When it comes to homesteading there are plenty of ways that you can end up saving money while also improving your service as a whole. Whether we’re talking about the farmland itself or the animals you choose to keep on it, let’s just say that the possibilities are endless from this point of view.
So, for today’s guide we decided to bring you our very own depiction of the top 15 best pig breeds that are sure to make your job easier, saving you money while also making your name stand out from the crowd as a proper farmer that knows what they’re doing.
But before we jump into the actual nitty gritty part of this article, we would like to start this off with a little sidenote during which we will showcase what other aspects you should keep in mind when raising your pigs. So, let’s not waste anymore time and just jump right into it:
Things to Consider when Raising Pigs
This part is very important and it can easily end up making or breaking your homesteading if you’re not careful enough with it. So, what exactly do you need to remember for your pig shelter?
It all comes down to two components, really. First of all, you have the actual shelter which is meant to help defend your pigs from rain, other predators, the cold, etc. Second of all you have the ground which is meant to keep them warm and of course, allow them to walk around in.
The outdoor itself is also a very important part since pigs do need to walk around a bit to defecate every now and then. If they don’t have enough room, they’ll have to sit in their own much which let’s be honest here, nobody wants.
So, just remember, always invest in good fencing, maybe even go for an electric fence if you can shill out the money for that, and on top of that make sure that the pigs have where to defecate so that you can collect it and use it for farming purposes.
Food and Water
When it comes to the food and water that the pigs will need, you need to keep in mind that the pigs themselves are actually very good foragers, meaning that they can live with minimal help from the farmers, but that doesn’t mean that you can just abandon them altogether.
So, learn what pigs eat, especially basing your whole study off of the breed that you chose for yourself, otherwise you might end up with a malnourished pig.
Last but not least, you need to keep in mind the fact that pigs absolutely love just wallowing around in the mud in order to cool off their bodies, so in order to facilitate this, especially when they temperatures are skyrocketing, you will need to buy them a kiddie sized pool.
Next, fill up that pool with lukewarm water and let the pigs enjoy themselves to the fullest. Sure, they will eventually grow to the point where they won’t be able to fit in the kiddie pool no more, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do this for them in the first place.
Just remember that the pigs’ mental health is just as important as their physical health. A depressed pig will easily be spotted from the crowd and if you don’t spend any time improving their mental health then you will find yourself feeling the dread emanating from them.
The best way to help them is by actually giving them a proper childhood, so as they’re growing up, pamper them around, maybe play around with them, and don’t forget about that pool that we mentioned above either.
But alas, now that we have that out of the way, how about we focus solely on the top 15 best breeds in the world so as to make sure that you’ve truly gotten your money’s worth when it came to your purchase. So, let’s start off our list with our number 15th pick aka:
15. Guinea Hog
The Guinea Hog is pretty much one of the strangest breeds on the market and we do mean that. It is a very hairy breed that looks very dark and has one of the curliest tails you’ll ever beset your eyes on.
On top of that, this is also a very small breed, with the typical male getting to around 150 to 250 pounds at their heaviest. They make for great foragers, although they also do pack on quite a lot of fat to keep that in mind if you’re looking for leaner cuts.
But alas, that extra fattiness does add to their taste so definitely remember that when you’re looking for a new pig breed to invest into.
Although we absolutely love seeing a Choctaw pig every chance we get, we will preface this by stating the fact that this is a nearly extinct breed that is very hard to come by. It is actually said that less than 100 of them are still on the market, but because of this rarity they tend to be sought after so much.
So, if you can actually get your hands on one then we would highly recommend you do so because honestly, what can be better than owning a breed that nobody else out there does?
13. Red Wattle
This right here might be one of the most docile pig breeds you will ever see and that’s a fact. They are in fact so docile that they can even end up getting attached to you from the moment they lay their eyes on you.
Because of this, a lot of farmers end up getting Red Wattle pigs more as companions than as food, but alas, when the need comes, you can always get your barbecue ready and sauté your little friend if you are feeling like eating good that night or making a profit on the market.
12. Gloucestershire Old Spots
The Old Spots are very popular for their foraging prowess which is no simple feat to say the least. They also make for some great pets around the farm since they’re very docile and let’s not forget the fact that their meat sells very easily and so does their lard.
Overall, this is a very useful breed that can make for a great choice if you’re either just now starting out on your green thumb journey or if you’ve been working in the field all your life by now.
The coolest thing about this breed that we instantly thought of when we saw one with our own eyes is probably the fact that they don’t have cloven hooves, which is why they’re named Mulefoot in the first place.
But anyways, this breed is very docile and easy to handle and because of how sturdy of a breed it is you will find it very useful in rougher climates since it can outlive anything you throw at it. They’re also great foragers and their fertilizer tends to be amongst the best on the market.
Lastly, this breed is also worth looking into if you want a heavier pig, since the typical specimen will weigh as much as 600 pounds in total.
Tamworth may very well be one of the smallest breeds of pig that you can get your hands on, but trust us when we say that it is truly worth it because of a multitude of reasons.
