Raising show pigs for meat

dukeis84

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I recently bought four pigs (50lbs each) that would have been sold for show pigs but lacked the desirable characteristics. They are long and lean with the big hams on the back end. I am not going to feed them show rations but rather let them graze/root in grassy/weedy pens and eat a typical butcher pig ration. It's my contention that the quality of meat is more about the diet than the particular breed but a few people have told me these pigd wont be any good because they were bred to be show pigs. Any thoughts???
 

Baymule

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What breed did you get, Hampshire? A pig is a pig is a pig. Of course they will make good pork. Just feed them like you would any pig. I am currently raising 2 Hampshire/Yorkshire cross pigs. They have the huge butts, long and lean. I feed mine free choice pellets, soured corn and grass and weeds from the garden. They also get kitchen trimmings and boiled eggs.
 

High Desert Cowboy

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I would say that yes breed does play a factor in taste, but it’s only one part. If I were to take a straight Yorkshire hog and a straight hampshire hog fed the exact same feed in the same amounts for the same amount of time and compare the hanging carcass side by side there would be a noticeable difference in meat quality. The hampshire should have a larger carcass with better marbling throughout the meat because that’s what he’s for. And he’ll probably taste a little better but I won’t say it’ll be blatantly obvious. @Baymule has perfect examples of a commercial market animal, Yorkshire for more babies and hampshire for daily gains and carcass quality. That’s what most of the pork you buy in the store comes from, or at least a similar cross. A show pig might not have the best daily gains or marbling or whatever, but fed right they’ll still taste great and you won’t even recognize a difference. As to paying $500 for weaners, I’m clearly in the wrong part of the hog business. If I was going to buy a weaner for $500 I’d expect him to open gates for me and do my taxes as well!
 

thistlebloom

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As to paying $500 for weaners, I’m clearly in the wrong part of the hog business. If I was going to buy a weaner for $500 I’d expect him to open gates for me and do my taxes as well!
Yeah, they thought it was very high too. The last two years they have bought whatever was cheap, and of course you won't be Grand Champion with that. This year the two oldest wanted to up their game and at least get a shot at it.
Now it's looking like they may have bought some very expensive family bacon. The fair is in August, so maybe it will take place after all...
 

Baymule

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$500 for a show pig is robbery— of children! For shame! There was a club Sheep breeder in San Jancinto County that all the Ag teachers sent the FFA kids to, and he charged $700 for a lamb! What a racket. Those kids scoured the area for sponsors to help buy their animals.
 
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