The Cattle belong to the family, but the pigs are mine.
Dad built a small farrow to finish operation in the early 80s. We are set up with a 32 head sow barn. It was designed to go to 64 head, but the markets didn't allow that to happen. The farrowing house and nursery is a combo barn that has capacity to farrow 8 sows every 2 weeks. At capacity it can handle about 2,000 piglets a year. Dad sold a lot of feeders and finished out groups in the old bank barn. All 3 barns are on liquid and have underground manure pits. He stopped raising in the mid 90s. The barns sat empty until about 5 years ago when I got some pigs.
I started doing show pigs, but had way too many problems with conception rate and the number born alive. The piglets were just too massive and I was having to pull almost every pig. I currently have 8 sows that are a mix of the show genetics, heritage, and production animals. I have 4 gilts that are breeding age and another 8 gilt feeders that I am hoping to keep. I sell mostly feeders, but I do finish out several by order for custom butchering.
2510 narrow front and factory canopy! (wolf whistle)!!
sad what he 80's and early 90's did the ag world.
are you close to a big population?
could you be selling butcher pigs? they buy the pig from you and then they get it processed. that is how we do steers. then no one has to mess with USDA inspection crap.
we are an hour away from the twin cities. that means there are 3 million people to market fresh steers to. we might add a pig or two a year to see if we can sell them. the population seems to be wanting to buy direct from the farmer a little more each year! selling steers for around 2000-2400 depending on hanging weight vs 1400 at local auction barn. same animal eventually ending up in someones freezer I am just cutting out the middle man!
Its a great little tractor. The problem is I am out growing it. It is on the chopping block this winter if I find another 44 or a 46 Deere. I'd like to keep it, but I have too many other tractors that have sentimental value and will never leave the farm. It does have one heck of a back story, but that is for another time.
I sell quite a few butcher pigs. We sell at $1.50/ Lb hanging weight. I am offering a superior product for less than you could go to a meat market and get a whole hog. I know a lot of people selling on the rail for a lot more, but I feel that price is a good balance where I make money and it builds me a good customer base. Farmers markers are very popular here. Some guys I know sell beef and pork at outrageous prices. $9/ lb bacon and $6/ lb sausage. And they have trouble keeping enough stock! Crazy!
Selling fats are more money than feeders, but its also a bigger investment. Life has been pretty busy for me lately, so I have been mainly selling feeders. I am about 30 min from Canton and 40 min from Akron. I do have a lady that drives over an hour. I can count on her like clock work, every 6 months she wants a pig.
Some pasture pigs would be a nice addition for you. They would root through the cow crap and eat the corn that wasn't fully digested. If you get some turnips or radishes in your pasture mix they would root them up and eat them too. Pigs are known to graze. You could really push the non gmo crap and sell $12 bacon lol. Just dont tell them they eat cow crap! It can be considered non gmo if triple stack corn has already been eaten once, right?? lol
Awesome to see other small hog/ beef producers out there!
Im a first generation hog/ beef farm
i run 80 sows and 20 cow herd, along with Holstein cross feeders.
We direct market 90% of are animals to Rochester and twin cities. I’m roughly 1-1/2 south east of there. Like many others want to cut out middle man, provide a superior product. We get the same for hogs 1.50 lb hanging weight they pay processing. I have a 6 month waiting list for customers! Jon if you want to try some feeder pigs next spring let me know and will gladly bring you some!
I'm in swpa I'm about 45 min. give or take south of pittsburgh. I've got a buddy that used to run like 150 sows but he has been in it for years. He keeps tell that there no money in it but i think if market them right you should make a little money. You just have to market them right. A.E. Pittsburgh just my thoughts.
I am about 2 hours north west of Pittsburgh. You're probably the closest person to me on here so far.
There isn't money like there used to be. My dad and Grampa used to sell pigs at the local auction barn. It used to be my job to kick them in the butt to keep them moving down the sale barn walk way when I was a kid. Now the local sale barn is a run down half abandon crap hole. I only take old boars there. They have always sold for under $2.00. And the sale barn still takes out money for insurance, pork checkoff, and sale commission. I keep telling the guys i work with ill set them up on a "wild" boar hunt for $20. I'd be farther ahead than hauling them to the sale barn. I would loose money like crazy if I sold feeders or fats there. And I grind my own feed with my own corn. The only sale barn around that gets an okay price is about a 45 min drive west of me in Kidron. I have had somewhat good luck going there. But it's hard for me to get the time to take a load out that far. The only way I can consistently make a profit is by selling feeders and fats direct. I don't have the numbers to do a contract. If I did the profit margin would be a lot slimmer. Not entirely sure I'd ever want to go that route.