How to Start a Small Pig Farm

Everything you need to know to buy, feed and raise pigs for meat.

| November/December 1972


Raising pigs on your farm provides bacon, sausage and other tasty pork products.


Home-smoked, mahogany-colored bacon, plump juicy hams, fresh spicy sausage and snowy lard are mostly nostalgic memories in this country today . . . but there's no reason why the time-honored art of curing and smoking meat can't be revived by the modern homesteader. As a matter of fact, there's a couple of very good reasons why it should be.

In this age of antibiotics, hormones, overcrowded feedlots, preservatives and quick-cure methods, producing one's own is practically the only way to be assured of quality meat. Furthermore, raising a hog is a project especially suited to the small or beginning farmer because (1) the capital investment is low, (2) the project is short term and (3) the family garden can provide a substantial amount of high-quality food in the pig's diet at negligible cost.

Last summer my husband, Arthur, and I undertook the project of raising and butchering two hogs . . . one for ourselves and one for a friend. We rendered the lard, made sausage, cured and smoked bacon and hams . . . all with reasonable success on the initial try. Our experience should offer encouragement to anyone else contemplating such an undertaking for the first time.

How Many Pigs Should You Raise?

First of all, should you raise one pig or two? The fact is that a lone hog doesn't grow well at all (he likes to have company) . . . while today's average family probably doesn't eat more than one pig in a year. So what's to do?

There are at least two ways out of this dilemma. One is to find a friend who would like to raise his own porker but has no place to do it. Offer to raise a second pig for your comrade who will, in turn, bear his share of the cost and help with the butchering. It will be no more trouble for you to raise two hogs than one, the pigs will have each other for company and you'll be doing someone a favor besides!

A second alternative is to raise and butcher two pigs, one for home consumption and one to sell. Although all states have laws regarding the butchering and selling of meat (check with the nearest slaughterhouse), I believe that—in general practice—no one bothers the small farmer who raises for himself and sells to his friends. (A third alternative, of course, is the raising of one or more "extra" hogs for sale on the hoof on the open market. With the competition from commercial pig "factories" what it is today, however, this is no real alternative at all—Editor.)  

8/5/2014 6:35:08 PM

as a small hog raiser...i want to know you have booksabout hog raiser?is it available on market?

dairy goat


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