It’s true what they say:
The older you get, the faster time goes.
I don’t know if it’s because you’re busier than ever, because you have more responsibilities, or just because that’s how life is supposed to work.
I’ve said before that we’ve been sooo busy, but I’ve failed to tell you what exactly we’ve been doing. This is partly because I tend to take it easy on the blog during the summer so I can take advantage of the beautiful weather to spend time with Matt & Jessica, and partly because we’ve been, well, busy.
But enough of that, because everyone’s busy!
One of the things we’ve been up to lately has a VERY midwestern flair to it: we got pigs.
Not for pets, but for food.
We are raising pigs not only to save money (well, to TRY and save money), for the experience for Jessica, and so that we can know exactly what went into our food. It’s sort of the same concept as a gardening for food.
Now, we didn’t go into this completely blind. Matt had pigs growing up and they’re one of the easiest farm animals to raise. I, however, have absolutely no experience with pigs (neither does Jessica :-) so this has been quite the learning experience for me!
We got Bacon and Pork Chop (yep, that’s what we named them) when they were only 2 weeks old and weighed 8 pound each. They were unbelieveable cute!
For 3 weeks, they lived in our garage while I bottle fed them and started them on dry food, and those 3 weeks were very challenging. I’m pretty sure we were breaking a couple of city ordinances by housing pigs in our garage (and yard, during the day) but thankfully our neighbors didn’t mind – especially once we made it clear that the pigs were only here for a few weeks.
After they were a little bigger, or about 15 pound each, we moved them out to my in-laws farm. At the farm, no only were we NOT breaking any laws, there were already hog pens set up with shelter, feeders, waterers, and places for the pigs to cool off, stay dry, and generally be happy pigs.
So, obviously, this is our first year raising pigs, so I’m going to detail our costs and experiences in case you’ve ever wanted to try it, and also so that when they’re processed I can have a record of costs and figure out whether or not we saved money!
We did know that this year would be more expensive than if we were to do them next year, so keep that in mind when you look at how much these pigs have cost so far:
Pigs: $150 for the two pigs. We did find out that we could have gotten bigger pigs at a cheaper price after we had a already purchased these, so we expect if we do this next year pigs will cost us $80 in total.
Watering Gear: Unfortunately, some of the watering equipment in the pen had been damaged, so we had to repair and replace. In total, we’ve spend $159.63 this year and may spend a bit more to shore it up, but this isn’t a cost that would be incurred next year.
Feed: To grow a pig to 250 pounds, you need about 3 pounds of feed for every pound of pig. So two pigs would be 500 pounds in total, or 1,500 pounds of feed. That’s a lot. Thankfully, pig feed isn’t very expensive once they hit about 20 pounds. We spend $120 on pig pellets + $70 on regular feed so far. Right now they’re 70 pounds each, so we will need 1,080 more pounds of feed before they’re grown, for a cost of $162. Total cost = $352
Total Cost: $352
With pigs, after processing you get to keep about 74% that goes into your freezer. So based on that, 2 pigs at 250 pounds would give us about 364 pounds of meat, or just shy of $1.00/pound of farm to table pork.
I’ll keep you updated as we go through this process, but if you want more frequent and timely updates, check out Bacon & Pork Chop’s Instagram account, A Tale of Two Pigs, or follow me on Snapchat: livingonfifty
Have you ever attempted to raise farm animals?
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Elise @frugalfarmwife.com says
They’re so cute! Pigs have been by far our favorite lifestock. They have so much personality and spunk! :)
One thing we’ve done that has greatly reduced our feed costs is that every morning, we pick up the bruised and expired produce from the local grocery store to feed them. They set it aside in a box at the back door for us. They love it!