Piglets


Sow, Piglets, Sheep & Chickens Grazing

Feeder Weaner Piglets reserves extend to June 2018.
Timing is always sows be willing.
Contact Walter to reserve now.

Would you like to raise your own pigs? In addition to cuts of pastured pork, roasters, whole pigs and half pigs we also offer live weaner pigs you can raise yourself. Pigs are hardy and easy to raise, especially over the summer months. With experience you can even do winter pigs starting in the fall.

We have about fourty sows farrowing year round so piglets are generally always running around. Spring piglets are in very high demand and typically sell out into summer so it is important to get your deposit in early. Historically, by January reserves typically extend to April and by April the list extends into June. This year by the end of April reserves were into late August. Reserve piglets early, even the previous fall to get them in the spring.

Pricing:
Feeder pig weaners around 6 to 8 weeks of age

If reserved before April 1st for spring or summer:
  Boars: $250
  Gilts: $450
If reserved on or after April 1st:
  Boars: $350
  Gilts: $500

Add $50 to the above prices for breeder weaners – pigs that I would consider prime quality for saving back as potential test breeders for my own herd.

Pre-Buy: If you would like to save money, plan ahead and pre-pay. When you pay in full ahead of time we offer a pre-buy discount:
  – 5% for full payment received at least 45 days ahead
  – 10% for full payment received at least 90 days ahead
  – 20% for full payment received at least 180 days ahead
Plan ahead, save money. If for some reason you are not able to get the pigs on a pre-buy we will refund the payment minus the standard deposit ($15 per feeder pig, $100 per breeder pig). Deposits are a reserve and not refundable. Alternatively you may choose to apply the pre-payment to future pigs.

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We reserve the right to substitute the more expensive feeder gilts, at no cost to you, for feeder boars. This is sometimes necessary due to availability.

To reserve send $100 per pig as a non-refundable deposit. When you send the deposit let me know the rough time you would like to pick them up and what sexes. We don’t guarantee an exact date – that’s up to the sows, weather and how many people are on the reserve list ahead of you but we’ll try to hit it as closely as possible. The deposit puts you on the list based on the order we get your deposit. Send deposits to:

Sugar Mtn Farm
252 Riddle Pond Rd
West Topsham, VT 05086

Check your pigs when you pick them up. Pigs are nonreturnable and non-refundable. If there is any issue with a pig, tell us and we will swap it for another but you must do that before you leave our farm. Pigs who have left can not return to our farm for biosecurity reasons.

Keep in mind that these are feeder weaner pigs. I would not recommend using these as breeders. If you want breeder stock pay the small amount extra to get the higher quality of those top animals which I would consider saving back for my own herd breeders. You’ll be paid back in the long run in better genetics. For details see the Breeder Page

Larger size pigs are sometimes available for $5/lb for based on estimated live weight using the Tape Method.

Frequently Asked Question: Why are spring piglets so expensive?
Answer: Because of supply and demand. Spring piglets are the hardest to produce having been born in the cold winter months and the highest in demand since most everyone wants to raise pigs in the easy summer season so they are the highest priced. You might be able to find cheaper piglets at auction or off the back of a cull truck from out of the factory farms but ask yourself why I don’t bother buying those myself… Quality matters in animal health, vet bills, growth rate and better feed conversion. Read more here.

“For years I got pigs from [Sugar Mountain Farm] and was delighted with them but then one year I bought them from someone else who was cheaper. What a mistake. In the end the other pigs cost a lot more with the vet bill, higher feed costs and slower growth. This year I’m back to buying Sugar Mountain Farm pigs.”

-Sharon Zecchinelli, Homesteader & Chef, Enosburg Falls, Vermont

Note that the above prices are for feeder piglets – ones you would raise for meat, not select prime pigs one would raise for breeding. Breeder quality weaner piglets cost more because they are higher quality genetics – the ones we would choose ourselves to keep back for breeding. If you are looking to breed a pig it is worth paying the small extra cost of $50/piglet for the farmer’s keen eye to pick the best of the litter. A very limited number of ready to breed prime boars and ready to breed prime gilts are available at times. Guaranteed bred prime gilts and prime breeding boars are also available at times. Availability is limited as we only sell the best of the best as breeders. If you want to get into breeding and farrowing the easiest way is to start with a bred gilt. See details on the Breeders page.

Piglets are ready to wean and go at about four to six weeks of age. We hold them a little while after weaning to transition them fully. Older, bigger grower and roaster pigs are typically available – see the Roasters Page.

“The piglets I bought from Sugar Mountain Farm behaved exactly how I wanted: like old fashioned pigs! They were well trained to the electric fence, rooted like champs, gained weight quickly and produced very tasty pork. We moved them around our field and the pigs did a wonderful job of tilling and fertilizing the field. And I have never had a single health problem (not one! not even worms) with piglets from Sugar Mountain Farm.”

-Abby Duke, Chef, Farmer & Restaurateur at Sugarsnap, Burlington, Vermont


PLEASE NOTE:
WE DO NOT SHIP LIVE PIGS.
We offer pickup at the farm
and local on route delivery.
Buy locally and support
farmers in your area.

Pickup is available at the farm gate or we can deliver them to you at one of the stops along our weekly delivery route. We drive up I-91 and I-89 from Mass to Bradford to Burlington. Delivery is just $10 for piglets. See the delivery route map. Be sure to have a secure carrier for your new piglets. A dog crate works very well with a bit of hay in it. Piglets should not be transported free in the car or in your lap for safety reasons nor should they be transported in open pickup truck beds as they can get easily chilled.

“We wanted to let you know we are very very happy with the piglets we bought from you last summer. You raise wonderful animals.” -Julie Garley, New Hampshire

We have multiple breeding herds and selectively breed for pasture-ability, mothering, meat quality, marbling, taste, length, temperament and other characteristics. Our pigs are primarily Yorkshire (large white) x Large Black x Berkshire x Tamworth. This is our Mainline herd genetics. We also have some pure bred Berkshire, Tamworth and Large Black lines. The feeder piglets are generally crosses. See the Pigs Page for more details on our pig breeds. While we do have pure bred lines of Tamworth, Berkshire and Large Black these are only for our own breeding program. We do not sell these pure breds because they are not registered or papered as part of a breeding society. If you are looking for breeder animals in those breeds then I would suggest contacting the appropriate breed societies. Our primary breeding focus is producing pigs which thrives in our climate on pasture to produce a high quality pork. These are our Mainline pigs which we’ve been selecting for over a decade. If you would like a particular bias of the breeds, feel free to ask when you order.

