Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Economics of Raising a Hog

While we aren't necessarily concerned with raising hogs for economic reasons it sure helps to see either how well you did or how much in the red that meat put you. So here is the economic lowdown on how we did with the hogs. We will look at the cost and benefit of one hog.

First was the cost of the pig. This was a weaner pig and the cost was 40.00 plus about 10.00 in gas for the drive to pick it up. So 50.00 dollars total.

Second our fence was already in place as the pasture was designed to hold goats, so that was no special cost for us.

Third is the cost of feeding the pig. To start with we had loads of garden produce, goat milk, excess eggs, and kitchen scraps to feed with. I had a couple neighbors that garden and can and they would bring their gardening scraps and cleanings to feed the pigs. During the first several months this made up the majority of the diet of the pigs. They were also fed some oats, alfalfa pellets and black oil sunflower seeds. So from June until mid September it cost approximately 27.00 per pig to feed.

Then our eggs supply went down due to hens going into molt, the garden produce greatly slacked off and the goat milk amount went down. We had loads of pears and they would get a 5 gallon bucket of pears daily, but pears don't have protein. We started to see a slowdown in growth rate and decided that we needed to find a commercial source of protein other than the sunflower seeds as they are tremendously expensive. The pigs were getting to where they didn't eat much of the alfalfa and so increasing that would not do us any good. So about mid September we started adding commercial hog feed to their diet and they started gaining again. During the months of October, November and December their appetite greatly increased. They got pears into November and also as the acorn crop was tremendous they ate alot of those in their pasture and I processed 5-10 lbs. of acorns daily to supplement them and keep the commercial feed down. The last 2 1/2 to 3 months the cost for feed per pig was 64.00 per month.

That brings total feed cost per pig to 313.00.

Now what did we get for that money and did we come out ahead?

I will list what we got by cut or usable piece and then list what it would cost me retail for that piece or poundage. Prices were gathered from my local grocer on December 30th.

20 lbs. nitrate free bacon 5.49/pound or 109.8
5 lbs. sausage 3.50 per pound or 17.50
12 pkgs. of 6 boneless loin chops 6.35 per pkg or 76.20
2 tenderloins 14.00 a piece or 28.00
2 racks of spareribs 12.44 a rack or 24.88
2 racks of baby back ribs 16.69 a rack or 33.38
4 4lb. boston butts 12.78 each or 51.12
4 5 lb. picnics 14.00 each or 56.00
2 whole hams (country cured and smoked) 50.83 each or 101.66
4 lbs. hocks 2.19/lb. or 8.76
4 lbs. lard 3.00/lb. or 12.00
1 loin roast 2.99/pound or 8.97
18 dog bones like you would find at the pet store 4.00 each or 72.00
A week's worth of dog food (internal organs) 18.99
Things that I couldn't find prices on:
5 lbs. cracklins
4 trotters

So total cost to have purchased all this pork retail would have been 619.26 not including the cost of the trotters or cracklins. So total savings was 306.26. Now this is comparing to retail cost of typical commercially raised grocery store meat which is not really that comparable. To compare our hog with retail cost of pastured pork the savings doubles or triples. However, since ours were not completely organically fed even though pastured the entire time I stuck with typical grocery store retail prices. Pastured pork, however is typically double to triple that cost depending on where in the country you are. Still not a bad savings of just over 300.00 dollars per hog. I know what I have in my freezer is much healthier and much much more flavorful than what can be purchased in the grocery store. Must have been all those acorns and pears!

Was it worth it? Absolutely! Will we do it again? You bet! Blessings, Kat

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