Complete Costs of Raising Pigs

This post is the long-promised summary of the costs and yield of raising two pigs for meat. I collected as much data as possible throughout the whole process with the hope of compiling a more complete picture than is often found online. Additionally, I have attempted to presents costs from both a financial and an efficiency standpoint.

Final Meat Yield

Before we talk about costs, let’s answer the most common question: What do you get? When butchering or buying whole pigs, much of your cost will be based on “hanging weight”. This is the weight after the carcass has been skinned and gutted. As has been previously noted, it’s not the final weight of the meat. It is generally suggested that a hanging weight of 200 lbs maximizes the meat produced, so we aimed for that. Even with similar hanging weights, the feed types, husbandry, weather, genetics, and so forth can affect the final yield. The smaller of our two pigs was butchered with a focus on roasts, ham, bacon, and sausage. The final breakdown was as follows:

Interestingly, we bought half a pig last year from a local farmer and gave the same cut & wrap instructions to the butcher. The breakdown for that pig can be found here. Note that last year’s pig was 65% meat and 16% roasts, while the pig in the chart above is 83% meat and 24% roasts. The pigs we raised were leaner and produced much more meat at the same weight. I believe genetics may have played the largest role in this.

The large pig was butchered with a focus on roasts, ham, bacon, and pork chops. The final breakdown was as follows:

I think it’s interesting how similar these two charts are. Choosing to cut pork chops reduces the ribs and sausage, but all other categories remained about the same. The charts highlight something else important. When you buy or raise whole pork you really do end up with the whole pork: ham hocks, tenderloin, liver, and heart. Nobody has yet to create an 80% bacon pig–if they did, I’d be afraid to eat it!

Financial Costs

The final cost of the meat we produced was $2.34 per pound. The cost is affected both by the costs of raising the livestock and paying for them to be butchered. The following chart shows the relative costs that went into producing each pound of meat:

I must admit I am proud of our cost savings by raising our own pork. Last year’s half pig cost us $4.32/lb, so by raising it ourselves we saved almost $2 per pound. I would attribute the savings to greater meat yield, lower feed costs in 2010, and sweat equity.

An obvious message from this chart is that butchering costs were the single largest factor in the final meat price. It can be a little difficult to accept this. You spend 4 months buying feed, filling feeders and water tanks, fixing the pig shelter and monitoring their health and on the last day someone stops by for 30 minutes and doubles your costs. Ouch!

So, given that breakdown, I can think of a few ways we might reduce our costs in the future:

  • Home butchering/curing – Butchering is a huge hurdle for the novice, but gives you more control over the process and could reduce the final costs by almost 40%.
  • Reduce pig stress – Our pigs were off their feed for about two weeks when we changed feeders. If pigs aren’t growing they are still burning weight maintenance calories.
  • Better shelter – A warmer shelter would mean less calories burned staying warm. A calf shelter would be ideal.
  • Cheaper source of hay – Buying per ton in late spring would be cheaper than per bale from the farm store.
  • Cheaper source of feed – Buying supersacks from a local feed mill might save you money, but we couldn’t find an economic source nearby.

On the other hand, there are several factors which could easily raise our costs in the future. Pork production is heavily dependent on grain prices. If feed prices doubled, our overall cost of $2.34/lb would go up by 38%. This would negate any savings by home-butchering. Choosing a better source of feed for our pigs would also increase our costs. We used standard farm-store swine feed, which likely contained GMO ingredients. The closest mill that sold preservative-free non-GMO feed (not organic) required a minimum 2000 lb purchase at $15 a bag. This would have raised our costs by 34% and left us with 600 lbs of past-date feed. Finally, raising heritage breeds, which grow more slowly but can be better at grazing, would also raise our costs.

In addition to the immediate production costs, there are certain equipment costs which cannot be avoided by the first time pig raiser. For us, these included:

I feel like we did very well at minimizing these costs, as someone could easily spend many times more on basic equipment. Also, nothing was damaged during the first season, so the cost (an additional $0.33/lb) should technically be amortized across several seasons of pigs.


If you are a homesteader or an environmentalist, it’s important to look at the overall system costs as well. Even if something is financially viable, does it fit into my overall homestead? Does it consume resources I can produce locally and produce wastes I can deal with effectively? Can I create similar resources through more efficient means? Pigs have historically been recyclers, consuming human food waste, agricultural byproducts, wild nuts, and tubers. They grew slowly, and were valued for their lard production as much as for meat.