Please note that these are farm pigs, not pet pigs – they get big, they eat a lot, they poop a lot – black gold.

We keep our pigs on pasture, not in confinement housing and they are trained to electric fencing. Initially you will want a very securely physically fenced space with electric inside to re-home your pigs to their new space and let them get used to you, your voice, etc. This is very important for when they first arrive and are getting used to their new digs. Small, say 16’x16′ is good at this point. Well secured hog panel or pallets make a good, inexpensive physical fence. After a few weeks you can set them out to well fenced pasture paddocks and begin managed rotational grazing.

“I just had a couple minutes this morning and wanted to tell you how pleased I am so far with the pigs I purchased from you. The two of them get along very well with each other and the 120 chickens they share “home” with. They really do have great attitudes. Very calm and well mannered animals. They do like to chase chickens from time to time, when the birds are all in a group. It’s pretty funny to watch a “prancing pig” plow through a flock of chickens just for fun. They’ve done really well on the pastures. Between them and the chickens, they can clear an area in no time at all. At this rate they will make one full rotation of the field by fall and be right under apple and oak trees to finish up. I’ll be looking forward to buying from you again next year.”

-Craig “TheGoodDoctor”

Note that butcher’s tend to be solidly booked months in advanced during the fall. When you get your pigs, also call the butcher and schedule a slaughter date if it is going to fall in August through December.

PLEASE NOTE: All live animal sales are final. Inspect your animals when you receive them. If there is any problem say so then before you take them so that we can give you a different animal. The exception is bred gilts which are guaranteed to farrow. If you are transporting animals interstate or internationally then you need to make any necessary arrangements such as vet certificates. Get your ducks lined up in a row well ahead of time so the process goes smoothly.

Boars are male pigs with testicles – they generally grow faster, bigger and leaner than barrows (castrated males) or gilts. See this article about Essential Differences. Most people buy boar piglets for raising as meat. We breed for a gentle temperament and have never found boar taint in our pigs – we have been testing them for years and selling the meat from our boars to thousands of customers. Castration is not necessary and is hard on the piglets setting them back on their growth and killing some. We no longer offer castration. If you want barrows then buy boars and you can do the castration or have a vet do it. Before castrating, read about Boar Taint – It is mostly a myth.

Frequently Asked Question: Why are pigs more expensive and hard to find in the spring?
Answer: There is a very strong seasonality to pricing for two reasons. It is harder to farrow, to birth, pigs in the winter months – winter is very harsh. This reduces supply. Demand is high in the spring because virtually everyone wants to buy piglets in the spring. Conversely, the easy litters are from the summer but those are not in as much demand in the fall which produces a low demand in the fall and thus lower prices. Get your piglets later in the year, as late as October, so as to pay lower prices for the piglets. Pigs do great right through the winter. Read on my blog about how we raise pigs outdoors right through the winter.

Barrows are male pigs that have been castrated and nolonger have testicles. Barrows generally grow slower and fatter than boars but faster and leaner than gilts. We do not sell barrows as castration is not necessary with our pig herd genetics and pasture management.

Frequently Asked Question: How many months will it take a piglet to reach butchering size?
Answer: The short answer is six to eight months. The long answer is how big do you want the pig to be, how much do you have to feed it, what are you feeding it, what does the feed cost, are you willing to keep caring for it into the winter, what is it being fed, etc? All of these are factors in how fast the pig grows and how big it grows. You can slaughter a pig at any size. Over about 250 lbs on a commercial feed the hog starts putting on more fat and less muscle as well as being less efficient at turning feed into pork. Pigs weather the winter well but grow slower and you have to deal with water in freezing conditions. Up to a point it is more efficient from a slaughter point of view to raise the pig larger rather than smaller. Generally people aim for 225 to 250 lbs which most pigs reach on a full feed balanced diet in about six months. Pick the size you want the pig to be and go for that. Any way you cut it, its good eating. Enjoy your home grown pork!

Gilts are female pigs that have not birthed (farrowed) a litter of piglets yet. Gilts generally grow the slowest and put on more fat than boars or barrows. If you are looking for lard, a short bodied (lard type) gilt raised on a high calorie diet is the ticket.

Frequently Asked Question: Why are gilts more expensive?
Answer: We like to keep gilts back to watch for that exceptional 5% who will make good breeding stock as replacement sows in our herds to continue improving our breed. To find them we must select the best gilt piglets and watch them grow for eight months, then breed the best of those, the primes. Not all of those will ‘take’ that is to say get pregnant. Of those that take we need to wait for them to gestate for 16 weeks of pregnancy. Finally after a year we find out what their first litter is like and how they perform as mothers. After another six to eight weeks we pick the best of those as our replacement sows. About 5% of the gilts make the cut to sows. Boars on the other hand stands less than a 0.5% chance of being kept for breeding (each boar services about 15 sows) so I don’t need to keep as many boars as gilts to select for breeding stock and improve our herd. Life’s hard on the farm if you’re a guy. Same as in the wild herds.

Sows are female pigs that have given farrowed (birthed) a litter of piglets. She will typically farrow two or more litters per year with a gestation period of about four months (“Three months, three weeks, three days, 3 am” is the old saying). Some exceptional sows like Blackie on our farm have farrowed, of their own choice, three times a year producing as many as 19 piglets per litter – that’s unusually productive. The largest litter a sow from our farm has had is 22 piglets but 8 to 12 is more common.

