How to Raise Pigs Regeneratively in the Woods – Part 4 – The Numbers – Grass Fed Life – Episode 32

Grass Fed Life

When it comes to a small scale livestock operation, there are two main choices that stick out when it comes to selecting starter enterprises: pastured poultry and pigs.

This season we have discussed each of them in depth, looking at the nuts and bolts and pros and cons of these enterprises.

And if I had to guess, I would assume that most people getting into small scale livestock start with poultry.

But that might not always be the best option. In many cases raising pigs may be a better option given your market and your competitors in the area.

Part of making at that assessment comes to looking at the potential numbers for each of the enterprises.

So far we have done that with poultry, but not pigs, at least not until today.

If you go way back to episodes 8, 9, and 10 we talked a lot about the methodology of raising pigs in the woods.

We covered a lot of the management, the infrastructure and equipment that use to execute a successful and profitable pig enterprise, now let’s see how that all works out in reality when it comes to the numbers.

What types of costs are involved?

And how profitable is a small scale pig enterprise?

Those are just some of the topics that we cover in today’s episode, Part 4 in the series How to Raise Pigs Regeneratively in the Woods.

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Advice from Darby for starting with pigs:

  • What to look for when buying weiner pigs:
    • First and foremost look for healthy pigs.
    • Size – Darby looks for 40lbs to 90lbs.
      • Which his about 2 months old.
    • Darby isn’t breed specific.
    • What if any shots have been given?
      • Darby doesn’t want any.
    • What was in the feed?
  • What Darby does now, works for his context.
    • That is why farrowing doesn’t work for him.
    • It is worth it for him to pay him.
  • Better starting in the spring and processing into the fall.
    • Schedule processing ahead of time.

Interested in transitioning into full or part-time farming?

If so, then check out Darby’s Farm Business Essentials 3 Day Intensive Workshop

Do you want to transition into livestock farming on a part-time or full-time basis? 

Or are you currently farming, but it’s stressful and challenging to manage the farm and life?

Or are you currently farming, but you are struggling to make the enterprise profitable or generate enough on farm income to farm full time?

The Farm Business Essentials Intensive was created to help addresses those concerns and challenges.

In this three day workshop we will take an in-depth look at where you are currently at, where you want to go, what do you need to put in place to get there, and what are some of the next action steps to turn the ideas into reality.

The workshop will take place on March 2-4, 2017 outside Indianapolis, Indiana.


Connect with Darby Simpson

Simpson Family Farm

Simpson Family Farm on Facebook

Have questions for Darby? He does consulting…

Whether you are simply someone looking to raise some or all of your own meat on a homestead, or are looking to follow your dreams of full time farming Darby can help you be a success and reach your goals. Your one on one consultation is tailored to fit you – not anyone else. It’s all about your farm enterprise or homestead, and will answer your questions on a myriad of farming related subjects. LEARN MORE.


Listen to all of the previous episodes right HERE


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Comments 5

    1. Post

      After seeing Darby’s system my answer would be yes. There is a lot of benefit to the pigs being in a forest system beyond just nuts. Think shade, other forage, room to make wallows. If you can fence it effectively and stock those paddocks at the correct density, then I don’t see why it would be bad.

  1. He makes farrowing sound difficult and expensive, my experience is quite the opposite. I know it doesn’t work for him, but our bottom line is much better since we started raising our own.

    Love the show and all your other shows too, keep it up Diego.

    1. Post

      Thanks Brian.

      I think the way that he is looking at it is this… by the time he factors in his labor cost and his feed cost he isn’t saving much money per pig, time is already at a premium, so adding more to the plate requires leverage or big savings, and it isn’t something that he is interested in doing just from an interest level.

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