In the past, people actually raised their own food, including the pigs where they get everything from pork chops to bacon. Raising a pig for food is actually still a great idea up to today, especially if you are living in areas where there is plenty of space and where ventilation is not a problem. Here are some steps to raising pigs for food.
- Check local laws. Before anything else, you should verify with the local agricultural office whether keeping pigs is allowed in the place where you live. Remember, there are some sanitation issues that come with raising pigs especially if you are raising a large number of pigs. Because of this, most residential and urban areas prohibit the raising of pigs. If you live in rural areas or the country side, however, you should be able to raise a pig right in your own backyard.
- Build the pen. Once you have determined that you are allowed to raise the pigs, you need to construct the pen or the hutch where the pigs will live. The size of the pen will be determined by the number of pigs that you plan on keeping, as well as the breed of pig that you decide to raise. Larger breeds are best if you are feeding a larger family. If you only need to feed a couple of people with the pigs that you raise, then you can make do with smaller pig breeds. Generally, the larger the pig pen is the more comfortable your pigs will be. The pig’s comfort level actually affects its growth, so you should not scrimp on the space. Make sure that you construct the pen from pig mesh wire and that surround it with hay or straw.
- Get your piglet. Now that you have prepared the place where your pigs will be raised, the next step is to find the piglet. The best place to find piglets for sale are animal auctions where you can find breeders who sell their pigs to the highest bidder. Make sure that you choose your piglets not only based on price, but also based on the background of the breeder. A good breeder will look into the genetic background of the animals that they raise and ensure that the piglets are disease free.
- Feeding. Once the piglet is safe in its pen, you will need to feed it regularly with pellets and pig feed. These are usually purchased in agricultural supply shops. Although people usually feed the pigs with only pellets, you can also supplement their diet by feeding them leftovers from the dinner table. Make sure that the pig also has plenty of water.
- Vet care. Finally, make sure that you let a vet see the pig at least once. Even pigs that are kept for food and not as pets need to be vaccinated and de-wormed so that they will grow fast and healthy. A couple of months before you intend to butcher the pig, you should introduce some corn into their diet. This way, the pig meat will become richer and sweeter.
When you already to butcher the pig, you can send it to the slaughterhouse or butchering plant where you will have to pay a small fee to get your pig butchered. With these in mind, you should be able to raise your own pigs for eating.