Frequently Asked Question: How many litters can I get out of a sow?
Answer: A sow will typically have two or so litters per year. An exceptional sow like Blackie’s line will have three litters a year. You can also just breed her once a year with a borrowed boar or AI if that fits your needs – use the warm seasons when farrowing is easy. Sows typically live five to ten years but you do not have to keep them that long. Some people will keep a sow for a couple of years then eat her as she gets too large for them to handle. A large sow eats a lot more than a small sow but she is also a more experienced mother and better pasture grazer. If you’re feeding sow chow then this high cost may matter to you. Since we are pasture based this is not a big issue for us. Thus we have many older sows that weight 600 to 800 lbs. As sows get older they gain experience, are better grazers, better mothers and milkers. Older sows also have bigger litters up to a point when they lose fertility and their litter count drops. When the end comes, sows are good eating. They will be a bit tougher than a finisher and a bit more fat than other pigs but not excessively when kept on pasture. See this article about hanging meat.

Tail Cutting & Teeth Clipping are things we do not do. Neither intervention is necessary and both can cause pain and infection in the piglet. Some piglets naturally end up with shorter tails. There is a recessive heritable genetic trait for short tails which we have in our herd which is why some of our sows like Flip, Flop, Flo, Flora and Fauna have short tails as so do their piglets. Our long tailed boars and sows like Archimedes and Big Pig carry this trait but don’t express it although their offspring do sometimes.

Select piglets are available for $100 extra each above the pig prices – If you have some other personal preference such as color you can pick your own from the available piglets. It takes extra time to do this thus the up-charge. Otherwise I pick out the pigs using my years of experience which can be done ahead of time so the pigs are ready when you arrive. Realize we do not keep our pigs penned – they’re out grazing on the mountains so it is not possible to simply look at all the pigs. When buying select pigs allow extra time for selection and let me know ahead of time that you want to do this as well as letting me know of any characteristics you’re looking for such as a red pig or spotted pig.

Frequently Asked Question: Can I just breed feeder piglets and save?
Answer: Sure, but then you don’t get the advanatage of starting with the better genetics. Breed the best of the best to continually improve your livestock. To do less is wasting your time. It takes a year to bring a gilt from being a piglet to farrowing. Not all animals are fertile. Some feeder piglets have fewer teats. When I pick out select piglets for breeding I’m giving you the advantage of my eye and experience to get you started on better footing. This is well worth the added nominal cost of a select piglet.

Blackie’s Descendant Select piglets are available for $100 extra each plus $50 for any teats beyond 14. Limited availability and reserve list for piglets from her and her daughters. Blackie is our top breeding sow having produced three litters in a year and litters of 19 piglets with excellent conformation. One of her daughters produced litters of 12, 20 and 22 piglets. Color varies, ask if you have a preference. Note that Blackie is not a pure bred Large Black although she does look it. She is a superior sow which is the reason for the premium on piglets from her line. She is crossed with our top premium boars.

Runts happen occasionally but we do not sell them as piglets because they will take you a month or two longer to raise to market size – this isn’t worth the cost of feed. Note that runts will eventually get big – they aren’t good for pets and won’t stay small. If you are looking for a pet pig consider a Pot Bellied pig or some other non-farm variety that stays under 200 lbs, or better yet get a dog, cat or ferret. Farm pigs easily grow to 800 lbs or far more like our big boars Spot. [Spot topped out at 1,700 lbs when he died of old age in our fields in the fall of 2010. His brother Big’Un topped out at about 1,500 lbs. Think small car on legs.]

Rent-a-Pig: We also do not rent or loan boars, pigs or piglets for events, breeding or otherwise. Once an animal leaves our farm they can not return due to biosecurity reasons so as to protect the health of our foundation breeding herds. There are some people who do have boars from our farm’s genetics who offer Rent-a-Boar services. Ajax at Gopher Broke Farm is one such boar from Blackie’s line.

We just had two sows farrow in the last week who were bred by a boar (Ajax) you sold to Gopher Broke Farm. It was a first litter for both and they each had 14 piglets that seem to be doing quite well, growing fast and learning from mom to root in the soil.

-Will Bunten, Bluebird Farm, Waterville, VT

Pet-a-Pig: We do not have pig petting available. There are petting zoos in New Hampshire and Vermont which are lovely places to take the children to see piglets, chicks, goats, sheep, geese and other farm animals. Check out Shelburne Farms in the Burlington, Vermont area or Friendly Farm in Dublin, NH for great family fun. They are setup for this and have a wide variety of animals for children to see and handle. We also do not rent or lease out pigs for breeding or events. Once a pig leaves our farm it can not return due to biosecurity concerns.

Health Certificates: Buyers should check with their state department of agriculture for any import requirements or restrictions. We sell all livestock in Vermont. Vaccination is with the standard vaccines we use on our herds. If your state has special requirements let us know and we may be able to help by pre-vaccinating with additional vaccines. The buyer is responsible for any costs of veterinary health certificates, additional vaccines, etc. If you’re transporting them across state lines you may want to get health certificate paperwork which typically runs about $200 per group for the vet’s costs when done by a local vet who will come ID tag and paper them here at our farm before you pickup. There is a $100 charge to cover our time. If blood must be drawn then add $20 per animal plus the blood lab work costs – required by some states like CT. The vet will need your farm address, phone number and name for the paperwork. Alternatively you can arrange to have that done by a vet of your choice later.

Prices subject to change without notice. Pigs are live animals and vary. Availability depends on Mother Nature and sows be willing. Life happens. Your mileage will vary.

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145 Responses to Piglets

  1. Margaret Rieser says:

    Hi. I’m interested in raising a nice gilt to breed in the spring. I’d like a pal, (gilt or barrow), to keep her company. I’m just starting with breeding although I’ve raised pigs for market. Do you have weaned or soon-to-be-weaned pigs for sale right now? I’ve got good winter accommodations.

    Thanks.
    Margaret Rieser

    • Yes, we do have weaner piglets that are ready to go on a week’s notice. We also have older gilts as well.

      Do you want to get a bred gilt or do you plan to take care of the breeding?

      If you’re getting a not yet bred gilt I would suggest getting a pair of gilts rather than a gilt and a barrow. The reason is that it is an other gilt is just as easy to raise and if the first one doesn’t take the probability is that the other will. Once in a while a gilt is not fertile.

