Raising show pigs for meat

BCBunnies

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In my local area even rabbit pens can run high for the 4-H and FFA shows. A pen of three or 4, sometimes the breeder sells an extra so you can use the best three, will sell for $250. This is over $50 each for 6 to 8 week old just weaned baby bunnies, and not always from good show lines.
 

Ridgetop

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The thing about kids raising rabbit meat pens and chicken meat pens is that the up front expense is not much for the doe or the chicks. Then when they sell, a lot of people that want to support the youth auction can afford a bid of $250 or more as opposed to $1000 for a sheep or hog, or $5000-10,000 for a steer.

With rabbits, I really like that as beginner meat breeding project for 4-H kids. They have instant (almost) results from their original purchase of a buck and 2 does (the recommended Trio). About the time they might be getting tired of the project, it is time to breed. In 30 days a litter appears, the child has the excitement of watching the baby bunnies grow. Then they learn (or should be) about choosing good meat rabbits. Since the points in the 'Standard of Excellence on which meat rabbits are judged allocates more points to the areas of meat, it teaches the chld the first rudiments of meat raising - go for the meat! Finally, after the show is over and the rabbits are judged and sold, the child can continue making money throughout the year by selling bunnies for either the pot or as pets. The initial cost f setting up is low, the expense of raising litters is low, and the child learns bookkeeping skills along with animal husbandry.

Poultry meat pens are a good option for those kids (and parents) who do not have the space or inclination to do a year round project. Again, the initial expense is low, the time period is short from start to finish, the child learns what it costs him or her to raise the chicken to sale size, and the return per lb. on the chicken meat pen is high.

BACK TO THE INITIAL QUESTION OF THIS PST - RAISING SHOW HOGS FOR MEAT - there is not any difference in taste between one hog and another in a litter - it depends on what they are fed. The difference comes when donsidering the amount of meat on the pig itself. If you got the last 4 of a litter that were farrowed as show hog, you can be pretty sure that even if these 4 were not considered to be good show prospects, they will have plenty of meat where it counts. The difference between a show prospect and it's litter mate is tiny and can change as the pig grows.

Here is a good Covid joke DS1 told me - I grew up with Steve Jobs, Johnny Cash, and Bob Hope. Now there's no jobs, no cash, and no hope. Please don't let anything happen to Kevin Bacon!
 
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