grow. At an average daily gain (ADG) of 1.7 pounds per day and your ideal weight is 265 pounds at fair time, the pig must weigh approximately 78 pounds at the time of selection. This is calculated by multiplying the number of days by the expected gain and subtracting that number from the target ending weight; 265 – (1.7 x 110) = 265 – 187 = 78. You may want to follow this same procedure with several rates of gain and ending weights so you feel comfortable with a weight range for the selection of your feeder pig.
If you are a new swine project member, you may want to give yourself a little more leeway. Therefore, you may want to project only a 1.5 pounds per day of gain and a target weight of 265 pounds. With this example, you would select a 100 pound feeder pig; 265 – (1.5 x 110) = 265 – 165 = 100. However, it is important to avoid selecting a pig that is too big or too old that the rate of gain must be limited by severe feed restrictions, which could result in an undesirable carcass or inhumane feeding practices.
Project feeder pigs are often in short supply and you may need to make purchase arrangements months in advance of the actual date you pick up your pig. Check with your leader, Extension Educator or others for possible project pig sources. Buying animals from a farm or single source has some advantages. These animals are generally not exposed to other pigs from which they could pick up diseases. Also, the producer can give more attention to you as a customer, offering suggestions about feeding and raising your animal.
Regardless of whether you buy your pig at a special feeder pig sale or directly from a reliable farm, there are a