      We don’t do castration (see our FAQ page) so we don’t have barrows available.

  2. Alex Rich says:

    I would like to get a piglet in the spring wondering how to reserve two of them…

  3. randy says:

    i live in the southern part of vt and would like to get an unbread gilt to breed with my tamworth boar was wondering if you think that would make a good mix breed for your pigs and how much it would cost for a gilt thanks alot randy

    • Yes, that would make a fine mix. There is likely some Tamworth in our pigs based on the color patterns we see. Check out photos in this search pattern.

      The cost varies with availability and size of the gilt. Weaner piglets are above for feeder gilts but it would be much better to get select gilts which have better conformation, teats, etc. It is well worth paying the small extra select fee.

      If you’re going with gilts that are not already bred then I would suggest getting several. Not all gilts are fertile. A small percent, 5% to 25% depending on the statistics you read, are infertile and it isn’t possible to know until they’ve had several attempts at breeding. Thus it is best to get several gilts when purchasing unbred gilts. Any that don’t take can become market pigs.

      Right now there are reserves out through May on weaner piglets as is typical in the winter and spring. You might want to consider getting an already bred gilt who will then produce a litter which you can pick the best gilts to keep for breeders. Raise the rest of those piglets as feeders to pay for her. Then in the next cycle breeder that sow to your boar and later when her daughters are old enough from the first litter breed them to your boar. This will give you the most bang for your buck at getting a herd started. Guaranteed bred gilts run in the $1,200 to $1,500 range depending on season. Typically they produce eight to 12 piglets in a litter although the count is not guaranteed.

  4. Connie Hicks says:

    Love your info on pigs.. I have 25 sows on pasture…and breed for Polyface..selling weaners to them…and to other farmers in the area…I really enjoy following your blog and website…you have great information… ;) Q

  5. Ellen Kraft says:

    Hello,
    Do you have any boar pigglets for sale ? Looking for three.
    Thanks, Ellen

    • The reserve list currently goes out to early June as of 4/7/2011. I try to keep the note in bold about the current end of the reserve list up-to-date in the spring as it shifts. This extends as new people make deposits. The best thing to do is to send in your deposit as soon as possible to get on the list. Then when your name gets to the top I’ll give you a call to let you know when piglets will be ready. Once we get into August or September piglets are generally quickly available as seasonal demand drops.

  6. Eileen Grant Szeto says:

    We are interested in buying breeder quality piglets, two or three gilts and one boar as economically as possible as we are on a very limited income. August or September piglets are our first choice because we understand that demand is lower at this time and likely more affordable. We have winter housing available. I’ve raised a pig before and never had any type of health problems. I think she was a Yorkshire as she was light pink. We got her at the Fryeburg Fair’s pig scramble.

    • If she has upright ears then she is likely Yorkshire and if flopped forward ears then likely Landrace. See here for a good web site on the breeds of swine. They have photos and you might be able to figure out which you had. It is very likely that she was a mix.

      As to the time to get the best prices, you’re correct, buy in the fall – after September 15th. Get a deposit in now as the piglet list keeps extending. That is when the demand drops. The cheapest way to do it cash up front is to buy them as piglets. Since they’re not already bred I can’t guarantee fertility but generally it is said that about 75% are fertile. I see the number as higher in the pigs we breed – the difference may be patience. A sow typically has her first litter (thus making the gilt be a sow) when she is about one year old.

  7. malissa bolton says:

    do you have any piglets available and what is the wait?

    • Malissa, two more litters were born this week. Piglets from those will be available in about six weeks when they wean, thus the middle of June. Three more litters will likely be born next week, if the sows are watching the same calendar I am. It is very important to get a deposit in now (see above) as we fill orders on a first-come-first-serve basis. You can mail a check to our postal address.

  8. Afton says:

    Hello,

    If I sent my deposit now, would you have two piglets available in the fall (oct-nov).

    Thank you,
    Afton

  9. hnholliday says:

    is there any feeder piglets

  10. hnholliday says:

    Can you ship pigs to places? Thanks

  11. hnholliday says:

    Oh okay I really wanted one… Thanks though

    • Are you looking for a pet pig? Our pigs are farm pigs which means they’ll grow to many hundreds of pounds, perhaps even 1,700 lbs. They eat a lot, and poop & pee a lot too. If you’re looking for a pet pig consider the small varieties. See this about pet pigs.

  12. hnholliday says:

    No I didn’t want a pet pig I wanted it for 4-h

    • Ah, check with your local 4-H chapter and they may well have several suppliers. I’ve never been part of 4-H but from other people I’ve talked with I heard that is typically how it work. Good luck with your 4-H project.

  13. hnholliday says:

    Thanks any tips that I can for raising a pig

  14. hnholliday says:

    Hey do you know any pig farms in Texas cause I can’t find any.

  15. Sandra says:

    I am looking around your site (sent you another comment about drying out bread for pigs). Anyway, how neat to see your pigs on the pasture (in the photo above) along with the sheep. We keep our pigs in a pen for fear that they would try to escape. Also, I understood that a large sow or boar could harm a sheep so I didn’t think it would be safe to keep them together. Please school me on this.

    Also, I noticed the comment above about where to get pigs in Texas. We live outside of Dallas and get our pigs from JR Fortner Show Pigs. So, hnholliday, if you live near Dallas, you might look them up. We have been happy with them as a source for buying pigs.

    • We haven’t had trouble with keeping pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks and geese together. I hear people who talk of problems but I suspect there may be two factors: 1) our animals grew up together and more importantly 2) our animals have lots of space. In a pen it would be a very different situation. Much like how in cities with people all crowded together things are more dangerous vs the country side where people have lots of space to be able to get away from each other. Note that during lambing we do separate the ewes from the other animals so the lambs can get their feet under them. Once they’re running around they’re fine with the other animals.