Unfortunately, the modern practice of feeding pigs grain is much less efficient. I have attempted to measure efficiency by two methods. First, by the standard livestock producer’s metric of feed conversion. This is a ratio of the pounds of feed to the pounds of meat produced. Commercial pork producers expect a 3.5:1 feed conversion efficiency. Of course, a pound of feed and a pound of meat do not contain the same number of human-usable calories, so I have also attempted to calculate the “calorie conversion” efficiency between the feed and meat.

Compared to a commercial operation, we did pretty well on feed conversion. Our pigs ate 3.8 lbs of feed for every 1 pound of meat they eventually produced. They were thus 9% less efficient than their industrially raised counterparts. Apparently, you can take a commercial breed of pig (Yorkshire), omit the low-dose antibiotics, the crowded living conditions, and the tail docking, and still achieve commercial levels of feed conversion. Many of the cost-saving measures listed in the previous section would act to improve feed conversion even further.

While feed conversion is useful as a general rule, I find the idea of “calorie conversion” efficiency much more compelling. Since our pig’s grain-based feed could technically have fed humans directly, how many calories are being lost in the conversion to meat? If you think humans wouldn’t want to eat ‘wheat middlings’ or ‘brewery grain’, you obviously haven’t looked at many food labels for processed foods. Efficiency aside, it’s useful to know the total input calories so that you can more realistically estimate the advantage of feeding your pigs garden produce or past-date food.

Unfortunately, swine feed bags are not labeled for human calorie content (surprise!) or even for TDN. I ultimately estimated the calorie content of our swine feed using two methods. First, I calculated the calorie content for an equivalent mix of corn, wheat, and soy flours using the nutritional content information from Oregon-based Bob’s Red Mill flours. Second, I sanity checked this estimate against swine feeds analyzed by the 1965 research paper, Energy Value of Various Feeds for the Young Pig. The estimate I arrived at was 1800 kcal/lb for most swine feeds. (‘kcal’ is simply a unit of energy. It is identical to ‘Calorie’ as seen on nutrition labels.) In addition to eating 1350 lbs of swine feed, our pigs also consumed 50 lbs of squash and 380 eggs, foods for which calorie contents are easily found. Similarly, we had already weighed and sorted all the meat for the yield charts, and calorie contents by meat type are easy to find. My final estimates for calories in and calories out are as follows:

And when you divide feed calories by meat calories the result is 6:1. The pigs consume 6 calories of feed for each 1 calorie of meat they produce. One has to admit that producing pork from grain is pretty inefficient. Another useful number is that two pigs consume 2.5 million kcal of feed to reach market weight.

Robin and I were happy that we could feed our pigs a lot of surplus garden produce: tomatoes, lettuce, collard greens, cucumbers, etc. Of the many supplemental feeds, only the squash/pumpkin and eggs contained significant calories. We had hoped these would reduce our feed bill. The numbers tell a different story:

One really gains a sense for how calorie dense grain is when you realize that 380 eggs and 50 lbs of squash represent the calorie contents of just 18 lbs of grain. All our boiling and peeling of eggs and watering of winter squash saved just $4 in feed costs. In fact, if you expect to raise your own pigs and supply a significant portion of their calories from home-grown supplies, think again! Here’s a list of common homestead foods and the quantities required to produce the 2.5 million kcal needed to raise two pigs:

I was shocked by this equivalence table. A successful homesteader really has to look at the numbers behind things instead of just trusting intuition. Intuitively, we should be able to raise a pig on home-grown potatoes and sweet corn. Practically, there is no substitute for purchased grain-based feeds.

Last, but not least, a word about manure. Manure is another useful bi-product of raising pigs (after meat and lard). In a world where fertilizer inputs are increasingly more expensive, pig manure definitely has economic value. I plan to build a huge compost pile with the generated manure intermixed with straw from their shelter. When it has broken down sufficiently, we’ll use the resulting fertilizer on fruit trees, raspberry vines, hops, etc. Pig digestion is too similar to humans for me to risk using their manure on a vegetable garden without much more rigorous composting.

Final Thoughts

I have mixed feelings about the conclusions to be drawn from this post. On the one hand, it is evident that pork can be produced on a small scale at a price competitive with the store. If you were to spend a little more for all-natural feed and handle the butchering and curing at home, I think the price comparison would work out even better. Furthermore, I assign value to knowing how my meat was raised and exactly what it was fed. Our pigs could run, root in the earth, eat garden snacks, and stand in grass. They were not the tortured victims of a factory farm.

