Good feeder pigs or growing pigs are determined by a healthy,good coated and muscled animal. The legs should be muscled and strong, the thickest part of the leg should be the inside of the back leg. The body cavity should be deep and long. The eyes should be bright and alert.
Gain per day should be 1.5# – 1.8# per pig per day. Decide how long you will feed the pig before slaughter. Helpful formula to find out the finished weight of your pig: days until slaughter x gain per day of the pig = # of gain, + starting weight of piglet = finished weight at market.
Make sure to call ahead to the meat locker and ask them when they will be ready for your animals around the time you will have the desired finished weight. Most lockers will only take pigs on certain days and an appointment to drop off the animals is required. A cutting order will also be required at drop off. In approximately 2 weeks the meat should be cut according to your cutting order, frozen and ready for pick up.
Feed Requirements For Feeder Pigs
Feed requirements for feeder pigs or growing pigs are high energy, low fiber and protein. Protein will need to increase with the pigs growth. Corn makes excellent feed for growing pigs, adding in the necessary vitamin supplements. Barley, Oats, Wheat and Milo also work nicely. Pigs can be fed free feed, if you have a pig feeder that allows for the elements. Of course, pigs are great with table scraps, but should be fed quality feed as well. Table scraps should not be given to the animal close to slaughter. The meat will taste better if they are grain fed. We finish our pigs with rolled corn in their feed.
Water Requirements For Feeder Pigs
Fresh,clean water is also necessary for feeder pig health. Pigs will stand in the water and food troughs if able to. This will drag the manure and mud into the feed and water. We have a homemade hog waterer. We used a plastic 50 gallon barrel with
the lid cut out (reclaimed, sanitized and rinsed). Then fitted the “front” of the barrel toward the bottom with a pressure waterer. The bowl has a metal flap that lets water out when the pigs root against it with their snouts. We fill the barrel with the garden hose every day or heated hose. If you are keeping pigs in the winter months, you will need a heated water source, an automatic heated waterer is by far the best choice.