      In terms of escaping, the thing to do is have good fencing. Depending on your circumstances (e.g., proximity of neighbors, roads, predator pressures, etc) it may be as simple as a few hot wires or as complex as physical netting fence with hot wires on both the inside and outside. Be sure to train the pigs to the fencing before you set them out on electric fences. This is like with any livestock.

      • Karen Pike says:

        You have no issues with pigs and chickens together? How about cows and pigs?

        • We graze pigs and chickens together just fine. They’re raised from birth this way and we’re on open pastures that the chickens can easily run through a fence if needed. I have heard of people having problems with the pigs eating chickens and it seems to be related to rectangular pen situations where the pig corners the chickens and is then able to catch it. Our chickens often sit on top of the pigs.

          I’ve read of pigs being a problem by learning to suckle on the cows but this would not be a problem with non-lactating bovines. I have also heard of horned cattle killing pigs as well as horses killing pigs. BUT I’ve also heard and seen pictures of pigs and cattle grazing together. So again your mileage may vary.

          I have successfully grazed sheep, pigs, ducks, geese and guineas together for years.

  16. Sandra says:

    Another question about pigs on pasture… We have wild hogs in our area. Therefore, if we raised our pigs on pasture, I would worry about them encountering a wild hog and possibly interbreeding or catching diseases from them. Any thoughts on that? Thanks so much for taking all my questions : )

    • That is an issue. Very good fencing with a physical fence and electric on both sides would help. Very good livestock guardian herding dogs would help. We once had a pig enter our valley that was not from our herds. Our dogs immediately killed it. They know the difference between their pigs which they protect and stranger pigs that are not supposed to be here. I would also suggest that you vaccinate against all possible diseases that you can which the wild pigs would bring into your herd. In most places you can hunt, trap and eat wild pigs. Just be sure to cook them fully to avoid Trichinosis which wild pigs are renowned for carrying, along with bears.

  17. Matthew.kerkohff says:

    could i buy 10 fro 162 dollers

  18. David Edison says:

    How soon in the spring can I buy piglets to raise myself for meat?

    • You can buy piglets year round. The tricky part is that in the spring the demand is very high. I already have orders for piglets for next spring. Thus it is important to send in a deposit and get on the reserve list as soon as possible. The high demand sometimes lasts all through the summer.

  19. Lisa McCarthy says:

    In a similar climate to Vermont, such as in New Hampshire, how would a person raise pigs on pasture? Would snow be an issue as far as feeding goes, do you guys feed your pigs with other supplements, and do you have housing for the pigs when the weather is inclement?

    • The primary diet of our pigs is pasture in the warm months, hay in the winter plus dairy which is mostly whey. This makes up 65% to 90% of their diet. We also grow pumpkins, turnips, beets, kale, rape, get a little bit of spent barley from a local brew pub on occasion, sometimes get apple pomace (crushed apples after extracting cider) from a local cider mill and such. See the pigs page for more about what our pigs eat. Also check out the feeding topic in the topic cloud in the right hand column.

      We are definitely in a winter dominated climate. We’re high on the mountain and get about one to two months more winter than people down in the valley. This is why livestock fits our land better than growing crops, aside from the steep land and rocks. During the winter our pigs have the choice of sleeping in open sheds on a deep pack of hay although they often choose to sleep out under the stars. We use a winter paddock system – sort of like deer yards in nature – with the pigs broken out into about ten groups based on size.

      New Hampshire is virtually identical to Vermont but upside down. :) (Look at a map. Look at the politics.)

  20. Winnowa says:

    I left this comment on another one of your pages about keeping a pig but I want to repeat it here. People need to be very careful about buying pigs or any animals at auction or from less than reputable sources. Last year I got 4 piglets at auction. Unbenownced to me they had worms and some respiratory disease that both got transmitted to my goats. Two of those el cheapo piglets died in the first month and the other two grow so slowly I figure I spent more on grain and mediciens for them than I would have spent had I bought your quality pigs. Lesson learned. :-{ I also had to treat my goats and that vet bill hurt.

  21. Liz says:

    Hi there,

    I am planning to send you a deposit for a couple piglets. I didn’t see anywhere on your website to do that. Do I just drop a check in the mail with what I want? What specific info do you want from me other than how many and what gender? I looked at your order form and didn’t see anywhere for live piglets.

    Thanks!
    Liz

    • Yes, just include a note with your deposit indicating how many and what gender. Let me know when you would like to pickup and I’ll try for that – depends on previous reserves and the sows. We’re currently looking at March and beyond.

  22. HS says:

    you have a shortage of pigs you you up your price……..grain prices have gone thru the roof

    • Yes, that’s called supply and demand. When supply is short and demand is high the price is higher. Our biggest customer for piglets is our own farm – we need piglets, year round, for us to raise for our CSA and wholesale customers year round. In the spring demand peaks because most people want to raise pigs over the easy summer months – that is why the price is higher in the spring and summer. If you wish to pay the lowest prices then buy piglets in the fall when demand lessens. If you reserve early enough you can get an additional discount.

      To pay the rock bottom prices for piglets buy factory culls or piglets at auction. There is a reason they’re dumping those piglets and why they’re cheap. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Our pigs are higher quality and bred over many generations to thrive on pasture so they won’t need the high cost of a commercial grain diet and thrive outdoors on pasture the way we manage our livestock. That helps you keep your grain feed costs down as well as getting a higher quality pork.

  23. Sally R. says:

    I’m here every day hoping you’ve written more. Recently when you seemed to have taken a break I started exploring your sales pages and even those are filled with fun pictures and stuff. I would love to see recent piglet pics. I suspect you must be having a lot of litters with spring being here.

  24. Regina says:

    So cute! Good thing they grow up ugly and taste so good!

  25. P&D says:

    I really appreciate how you raise your animals. We got piglets from you several years ago and they were the best piglets we had ever had. I would like to get some more this year. Are you still taking reservations for this spring?

    • Yes, you can order pigs any time of the year. In the spring the demand is very high. People who ordered in the fall and earlier in the winter for spring are at the top of the reserves list which currently runs out to early May. That is to say, if I get a reservation today it will probably be filled in early May – Sows be willing.