On the other hand, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that pork produced in this manner is a product of cheap grain. Cheap grain is a product of cheap oil. Since the 70s, the American farmer has burned 1 kcal of fossil fuel to produce 1 kcal of grain. To produce the 1368 lbs of grain consumed by our pigs, 70 gallons of crude oil were consumed. As the price of oil rises, so will the price of pork. From this standpoint, pork is a luxury. The era of cheap oil is over. Few homesteads can produce an edible waste stream sufficient to feed a pig to market weight, and if you can’t use a pig for food recycling there are much more efficient livestock you could consider. If you have pastures, sheep and cattle can convert grass into useful human food with few outside inputs. If you have a large garden, you can reasonably grow sufficient field corn for meat chickens. Both of these homestead meat sources would be independent of the global markets for grain and oil.

This is not to say we will never again raise pigs if feed prices remain low. We will. Next time, however, we will keep them longer to maximize the yield of bacon and lard, and we will not delude ourselves into thinking that any amount of garden produce will affect their final cost.

End Notes

  • This post presents data gathered from the two pigs we raised. Your results may differ.
  • My discussion of pig feed considers calories but ignores proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. A complete pig feed program would need to meet all their nutritional requirements.
  • I’d be glad to provide additional data or debate my calculations in the comments.
  • My calorie conversion efficiency numbers omit the feed calories that went into the weaner pig. I have no way to calculate this number, but it would have a significant impact. My guess is that the true ratio is more like 8:1.
  • Thanks to Ebey Farm blog for his regular ‘Costs to Raise a Pig’ posts. Also, thanks for his suggestions on how to calculate human calorie counts for pig feed.
  • Pork feed conversion rates are from 2009 U.S. commercial meat production data.
  • Harpers magazine has published one of the many articles available online which discuss the relationship between oil and our food supply.
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148 Responses to Complete Costs of Raising Pigs

  1. rick says:

    Just a little comment about pig feeding I have found helpful for me.

    When it comes to pig nutrition I just google “nutriton in…..”. The nice thing about it is that is the first link on the page after the advertisements. Zucchini raw is 18% protien and pretty balanced in protein and if you click the “see more” tab it will break it down into the main amino acids such as lysine and tryptopan.

    Also considering that zucchini is one of those veggies you can’t seem to give away why not plant a few extra plants for the pigs? You can also do the same thing with field peas, turnips ect. I can get about a thousand turnip seeds for about a buck. And turnip greens are another good source of protien. You can also feed them your pea vines, pea hulls, sweet potato vines, coolards,broccoili leaves, and I even have been known to feed them the weeds out of the garden.

    Since pigs are a lot like people I use the nutritional values that are posted for people as a guide for feeding the piggies.

    Remember just google “nutrition in zucchini’…

  2. Very nice analysis! You must be a type A person:) I have to say I am disappointed with your conclusion about the effectiveness of feeding garden produce. We raised 4 hogs last year and intend to raise more again. I desperately want to get away from buying the hog feed that contains drugs and GMO products, but economically it is going to be very difficult to do. I was hoping to plant an extra large garden to help supplement their organic feed and extra milk from our cow. I sure wish the garden and eggs would have made more of a dent in your costs.

  3. Lesley C. says:

    I was wondering how long you kept the pigs before butchering. I am just curious how long you had to tend to them and feed them to come up with an almost 200 lb hanging weight. Thanks for the post.

  4. rick says:

    Well…its now February and I promised to update. I just sold all the babies from Shela and Pam and after all the cost except labor we made a whopping 140.69. But we still have two girls and the two Sows (Pam and Shela). I have some help coming over Saturday next and we are going to butcher our first hog at home.

    Here are some things I have learned that may help some. The first one is do not buy pig feed…buy cheap cattle feed instead. Then get a bag or two of soybean meal. You can google the Pearson Square and one website even has a converter that tells you how much soybean meal to add to any protein mix. A 14% protein is about four scoops of 14% and two scoops of 47% soybean meal. The cattle feed cost about 7.00 a bag and right now soybean meal is 16.25 for 50 lbs.

    I can get cattle feed in bulk for .13 cents a pound. I have yet to find bulk soy. I am still looking and still learning.

    • Michelle says:

      The only problem with feeding soybean meal is that most soybean crops are GMO. I would look for a healthier alternative.

