pig market weight

Asked August 23, 2013, 8:33 PM EDT

I have 2 red wattle pigs. one female and one castrated male. I was told market weight for red wattle pigs is higher then standard breeds. what weight should I have them butcherd? also any idea how to weigh or estimate there weight? I dont have a scale big enough and there kind of skittish so I cant corner them to measure them. thank you.

Barry County Michigan

3 Responses

Typically market weight is determined by the market that you wish to sell you pigs into. If you plan to sell your pigs into community based market (e.g. farmer's market, individual customers for custom slaughter, etc) it would be appropriate to ask what size of cuts are typically purchased.

For the commodity market in which you would sell pigs to a buying station or direct to a packer, average market weights currently are 265-275 lb depending on who is purchasing the hogs and what their buying program is. However there are a couple of packers that prefer lighter pigs and their average weights are 230-250 lb.

Depending on what your pigs are being fed, the market they will be sold into and the expected marbling, it is concievable that your pigs would be best slaughtered at 220-240 lb. From the limited information available, Red Wattles typically tend to finish at a lighter weight than breeds and lines used in the production of commodity pork.

If you don't have scales, a weigh tape can be useful to give you a "ball park" idea on what the animals weigh, but often weigh tapes are not accurate to within 5-10 lb. From your note it appears that the pigs should be worked with more to improve their familiarity with people. However, it would also be suggested to place them into a small pen and then use a sorting board to hold them in place in the corner to put the tape around them to estimate their weight.

If you have a pickup truck or trailer you could also get a weight on either one and then load the pigs and take them to scale and have them weighed. If doing this with a pickup truck the weight of the truck can fluctuate due to the amount of gasoline in the tank, etc.

I hope this helps.

market weight was the incorrect term. I'm growing these pigs for my own consumption. and I'm looking for the best quality meat. I have been feeding them a 16% commercial feed since there were weened. at what weight should I have them butchered. Thank you.

Without seeing them it is hard to know what level of fatness, sometimes called finish, they are now. However for the most part for these types of pigs, butchering them at 230-250 lb, should be a good balance between leanness and marbling.

I hope it goes well for you.