  26. Emily caddin says:

    I was wondering if yall sell just piglets and how much r they i was wanting one as a pet

    • I highly recommend against buying our piglets for pets. They get very large, very fast. Our pigs are farm pigs and can get to 1,700 lbs. I would suggest that you look at the Vietnamese Pot Bellied pigs if you’re looking for a pet. I understand they only get up to about 300 lbs. See these articles about Pet Pigs.

  27. MooseTheGilt says:

    Hello! My school offers an agricultural program but I was a little late for paying for a pig. I was curious as to whether you have any pigs that are around one month old. I was also curious as to where your locations are. Please reply! :)

    ~Moosey

    • We do have piglets but there are people who have already reserved. The reserve list for piglets currently extends out through early May. To get on the list and reserve a piglet send a deposit of $15 with a note indicating which sex you would like. We are located in northern central Vermont near Montpelier. We don’t ship piglets – only local delivery and pickup.

  28. courtney says:

    is it cruel to pick pigs up by the back legs

    • No, do it gently. Do not pick up piglets by the middle. They’re very ticklish there. If you grab them be the middle they think you are a predator who’s going to eat them. If you gently pick them up by the hind legs you can generally quickly calm them down. Same thing works with poultry. Stroke their belly if you want for extra calming.

  29. Andrea S. says:

    Walter you have the most amazing web site, farm and family. It is so wonderful to see how your family all pulls together to make things happen like your butchershop and all the other things you all do together. I wish I lived closer (you dn’t shop piglets to Alaska I assume?).

  30. Craig says:

    Hey Walter,

    I just had a couple minutes this morning and wanted to tell you how pleased I am so far with the pigs I purchased from you. The two of them get along very well with each other and the 120 chickens they share “home” with. They really do have great attitudes. Very calm and well mannered animals. They do like to chase chickens from time to time, when the birds are all in a group. It’s pretty funny to watch a “prancing pig” plow through a flock of chickens just for fun.

    They’ve done really well on the pastures. Between them and the chickens, they can clear an area in no time at all. At this rate they will make one full rotation of the field by fall and be right under apple and oak trees to finish up.

    Anyway, if all goes well this year I’ll be looking forward to buying from you again next year.

    Thanks again

  31. Madison Lankford says:

    I am very interested in your pigs!

  32. Jorge Gardner says:

    All my female pigs lived, but the six males died. Why did this happen?

    • I don’t know. I’ve never heard of that happening. It is possible that it is random chance. We once had a litter of 11 female piglets and no males. The odds of that are only one in 2,048. But, it happens. I don’t know of any disease that kills just male piglets. If you find out, I would be interested to know. What breed? Climate (zone)? Ages? Feeds? Other details?

  33. brett fox says:

    Walter, I want to send a deposit in for 10 spring piglets but am wondering if there will be any available. I will do early buy but I don’t want to send a deposite and get them late summer. I really like your site and operation hope to come and visit. Thanks brett fox

    • Yes, there will be piglets available. If you pre-buy now then you get early pick over anyone who would order later after you. That’s how we do the reserves list. We have some pre-buys for the spring already which is why currently I expect people who order from here out to get piglets in May 2014 – sows be willing.

  34. Makayla says:

    I am 13th and I want a baby pigs

    • I assume you’re looking for feeder weaner piglets to raise for meat since you’re on this page. My suggestion would be to read everything you can over the coming months, get your pig space arranged by April and then get a pair of piglets in May so you’re going into the easy warm months. If you decide to do that, reserve the piglets by January, or even before as many farms sell out well in advance since most people want to raise summer pigs. A good starting article is “Keeping at Pig for Meat.” Follow the links in that article for more reading and explore the links in the right sidebar as well.

      If you’re thinking about pet pigs, then see these pages. Farm pigs are not a good choice as pets because they’ll get so big, so fast and eat so much. We have had some of our pigs get over 1,700 lbs. Pet pigs generally stay in the 150 to 300 lb range at adult sizes – about the size of a large dog.

  35. Mike says:

    I have a pig that is three months old right now. If I buy another piglet can I keep them together? Will there be a “fight” or territory since they aren’t from the same litter?

    • Yes, you can mix them and yes, there may be some tussling to begin with but they should settle down and be fine. The ideal way to introduce them is across a fence line for a week or two and then open both to a new area with a big banquet of food plus plenty of bedding hay in the new area.

  36. Mack says:

    I’m trying to get a small scale pig farm going but finding pigs is difficult and no one will seem to reply unless I’m offering $700 (and I’m not) so I was wondering if you could refer me to a pig farm who sells pigs at reasonable prices not adults piglets will be fine , thanks

    • Are you saying weaner feeder piglets are $700 where you live? Wow. That is a high price in 2013. Maybe by the year 2050 I would expect them to get up to that price with inflation. Keep looking around – I’ve never heard of prices that high. Our price for weaner piglets is posted above at the top of this page which is $200 for 2013.

      It is a very good idea to secure your source now in the fall or winter with a deposit on the piglets you order since in the spring a great many people are looking for piglets and the supply is constrained then as we come out of the hardest farrowing season of winter. We are already sold out to April 2014 on weaner piglets. People who send deposits now should get them in May or later. To lock in the current pricing for next spring, send a deposit or better yet prepay and get the prepayment discount.

  37. charlie leveni says:

    hi mate do you have a 18 to 20kg of pork .and how much ? I need it for this sunday 1 of December or call me 0431586322 or I come and pick up from you thanks mate

  38. Hi Walter and family, I was just looking at the calendar trying to decide when we wanted to start piglets and I see you have deposits already through April! That has decided me real quick. My deposit is in the mail for the next possible litter. I want to also thank you for our 2013 piglets and all the knowledge you have imparted through your website. My husband, always the doubting Thomas, is now a believer and after sampling the bacon is eagerly looking forward to a springtime drive out to Vermont. Your piglets adapted quickly. I nicknamed them the vampigs because I soaked their bread with the milk and they would noisily suck the milk out of the bread and ignore the bread for later. We did feed some grain as we didn’t have as much pasture as we wanted this year. Pastures are this year’s project. While our pigs were smaller than previous years, we spent about a third of what we usually spend on feed. I think we got the same amount of bacon due to the incredible length of these pigs. Had we been willing to carry water into december, they would have put on probably another 50-75 pounds. You have done an incredible job with your genetics. Keep up the great work. Thanks again for the inspiration. See you in the spring.

