Pig Lover
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2010, 08:19:59 pm »
we started as complete novices with TAMS absolutely wonderful animals we have never looked back and i don't feel they escape any more often than any other breed but they are so intelligent and enjoy human interaction. They make great meat the first time our present butcher saw one of our carcases he wanted to buy it.

jacob and Georgina

  • Joined May 2010
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2010, 08:57:37 pm »
thankyou all very much for your replies they have been a real help. I am sure i would have no problem in selling them to friends family if that was a better way to manage it. Would that mean i would have to transport the pig carcass to the local butcher myself or could that be arranged for an extra fee? I would also like to hear any recommendations for amount of pigs per acre, i have heard as many as 15 but i am sure that this would destroy the land??  :-\

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2010, 09:17:54 am »
Hi Jacob
Keeping pigs whatever breed is addictive and yes you can just about break even. Like Oaklands i don't want to put you off but reading your postings i think you still need to do a bit more research and reading up. I've written some articles for the Gloucestershire Old Spot Club and you can find them on their website. You might find them useful to read.
If you can visit a local pig keeper and get some hands on advice, start with just 2 or 3 weaners and see how you go, you'll either love it or hate. Keeping stock can be very tieing and is a huge responsibility not to be taken lightly. Whereabouts are you? and maybe someone from this forum can invite you to have a look at their set up.
Mandy :pig:


  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2010, 09:29:02 am »
Hi Jacob,
Like you i have only started pigs in the last couple of months so heres what i did:

We got 7 Saddleback X Old Spot weaners and a couple of Arks really realy cheap of Ebay - 45 delivered for a pair, ok we had to do some very slight repairs but still very cheap. We then fenced of approx 800 sq.m and they trashed it within a week or so!!!
Anyway food wise we had fed them on Heygates Grower pelletes 5.67 for 20kg so was really cheap and then a local baker gives us a sack of bread and cakes once a week in exchange for some sausages at the end. I also get whatever fruit and veg from the market, either spoils or buy them some bananas & apples whihc they go mad for. They also seem to love broccoli???
Anyway my friend and i who are doing this as a double team had the aim exactly like yours, to have some pigs for some fun ( he has a 14 acre smallhold already) and a new addtion to the other animals.
Having looked around at what people charge for freezer ready pork, we decided to charge 240 a whole & 140 a half, within 2 weeks everyone was reserved and we have even sold half of one we wanted to keep for ourselves!
On this basis we worked it out at about 2 - 1 so to for selling should pay for one for your own freezer.
Trust me you will love and not stop now, coz we have already had orders for 4 for the next batch which we have not even brought as weaners yet!
And as i found always ask everything on here no matter how silly you may think it is, i have found all the people to be a wealth of knowledge and never never never patronised my silly questions, just always come back with great advice & tips.
Incidentally where are you based?


  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Herts
    • Brixton's Bounty
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2010, 10:06:04 am »
I can recommend two things that helped educate me about pigs (and I don't even have pigs yet, or anywhere to keep them  :-[, but that's another story, and I know I will have one day so I like to be prepared!):
A book called "Starting With Pigs" by Andy Case. Easy to read and understand.
A day course in pig husbandry. This was huge fun as well as educational. The one I did was at Oaklands Pigs (they are on here, see above!) and was brilliant.
Its worth doing a bit of prep before you plunge in but I'm sure the best way is to get your hands dirty.
Have fun  :pig:
also blogging at...

      Brixton's Bounty

jacob and Georgina

  • Joined May 2010
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2010, 06:05:40 pm »
thanks all once again for your replies finding them incredibly useful. As far as experience goes i have next to none, however my grandad was a successful farmer and although i was young i had lots of hands on experience with sheep and pigs and grew up around them really. I am living in South Devon but will defiantly travel to anywhere to get some more experience with pig keeping. Have got a stack of books which i have already read but obviously that is not the same as handling pigs for real. We will not be buying our first wieners for at least another year maybe two as we have lots of other things to sort out first, so between now and then i am hoping to do as many courses and visits to farms as possible. I will also be attending the Devon county show next week to have a close look at some different breeds. ;D  :pig:


  • Guest
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2010, 06:08:24 pm »
Have you been on the pigs paradise course? Tony York explains how you can make profit from pigs :pig: i went last weekend and it was excellent. He has a book to that covers the course and the finance

jacob and Georgina

  • Joined May 2010
Re: starting with pigs
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2010, 06:14:56 pm »
i have heard of pig paradise and will definatly be going to lots of courses there and will look out for this book thanks for advice  :pig:


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