Monday, February 3, 2014

Feeder, breeder, sucker, eater What's the difference?

You might look at this guys and think...

Pig. Just a pig.

But really he is so much more. He might be a suckling pig still nursing, fat and round and oh so yummy. Sold while still hanging with his family they are oft used for parties. Folks like to roast them whole with head and feet in place so their guests know it's a pig and not a camel they are having at Aunt Bertha's 93rd birthday fest. Roasting pits can be dug directly in the ground or made out of a pile of bricks. They sell for $6.75/pd

Or maybe when he is closer to 8-10 weeks and after weaned from mama, able to enjoy grub all by himself, we might sell him as a  Feeder. Feeder pigs are very popular on the new homesteads. people buy a few, raise them to around 6 month of age and take them on a field trip (no stopping at McDonald's but maybe Bob Evans) to a locker who slaughters and packages the meat. Enough for your own family and maybe some friends. A great way to start raising hogs without having to do chores in the winter. Buy in spring, sell in fall, have ham at Christmas. They sell for $125 each

After the age of 10 months , if large enough, our Red Wattle hogs might be used as breeders. We used to register our young stock, based on the traits of their parents, as breeding stock, but now we wait. We have 3 year old gilts just now having their first litters (thus turning them into sows) and I'm sure I'll probably only register 1 of the 3. She'll be the prettiest one, with the long lashes and the wide hips. They sell for $300 each if young and up to $1200 each if they are a bred sow or proven boar.

Eaters are those hogs we save for our won freezer and for the store freezer. Like the ones we sell to customers they are 6-8 months when they go to the locker. When they come back they are in in nice neat vacuum packed see-through packages with all the appropriate labels. It is the most expensive way we sell our meat. Mostly because of all the packaging and labeling. Each vacuum pack is 40 cents each. Each label with our farm name is 12 cents. Plus more for the organic seal and weighing of the packages.

Pretty is never cheap.

Thus the meat in our store is sold by the pound. Bacon would be $10.49 a pound compared to paying just $ 4.65 pound ($3.75 a pound plus processing) if you bought an entire hog. So now you know why going "Whole Hog" is a good thing.


  1. Do you believe in ESP? How odd that I should also talk Pig today.

  2. First Cro, then You! Interesting stuff on both sides of the pond!

  3. this was never explained so well. I bet your product is amazing.

  4. Nice explanation! We raise Red Wattle as well but way over here in New Mexico.