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Buying Guide

Pigs for the Table

If you’re just looking for a pig or two to fatten, then you don’t need to worry about the pedigree side of things. You just need to make sure as best you can that it is healthy, well grown for its age and good on its feet with no obvious defects. Remember though that if you buy a pig that is not birth notified, and doesn't meet the breed standards, you can't change your mind in future and breed with it as it can never be registered and nor can any of its offspring. There are advantages to buying fatteng weaners from registered parents whose owners birth notify their ltters; each piglet you buy can come with its own Pedigree Meat Certificate proving to your customers that they are eating pedigree meat!!

Fattening weaners from registered parents can be provided with a Pedigree Meat Certificate.

Pigs for Breeding

If you want a pedigree pig for breeding you must also ensure that it is ear-marked and birth notified and that the breeder will undertake to register it for you. Ask to see evidence of the birth notification and make sure that you understand the ear marking system used. As well as that, use the Breed Standard to gauge the quality of the pig, especially the number and spacing of the teats. Again, look for a healthy pig that is good on its feet, has a bright eye and looks lively. If it looks sluggish, hangs its tail down and is reluctant to move freely, pass it by.

How Much Should you Pay?

How long is a piece of string? In an open market, the sky’s the limit but we will try and help by listing some guide prices here. Pigs are prolific animals and individual prices for weaners are generally not as high as for pedigree puppies, for instance. But farmers must not undersell themselves and you should expect to pay a reasonable price for a pedigree animal.

The most basic rule of thumb is £5/week based on age. That makes a weaner £40 at 8 weeks and a maiden gilt ready for her first service £180 at nine months old. But this is just a base calculation and you must expect to pay more for good examples of the breed, at times when demand outstrips supply and in some parts of the country where there are less pigs being produced.

The following is a guide only for pedigree pigs with the cost of BPA registration to be added. You may find pigs being offered more cheaply and you will find pigs that are dearer, especially if you go to auction. Because more is being asked, it does not mean that the breeder is wrong and you should not dismiss that offer. If he or she is a leading breeder, they can often sell more pigs than they can produce and if you want top breeding, you must be prepared to pay more.

Guide Prices – Excluding Registration Costs:

Weaners 8 - 12 weeks £40 - £70
Maiden Gilts 6 - 12 months £160 - £300
In-pig Gilts 11 - 16 months £200 - £450
Boars 6 - 12 months £180 - £350

©M Giles