Weaner pig/feeder pig - what's the diff?

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I'm getting close to getting our first pair of pigs to fatten, and I am wondering what is the difference in terms of time & weight between a weaner pig and a feeder pig? I noticed that at an auction nearby feeders went for $57 and weaners for $33. How long does it take to bring each to slaughterweight? Is there $24 more worth of feed in the feeder pig, or is the point to have a butcherweight hog quicker?

-- snoozy (bunny@northsound.net), May 05, 2002


Hi, Snoozy. Are you talking about the Marysville Auction? Because those are really reasonable prices--the cheapest I've been able to find weaners is $65.00--they're not ready yet, and they're up in Bellingham--a 4+ hour trip one way for me, plus ferry fare. Anyway, to answer your question, the difference is size and age. So $24. is about 3 sacks of pig grain. Now, when they're close to slaughter, a pair of pigs can go through 3 bags in a little over than a week, but when they're still small, a single bag can feed them for almost a month. Of course, I also soak the grain in all the milk they can handle at that age. So, it all depends on what you have for supplemental "feed". And how big a hurry you are in to get them to slaughter weight, whether or not it is worth the $24. difference in price to begin with. But, seriously, please let me know what auction you are talking about....you can e-mail me privately if you prefer. Thanks alot! Kathie

-- Kathie in Western Washington (twinrosefarm@centurytel.net), May 05, 2002.

Around here, the pigs are weaned from mama at about 4 weeks. They cost less 'cause they're so young. Feeder pigs can be from 50 pounds up.

I get the 4 week old pigs so I know what they've been eating! My pigs are 5 months old when I butcher at 225-250 pounds.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2222@hotmail.com), May 05, 2002.

Could you please give more details Rogo. My pigs do not grow that quickly, so what type of housing are they having, are they in or out, how much food do they get? Free flow all the time or fed twice a day? Help, I think I can improve my management but I don't know how?


-- Alison Homa (alisonhoma@hotmail.com), May 06, 2002.

Ditto Rogo...Use cattle panels with metal fence posts. You may need to line it with poultry wire so they can't fit through the whole...hmmm wonder how I know that...lol, I have a simple house made from two sawhorses and plywood on top, dirt floor, but I throw in straw for bedding. They need shade from the sun. I overwinter pigs too. Here in Va they do real well, just give more bedding. You need a strudy trough...mine dump theirs. I slop my hogs. It really decreases the need for so much water. Then I can water once a day. They aslo need mud in the summer. I dump some in their whole they dug. We butcher them at 6 months or 200 pounds. We do it just like a deer, skin them as they hang, cut them up and make sausage. We are gonna do one on Wednesday, as a matter of fact. Don't feed them cucumbers! Mine liked them so much, that is all they wanted!h haha Have fun, but stay detached. julie from va

-- julie (jbritt@ceva.net), May 06, 2002.

Kathie, I remember you -- you're a North Kitsapper (you live Kingston side and we live Poulsbo side.) Yes, that is the Marysville auction. I was searching the web for info about livestock auctions in WA and found an auction report, so I guess those are last week's sales. Marysville auctions hogs, sheep & goats on Tuesdays, hogs at approx 4pm, if I understand the schedule right. It didn't specify breed or weight, and who knows what kind of health they are in. Listen, if you think you might like to check it out in the next few weeks, I'd love to go with someone who knows what they're doing, because I'm a complete newbie to pigs. (My husband has fattened a few hogs before though.)

Rogo, I think knowing what they eaten is a good reason to go for a weaner over a feeder. Please tell us more about how you raise your hogs. What state are you in, by the way, for climate comparison?

-- snoozy (bunny@northsound.net), May 06, 2002.

I had a pig all set up to buy a sizable runt/scrub pig from a co- workers son (he raises start to finish hogs) for $20 but found out that I shouldn't because I have turkeys and other fowl. If you guys know of a way around the problem, let me know!

-- Gailann Schrader (gtschrader@aol.com), May 06, 2002.

Why shouldn't ou have pigs and poultry?


-- Alison Homa (alisonhoma@hotmail.com), May 06, 2002.

Now I AM confused!!! Why can you not have poultry and pigs?? I have absolutely NEVER heard that before. We have homesteaded all my life and had pigs, goats, poultry, horses.......you name it. never had a problem. What was the reason??

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), May 06, 2002.

Weanlings weigh 10 lbs. Feeders weigh 40. Around here, weanlings go for 10 dollars a head at auction. They can be tough to find, as Cargill and other large corps have moved in, making sales of pigs from the farms is illegal, as cargill actually owns the whole deal, the farmer just sells Cargill the work he preforms (they pay the farmer 10 per weanling at 10 lbs, and dock for not castrated, tattooed, or tail clipped inproperly). My buddy and I are planning on raising up some for auction weanlings soon, as we both were able to get sows for cheap (mine free, his??) to use in this program. I would say, its well worth your buck AT THOSE PRICES to get the older pig(s), less problems and it wont escape from caging so readily and they require heat lamps (sometimes) when just 10 or so lbs.

-- Kevin in NC (Vantravlrs@aol.com), May 07, 2002.

=== I had a pig all set up to buy a sizable runt/scrub pig from a co- workers son (he raises start to finish hogs) for $20 but found out that I shouldn't because I have turkeys and other fowl. If you guys know of a way around the problem, let me know! ===

Don't know who told you that but my birds napped on top of my pet hog when the hog was napping.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2222@hotmail.com), May 07, 2002.

Since you asked....I lived in Central Arizona and now live in South Central Texas. I've never had a pig try to escape. My piglets start off in a LARGE pen. There's a tarp over part of it for shade. They are free fed (feed always available) until butchered. They only eat what they need and don't have any fat on them ~ belly line is straight. I only feed the pellets formulated for them, nothing from my kitchen. When you fill them up on other stuff, they don't get enough of their feed to grow properly. (My opinion!) Free feeding and plenty of room may be why they don't attempt to escape. (Again, my opinion.) They also don't have much stress in the lives. I've only raised one pig at a time. As the freezer gets lower in meat, I raise up another piglet.

I used to keep an area filled with water for the pigs to cool off, but since my pet hog enjoyed his pool so much, I may use that the next time I get a pig for the freezer.

When the pigs get bigger, they free range on Coastal grass pasture. They eat less of their pellets, but the pellets are there if they want them.

If you use cattle panels, you may have to cover them with chicken wire or hardware cloth so the little ones don't get out. The combo cattle panels have smaller openings on the bottom.

To date, I've never had a sick pig.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2222@hotmail.com), May 07, 2002.

"They" say that poultry and hogs can cause TB in the hogs. I think it was in a recent issue of CS. Mine are at least 4 acres apart. I didn't plan it that way, they just are.

-- julie (jbritt@ceva.net), May 07, 2002.

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