  39. Jacob Gjesdahl says:

    Hi,

    I’m looking into raising hogs on pasture and in the area I’m looking, it’s very difficult to buy contiguous plots. Therefore, I’d be dealing with 2 pasture areas about a 20 minute drive apart on country roads. I’d prefer not to keep separate herds since I’d be moving the hogs every day and don’t want to have to drive back and forth all the time if at all possible. My question is, if the hogs were used to following me to pastures and trusted me, would they still be heavily distressed if I led them onto a trailer every couple weeks for them to switch parcels? I’m worried that the unusual motion of being on a trailer might upset them and make them very resistant to getting on the trailer a second time.

    Sorry for putting this on this thread – it’s not really applicable, and I know you slaughter on site so it’s not an issue for you, but you seem to be the ultimate purveyor of pastured hog related knowledge.

    Thank you for your time,
    Jacob Gjesdahl

    • I think you could train them to load and unload without undue stress. We transport pigs weekly to slaughter right now with little to no stress during transport. They sleep on the trip. Make the trip a pleasant journey with a banquet and bonus at the destination so they look forward to it.

      However, I think you’re setting yourself up for a lot of work. It might be better to simply run two separate herds. How big are each of the areas? How many pigs are you planning? A managed rotational grazing setup can be done in a very small area. Ten pigs per acre is sustainable when done right. Divide it up into a minimum of four and preferably eight or more paddocks. Plant soft grasses, legumes, brassicas, chicory and such.

  40. Jacob Gjesdahl says:

    Thank you for getting back to me. I put some more thought into it and decided the second piece was too steep to bother with anyway. It’s 15+% and I figured the difficulties of seeding, erosion, etc, means it’s better suited for timber production.

  41. Beki Auclair says:

    Hello Walter,

    I hope you are well, and I love your site. You are very thorough in your explanations, and I really appreciate how diligently you respond to people who leave comments and ask questions.

    My neighbors and I are continuing a livestock raising venture that we began last summer. In 2013, we shared responsibility for a flock of meat chickens and layers. This year, we will be adding pigs to the mix and doubling our meat bird numbers. Your approach and philosophies seem to be very closely aligned with ours.

    Sadly, though, it looks like you don’t have feeder piglets available until June 2014 already. We would need three or four. Do you think there’s any chance we could get them from you in April or early May? I’m not sure if the gender matters. As a follow up to this question (I’m just beginning to learn about raising pigs), are your pigs older when you sell them than they might be from other breeders? So, if we get a six to eight week old shoat from you in June, will it likely be ready for slaughter in early November on a combination of pasture, woods, produce and organic pig feed?

    I look forward to hearing back from you soon and sending you my deposit, if it all works out.

    With gratitude,
    Beki Auclair

    • I figure about six months (boars) to seven months (gilts) is typical over the warm season from birth to finish weight (~250 lbs live) on a very good pasture plus dairy and some other treats like the apples, pumpkins and such. On grain typically six months. Piglets sold in June will have been from April or early May so they should be ready by November and may even be at an advance weight by then which is good (more marbling, more yield). At this point (Ground Hog Day) piglets are reserved out to early June. Of course, everything is always Sows be willing. To reserve piglets, send a deposit of $15/piglet with a note of what you would like (e.g. boar vs gilt) to us at the address in the reserve list section of the page above.

  42. Tom RN says:

    HI Walter,
    I want to buy two pregnant sows for my Virgina small farm. I have contacted my local Extension agent and see is looking into what hoops I will need to jump through for importing pigs. I want you pigs because you breed for ability to live on pasture and gentler than other pigs. The only problem will be climate, hopefully it wont’ be too much of an issue. I’ll pay upfront, as opposed to a down payment, I would like to drive up to get them in late September, that is when the weather starts to relax in temperature down here in VA and maybe a pregnant sow could deliver in late November. Before winter sets in, which is generally much warmer than Vermont, but maybe it means the girls get a chance to adapt to VA weather for the rest of their lives. And I understand that a black pigs may deal with hotter/sunnier days than a white pig. Less chance of sunburn. What do you need from me?
    thanks,
    Tom

    • Short answer:
      Some states do require a vet certificate and vaccines. I would suggest the darker pigs. In the summer all pigs should have access to shade and a wallow and that should take care of them fine. Your winter is about like our October – balmy. :) It is easier to adapt to the warm climate than the cold climate other than the pigmentation. Winter cold wet mud will be the biggest challenge.

      Long answer with a few more details:
      Your state may well require a vet health certificate – that’s common. Technically we sell at the gate which mean’s you’re responsible for any add ons like that however there is a local vet who we can have come out to do this. I think she charges $200. When you pickup you can just reimburse us for that. She will give us the paper work to give to you. If they have any vaccination requirements let me know. Might be in the vaccines we already use. If not we can get the additional vaccines or you can do that yourself although I think it would be better for the pigs to get vaccinated ahead of travel to reduce stress.

      On color I would suggest the darker colors. Black, red, etc. The pigs will adapt to your warmer climate – they would love it if our climate never got beyond October which is probably what your winter’s will feel like to them. Your summers are a lot hotter than ours but if you provide shade and a wallow they’ll be fine. I think adapting to colder climates is harder than adapting to warmer climates other than pigmentation – thus go with the darker.

      Do you want a pregnant sow or a pregnant gilt? A gilt has never had a litter before. A sow is an experienced mother who has produced a litter before.

      I just Wikied Virginia and looked at your annual temperature ranges to compare with ours here in Vermont. Here on Sugar Mountain we tend to be wetter than the Vermont average but much of our precipitation falls in the winter as dry snow. Your November temperatures look balmy but wetter than us and that wet is probably wet precipitation (rain) rather than dry (snow) like we get. Set up farrowing areas with slope to avoid mud. Provide plenty of dry bedding if using a shed – wood chips then shavings, then straw or hay work well and get it packed hard well ahead. The sows do the packing of the lighter material – don’t add hay yourself, let the sows do it.