  5. Frank says:

    I had a friend who bought some new garbage cans, took them to restaurants and fed pigs from this.

    90%+ soybeans in US are GMO and there is a woman talking about food allergies (she is a former food scientist and her talk is a TED talk)

    But scraps from restaurants, zucchini and any number of squash. Yam and sweet potato, but those need to be cooked for pigs for some reason.

    My friend with restaurant scraps managed to raise 12 pigs for the price of the drive to town which he did on his way to and from work.

    So if you are totally in the boonies ignore this, but… This is a fabulous source of pig food.

    • Kristin says:

      That is awesome. I actually work in a grocery store part time and I bet I could do the same. I am looking into getting a few pigs. Thanks so much for your post! Any idea how much she feed them from the restaurant food? Like pounds a day or something? Or did your friend just feed them as much as they would eat?

    • Janet Lewis says:

      The feeds you give your pigs also detumins flaver of the meat! The pigs that are feed a lot of left over human foods , do not taste as good as ones that ate fed a more natural diet !! Something we learned by feeding both ways and found foods from restaurant and such type places save on feed cost , but destroy meat quality!!

  6. Denise Garza says:

    As an owner of a slaughter house/meat processing facility I did take a bit of umbrage to your paragraph about the costs involved in butchering your animals. The costs of equipment needed to effectively slaughter and cut up livestock is staggering. The amount of knowledge one must possess in order to ensure this is done in a manner which protects the end use customer is something few understand. I do not recommend anyone butchering their own livestock without the knowledge of critical control points involved in assuring that they do not inadvertently endanger their family with tainted meat.

    • lee says:

      I re-read my comments about meat processing and I don’t see what you took offense to. I admitted that “Butchering is a huge hurdle for the novice”, and I’m not suggesting that the local meat processor is rolling in profits. We considered doing it ourselves and decided it wasn’t worth the risk to our existing investment in the animals. An older neighbor gave us a hard time for hiring out the butchering, but a year later he also paid someone to process his pigs.

      Risks and complexity aside, it is a fact that paid butchering is a huge factor in the cost equation for home raised pork. There’s no getting around this. Economics of scale are just working against you. The inefficient costs of raising a couple animals are partly defrayed into your own time, but the inefficiencies of butchering just a couple animals are entirely represented by a dollar amount. Perhaps if people paid themselves for their time, they wouldn’t even raise the animals in the first place?

      It’s also not unreasonable to suggest that people can process their own meat with some basic training. There are classes on butchering held in many areas these days, not to mention books and YouTube videos. Our ancestors muddled through the process for millenniums without formal training, my grandparents turned a chicken into dinner every Sunday, and even today tens of thousands of hunters butcher deer in the middle of fields and forests.

    • Brad says:

      Denise, I have slaughtered pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits and deer at home and so far have produced excellent meat with no problems. I wasn’t raised to any of this. I learned from books and youtube and neighbors, and I believe this process is firmly within the grasp of the careful homesteader.

      That said, perhaps there’s something we home processors are missing? The critical control points I consider (not that I’ve written a HACCP plan) are time and temperature, animal stress, clean fast kill, cleanliness and disinfection of site, animal and tools (particularly during gut removal), as well as some basic analysis of muscle and organs for possible parasites or other issues.

      Granted, I don’t recommend anyone just grab a .22 and a knife and head out to do some butchering, but I think the quality of instruction available in the world is high, and a little research and care yields quality results.

  7. Taylor says:

    Curious as to why you chose to grow them out through the winter? I’m sure your feed conversion rate would have been better if they had not used so many calories staying warm? Also wondering how much pasture they had access to? Than you for all the charts and economic breakdown, it’s all very helpful.

    • lee says:

      It just worked out that the fall season was more convenient for us. If I was doing my own butchering, I would always raise them in the fall so the weather would be in my favor. It’s a good point about feed conversion though from all the cold weather.

      They had very little pasture access. The pig pen was about 8000 sq. ft. and only half of it gets enough light for grass. For this breed, I don’t think additional pasture would have helped with the feed bill. They showed very little interest in grazing.

  8. Anna Lauer says:

    Pigs are one of the next animals that will hopefully gracing our farm this spring. This post was very informative. Thank you for sharing!

