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Kelln's Blog
Pig Buying Season--Questions to ask
Bruce's Blog
Monday 26th of October 2015 01:10:17 PM
 

It is time for the great pig hunt that begins every October and has its finale at Duncan in Mid November. These days there are a multitude of ways to purichase pigs--onlin, pig sales, straight off the farm, etc. Thats up to you and whatever fits your needs and schedule. Hopefully you have an Ag teacher, 4H leader or a significant other who can lead you in the right direction. I have my own personal beliefs on how I purchase pigs but thats me. This article is not inteneded to persuade you to my way of thinking BUT to help inform you of the mistakes and victories I have had over the past 45 years of buying pigs. There are many on both sides--good and bad decisions--learn form my mistakes, so you dont make the same.

This time of the year and also in the Spring I live by the notion--BELIEVE ONLY HALF OF WHAT YOU SEE AND NOTHING OF WHAT YOU HEAR!!

Here's th equestions I would ask:

1) Herd Health---PRRS status, PEDv Status, vaccination program, any on going health concerns that I should know about with this herd? If the breeder (I use that term very loosely) cant answer these questions, MOVE ON TO THE NEXT FARM!!

2) Dam--What is the mother of this pig like? Genetically and phenotypically? Any past winners out of her? How did they grow? Fast, slow, medium, what? I spend more time talking about the sows because they are the stable part of any farm. If they did not die as a gilt having pigs then htey are probably OK from the point they are still here.

3) I dont talk much about sires because of all the crossbred boars used. Most generally, not always, there is a new, big name cross boar about every 4 months. He brings a bunch of money and every GOOD SOW gets bred to him. No one spends $500-$1000 per does to breed OK sows? Think about it--if you are going to lay that kind of bucks out--you are going to breed the good ones. So a Crossbred boar is just that--Crossed up--talk about the sows. Always served me well.

4) Feed--what are they eating now? Can I get a bag of this feed to try to keep things as consistent from the transfer from the breeders place to your place. What should my next feed be in terms of Protein, Lysine, Fat? They can help you with that.

5) Transportation--You have to realize that up to now the pig has been through 2 very stresssful periods in his lif. 1) Birth 2) Weaning and now comes the third. Most nurseries are 70-80 degress. thats what your pig is use to. Now you are going to pull him out of a nrusery/grower where its is comfortable, living with his buddies and throw him in a box or a trailler with strange pigs, colder temp than he is use to and take off 70 mph down the road. Many, many pigs are lost at this moment. MANY, MANY, MANY PIGS. Do your homework here. It will save you lots of headaches down the road.

Next Blog--Got them home--NOW WHAT????