      Speaking of jumping through hoops, open hoop greenhouses are something we have found to be very good for housing. The trick we find is to set them up on knee walls to protect them from the pigs and allow a deep bedding pack build up, place to place the greenhouses on a sloped ground for drainage and to leave the lee open (south east in our case) end up with the sides openable and the north top openable for ventilation. In our climate fall through spring is pretty dry and we’re basically out on the snow pack although I would love to have greenhouses big enough for the herds to go into in the deepest cold. Dry cold is okay – we just have to protect mostly from wind. I think that in your climate it is probably wetter, more rain and mud. For us the hardest time is mud season which is when it is cold with a lot of rain. I think that the hoop houses might be very useful in your winter for dealing with the mud and rain. I haven’t written a whole lot about our hoop greenhouse experiments. I’ve just mentioned them in passing a few times as I’m still figuring out details on our climate.

      I would recommend since you are driving such a long distance to also get a pair of prime boar piglets. Then by the time the sows need to be rebred you can test the pair of boars by picking the better and giving him a chance to prove himself. If he doesn’t prove out then try the other. I would pick the boars to be as distantly related from the sows/gilts as possible. Since we maintain multiple lines this would be feasible. Line breeding also works well in pigs since you merely eat the ‘mistakes’ – Sort of like baking. The second boar you can either sell down in your area or eat. Either way it pays for the pair and you get the breeder and breeding. Alternatively it is the start of a two boar herd management system.

  43. Monica Mata says:

    Hi my name is Monica. My dad is looking for boar pigs for breeding. Would you have any by any chance? Please let me know. Thanks!

  44. Kim says:

    Looking for Feeder Pigs

    • The current reserve list goes out through June. If you would like to get piglets after that send a deposit of $15 per piglet with a note about what you would like to get (sex: boar vs gilt, type: feeder vs breeder) and I’ll put your name on the list.

      • Brian Willis says:

        What are your current prices for feeder piglets?? I see you’re reserved into July which is good because we’ll be looking for about 6 around June or July. thank you.

        • Boar weaner feeder piglets are $200 as of 2014. It is important to get a deposit of $15/piglet in as early as possible because the date I receive deposits determines the position on the reserve list. We are currently out to the end of July. That changes as people send in deposits.

  45. Patrick Sarea says:

    You service a comprehensive informations and husbandry
    Shoot me a mail to purchase a blackie Sow.

    • Breeder gilts and sows are reserved out to May of 2015. Breeder quality gilt piglets may be available in the fall. Those would be available as bred gilts late next spring or early in the summer of 2015. See the pages for piglets (this page) and breeders for full details.

      To get onto the reserve list for either a breeder piglet, bred gilt or sow send a deposit along with a note of what you would like to get and the time frame and I’ll put you on the list.

      If you have any questions, let me know.

  46. Eric Hagen says:

    It seems like I could buy a roaster boar up to 40 lbs (or gilt up to 60) cheaper than if it were alive. That seems a little strange to me, especially since you say you want to promote spreading your genetics and no butcher fees are involved. Why is that? Hypothetically, could I buy a 20 lb roaster and request it not sent in for slaughter for $100?

    • The reason is quite simple: the live piglets are higher quality than what we use for the small roaster pigs and the prime live piglets, those for breeder stock, are the best of their lot. Buying a small roaster quality piglet as a breeder would be a poor idea as it is the lowest quality genetics. If you are going to start a herd, you want to start off with good genetics – it will save you years of work and a great deal of money in feed as well as your time.

  47. Michael Cromwell says:

    I am looking two reserve 2 feeder pigs for my personal homestead and family around April of 2015. Will they be available then? If so, how do I get on the list to purchase two. I will be driving a couple hours from CT, so I was just wondering how I would correspond for pick up as well! Thanks for your time!

    • To reserve send a deposit of $15 per piglet and indicate what you would like (e.g., boar weaner piglets) and include your address, email and phone number. See the address above. I don’t know if there will be any in April but I’ll put you on the list. There are already reserves for the spring but are early enough that there is a reasonable chance. It is first come as people make reserves and always sows be willing in terms of timing.

  48. Mario S says:

    I would like to buy a whole hog, I do myself the butching, did already many times. Do you have a price for whole pig by pound, and do you sell this way? Thx I appreciate

    • Yes, we do sell whole carcasses. They are split to halves by the butcher and then you can do your own cutting from there. The price is $3.50/lb plus $55 for the USDA scald, scrape and chilled slaughter. Delivery along our regular weekly route is $10 from Brattleboro through Montpelier and up to Burlington. Currently reserves extend out to the beginning of April 2015. Reservations are based on when I get deposits and continue to extend as deposits come in. There will be a small price increase January 1st but if you get your $100 deposit in before then you can lock in the current pricing. To order send a $100 deposit and indicate what you would like to order. Include your contact information: name, phone, address, email. I’ll email you back to confirm.

      Sugar Mountain Farm, LLC
      252 Riddle Pond Road
      West Topsham, Vermont 05086

  49. Holly says:

    plz tell me where to find pigs

    • We’re a long ways from you but you may be able to find pigs locally using Craig’s List, LocalHarvest.org, EatWild.com and similar search engines. You also might check out the bulletin boards at local feed stores and general stores. Within those look for farms that are raising pigs out on pasture. Buying piglets from someone who already raises them the way you want to raise them gives you a head start on good genetics and more chance of success.

  50. Alisha Walker says:

    I have a question my husband and I are new to breeding pigs. I have a gilt that was due on Monday and its Friday and she still hasent giving birth is this normal? Thank you

    • The length of gestation is 114 days plus or minus a week or two. I have seen sows farrow early or late by as much as two weeks just fine. It is really the fetuses that set the schedule with hormones. Unless there is some other reason I would not be concerned that she had missed her appointed schedule. Same’s true in humans.

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