  9. jay williams says:

    this is really good info on feeding out pigs. We have been raising feeders for about an year an I enjoy it . The only thing I c wrong on your project u did not figure ur hourly rate lol. If a person would have to figure that n wow an I’m a union man so 30$ per hour would kill any profit that’s y u have to love doing it. Thanks again for this info if I have any feedback on this I will post. Also I will have. Some feeders coming n about a month

  10. Lynn says:

    We just received out two piglets. Thank you for this blog. I was amazed at so many eggs! Was this purely for the protein and offset feed cost? Our chickens haven’t started laying yet, so should I be buying eggs? Also our garden is done until next year; should I be purchasing the other fresh goodies? We are out to buy five months of feed to store. Should I be looking at cattle feed instead of pig feed?

    • lee says:

      I would encourage you to read the whole post, particularly the part about equivalent feed sources. Feeding eggs to pigs is a huge waste of time and resources, even if you are producing your own eggs. Similarly for most garden produce. There are a few types of produce that are a little more calorie efficient (as discussed in some of the comments), but in general it’s not practical.

      I have no experience with substituting cattle feed vs. pig feed. Pigs have very different nutritional requirements vs. ruminants, so I’d guess it is better to feed them something already balanced for their species. I called up a feed mill before we decided to use bagged food, and I remember that their chicken feed was almost identical to their pig feed blend.

  11. B.Todd says:

    I live in warm state ,light winters this is second year for pigs last years pigs wieghed out almost same as yours with few lbs different.but they were15 months Since it was my first time with pigs ,when I got them I went with what the old farmer fed.1scoop scratch,1scoop cracked corn. I bought not1bag of hog feed the whole year!used horse wormer on them every other month will do the same with these girls .this way I know what they are getteing,they get eggs as treat . Whole eggs straight from coop! And kithchen ,garden scraps. No meat ever. Mine seem to do well on this diet same weight double the time more lean meat.

  12. Dennis Schultz says:

    LEE if I were to put the pig manure in with horse manure. And kept turning it over with bucket loader for a year. It turns out like pulverized dirt. Could I use this on my garden ?

    • lee says:

      Sorry I’m so late in responding. I’m no expert on this, but I would think the compost you generated is pretty safe after a year. That’s around the time frame required for composting humanure, which poses more risk than pig manure.

      Incidentally, the big pile of pig manure I built was never turned over, but by the time we started digging into it two years later it looked completely like dirt.

  13. Mary says:

    I am currently researching different farming practices and methods of raising my own food, including animals. I also happen to LOVE bacon and ham as well as pulled pork so pigs are a priority animal for me to raise. I found your post well written and informative. I do have a suggestion for you to research for yourself though and it would most likely reduce your costs overall. I personally don’t plan on buying feed for any of my livestock except maybe some hay for the winter. I have found the videos on the following links to be highly educational in my research.
    Geoff Lawton:
    Permaculture for Profit (pigs are highlighted in this video):
    From Monoculture to Permaculture (pigs are also shown in this video):

    While I can’t yet afford to take the courses offered via this site, I’ve learned vast amounts just from watching the many videos offered as previews. It IS very possible to raise pigs with little to no financial input beyond weanlings, shelter and butchering. Remember, people were raising pigs long before there was commercial feed available.

    There is also this message board on Paul Wheaton’s (there are boards for different animals):

    You could also look in Chris Selzer’s Agricultural Insights in regards to pasture management. He has a website and YouTube channel by this name.

    I’m looking forward to putting what I’ve learned into practice next year.

  14. Kevin says:

    This article is awesome. Started raising two feeder pigs myself and the article was a big help. Thank you

  15. terry says:

    I think the value of the animal products (dairy,egg, etc)is they contain lysine, which is no doubt provided for in a “complete ration product” but unavailable on pasture.The Sugar Mountain Farm sight delves into suprising detail regarding thier feeding practices, which is entirely pasture based.Thanks for a very informative post, the processing graphs were especially revealing. Sounds like u did great to me, hope i do as well in my first foray into pigdom! Maybe the one lady should look into the advisability of purchasing 5 months worth of feed though?

    • Peace says:

      When provided with fresh pasture, pigs will actively graze. This reduces grain requirements, and distracts them from aggressive rooting. Of course, pigs WILL root a good bit of the pasture. But the key is to rotate them precisely every two weeks, and allow the pasture to rest and recover. As long as it is no longer disturbed, rooted pasture will mostly re-root itself and continue to grow. Between the hog manure fertilizer and the newly available seed bank, pasture recovers after a month or so with adequate rainfall (3/4 inch per week). If you live in a part of the country where this sort of rainfall is unlikely, then consider rotating once every week. Also when looking into butchering if u use a usda butcher u can sell your meat at a market to restraints stores and off the farm

  16. mary says:

    pigs should cost 200$ dollar right do you feel me

    • lee says:

      I’m not sure at what stage in the process you think pigs should cost $200. I frequently see piglets for $200 around here on Craigslist.

