Raising Pigs for Meat

Learn how to raise pigs on your homestead, including instructions on slaughtering, housing and feeding pigs.

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by AdobeStock/janecat
Raising pigs on your homestead is one of the most rewarding tasks — both monetarily and emotionally.

“You can breed the pigs and buy the corn and get on. You can raise the corn and buy the pigs and get on. If you buy the corn and buy the pigs to feed, you haven’t got a chance. But, if you breed the pigs and raise the corn, you’ll make money.” — Louis Bromfield.

Even though this pessimistic little poem’s about raising pigs commercially, it has a point that the backyard farmer shouldn’t forget: The really profitable way to raise your own pork is to raise and fatten your pigs chiefly with surplus garden products, table scraps and homegrown corn.

The first year we started our plan, we raised two pigs. Because we didn’t have many surplus vegetables, we bought about 35 dollars worth of grain per pig. We paid 12 dollars and 50 cents for inoculated seven-week-old pigs in April and had them slaughtered in December when they weighed 285 pounds. The dressed weight (per pig) was 230 pounds. In short, our pork cost 22 cents a pound. Last year it cost around 18 cents.

From this experience, we learned a few important points: For a family of three or four one pig will give quite a bit of meat. Even a 200 pound pig (live weight) will give about 55 pounds of hams and shoulder, 40 pounds of bacon and loin, plus lard, sausage, pigs feet, etc. Two pigs are sufficient for a family of six to eight.

black and white photo of a man holding a piglet
  • Updated on Jan 11, 2022
  • Originally Published on Mar 1, 1970
Tagged with: breed, Hogs, pigs, pork
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