First of all, it is a very lean type of a pig, and this really works out in your favor if you’re looking to sell the leanest meat on the market.
On top of that, they’re also great foraging machines and let’s not forget about the fact that they’re also amongst the friendliest breeds in the world. They are great around children and they also make for great mascots for your farm if people ever come to visit.
If you’re looking for the most bourgeoisie of breeds then the Spotted pig breed might very well be the perfect choice for you because this is one of the most popular breeds in all of England.
The main reason for this is by far the fact that taste wise, the British families apparently just can’t get enough of it, especially considering the fact that this breed is also considered to be the queen’s favorite.
On top of that, let’s not forget the fact that this is also a great choice if you’re looking to have plenty of offspring from them, since they can literally mate like rabbits and make you a full batch of little younglings in no time, compared to other breeds on this list.
8. Large Black
The Large Black breed is actually yet another very famous breed in Great Britain, with its meat actually being considered to be a top seller in England too.
That is because the Large Black truly lives up to its name, with each pig growing very large and on top of that, with them having one of the fattiest meats on the market which makes them all the tastier.
This breed of pinkish pigs is pretty much synonymous with London cuisine, especially since chances are that if you’ve eaten any meat on the streets of London then chances are that you’ve had the meat of a Large Black pig already, you just didn’t know it back then.
Lastly, we should also mention the fact that this breed is also very popular for its rather extended periods of fertility, so keep that in mind before getting yourself one.
This breed has been relatively hard to come by over the years, but luckily, nowadays it is experiencing a surge in popularity which has led a lot of people to actually invest in them, thus increasing their demand a lot which resulted in a lot more traction on their part.
But alas, this is a Denmark original pig breed unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. If we had to compare it with another breed, then we’d definitely have to go with the Chester White, but what sets this one apart is the fact that the mothers from this breed get especially ravenous around their babies.
This is because they always want to protect them, which leads them to really attack anyone that dares to come close to their little piglets.
The best part about the Hereford breed is definitely its accessibility. While a lot of the other breeds on this list actually tend to be very hard to come by, the Hereford breed is actually amongst the easiest breeds to get your hands on and that’s a fact.
This is especially great when you take into consideration the fact that its meat is often times considered to be amongst the yummiest in the market, and let’s not forget the fact that they’re also very easy to take care of which makes them any aspiring farmer’s dream come true.
The Hampshire breed I actually one of the oldest breeds to have ever been recorded in American history which does make it quite popular along those that want to keep the tradition strong.
This breed is also often times referred to as the Old English Breed, which makes sense considering their history. But alas, what makes this one different from any other pig breed on the market? How about the fact that it has quite a significantly larger loin and a lower amount of fat on its back?
That in itself is great but what makes it even better is probably the fact that it tends to adapt very easily to any environment which also makes it a great choice for newcomer.
The Duroc breed is also amongst the oldest American breeds out there, but other than that, this breed is also worth investing into because it has a very stranger darkish red color meat and it is just downright much tastier to look at.
On top of that, many clients have stated that the meat from these pigs is especially tender and flavorful, so if that sounds good to you then definitely invest in this breed.
Lastly, we should mention that they’re very easy to domesticate which makes them great for people that are just now getting into farming. There are a lot of better option out there, but because of this viability, the Duroc breed deserves this spot on our list.
3. Chester White
The Chester White has one of the strongest mothers when it comes to breeding, which is actually quite hard to come by so we always recommend going for a classic Chester White if you’re new in the business and are just learning the ropes of the craft.
On top of that, this is yet another great heritage breed that comes all the way from Pennsylvania, so if that sounds good to you then definitely be sure to invest in it.
The only real downside to it is the fact that because of its pale skin, it tends to require a lot darker places to be kept in during the summer time, otherwise they might end up with sunburns all over their bodies.
The Berkshire breed, although originally from England, is actually just as popular all across the globe because of its overall quality.
First off let’s mention its very easy to take care of personality, this makes it a great choice for any newcomer farmers out there. Second of all, they grow very fast and they have a very tasty meat which sells very quickly on the market.
Just make sure that you have a good quality fence or an electric one, otherwise these curious critters might end up burrowing their way to their short-lived freedom in no time.
1. American Yorkshire
Also commonly referred to as the English Large White, this is by far the most popular breed in all of the United States and Canada.
This is all thanks to the amount of lean meat that they offer, and other than that they’re also the breed that is most used for the bacon that you get in the supermarkets.
Because of that, coupled with their easy-going attitude and how simple they are to maintain, the Yorkshire breed has earned its number one spot on our list.
So, what did we learn with this article? We learned that every pig breed we mentioned above has its positives and negatives, but at the end of the day it isn’t a question of whether you want to get the best or the worst for yourself, but more so that you choose the best one that fits your criteria the most.
If you’re looking for a pig that is easy to take care of, you know what to pick now, and if you want one that sells very well then you also know that too. So, thank you for reading this far and we wish you good luck taking care of your new piglets!