  17. Zach says:

    My family has dramatic success raising pigs for personal consumption. Our own sow, we have a commercial farmer lend us a boar that is particularly frisky. Grain is grown on our land(not enough to be commercial, and generally I do the slaughtering myself.

  18. Dale says:

    We have 5 pigs, and they eat the “garbage” produce a grocery store will throw out. The staff is happy I pick it up, otherwise they would have to chuck it in the dumpster! I supplement that with some grain and hay (which I traded for) . So far I have zero in feed costs, just the time to go pick up the free feed. We butchered one and have 3 feeders, a sow and a recently added Berkshire boar.

    • lee says:

      This sounds like an excellent use for pigs. They make perfect recyclers and your costs will be very low if you can continue to use waste streams as the primary food source. It’s unfortunate that pigs are not used in this manner in general.

      • BRANDIE says:

        We are just beginning to raise pigs and need advise as to what to store the pig manure in after you shovel it up ,really need to keep the smell down to avoid complaints from my neighbors. Any suggestions ?

        • lee says:

          We raised ours from late summer to midwinter, so there really wasn’t much smell. The manure piles got bigger as the temperature got colder, so it was only occasionally noticeable from the house.

          Of course, if that doesn’t fit your situation, you could always try blending it with a huge amount of carbon (wood chips, dry grass clippings, etc.) Simply throwing out a layer of shredded straw frequently might work …

  19. RichardM says:

    This is a biased estimate. First, most places you can butcher your own meat, so that $350 ends up more like $35. Second, you don’t need commercial products to feed pigs. If you take the time to find out how to do things for yourself your costs will be less than half of those estimated here.

    • lee says:

      It’s not biased. It accurately reports our costs. Your mileage may vary.

      If you had read the whole post, you would have seen that I mentioned the potential cost savings of home butchering and alternate feed sources. Not everybody can find free food sources in their area nor do they want to dive straight into home butchering.

  20. David Booth says:

    Thanks for your informative article, Lee. For me, raising my own pigs is not about saving money. I’vé purchased pork on sale for .99/lb and it still isn’t worth it- it has NO flavor. It is beyond bland. No flavor means less nutrition, too, in most cases. Producing really good pork means starting with the right genetics (often heritage breeds or crosses) and the best diet you can give them. That is where the “seasonings” come into play. The fruits, vegetables, grass, weeds, nuts, sod and so on provide vitamins, minerals, omega 3, cla’s, and je ne sais quoi crucial to developing their full flavor potential. I (selectively) source a lot of free scraps, too, but aim to replicate a diverse healthy human diet. The butchering costs can vary regionally. USDA is a lot more $$ and not necessary for home consumption, imo. My local state inspected butcher runs a spotless operation. I admire those who do their own. I watched a Burmese family do it on my farm. It just takes care and a lot of effort. A good thermometer when cooking any meat is your best defense, regardless.

    I still remember the first time we raised our own chickens and pigs for meat at age ten. It was that good. The giant chicken legs and thighs, homemade sausage and scrapple. I never forgot it, and that was forty years ago. THAT is why I recommend others raise their own meat. And if you are resourceful, savvy, and use everything but the squeel, it is competitive with the grocery in price and a home run in terms of quality. And the memories? Priceless. I was stopped on the street once: “I remember you. You sold me the best chicken I’vé ever had.” I hope you give pigs another try sometime, Lee. And maybe chickens, too!

    • Peace says:

      Heritage pigs are the way to go also you will notice that the lean grass fed meat actually fills you more meaning you will consume less to receive the same calories and you pig may seem to be smaller in size but will weigh more fat weights less then lean muscle

  21. Jeremy says:

    I really liked this article on this I was hoping to see more about was the actual nutrient and amenities acid balance that it takes to get the most bang for your buck. In you breakdown you site potatoes as an alternative feed for hogs but without feeding wheat or corn that have high lycine the potatoes don’t give you any gains. I did an experiment last year feeding cull potatoes to one pig and feeding a mix of potatoes and wheat to a litter mate. The one fed only potatoes never looked unhealthy but never showed any noticeable gains untill 3 months in I switched over to the mix

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