Raising Pigs on Your Farm

Here are a handful of things to consider about your personal situation that will help you get started with raising pigs on farm land.

| December 2014

Do you want to buy and raise pigs, but don’t know the first thing about them? Philip Hasheider explains the entire process, from buying to raising to butchering in How to Raise Pigs (Voyageur Press, 2013). This excerpt, which provides basic information on adding pigs to your farm or homestead, is from Chapter 2, “Getting Started.”

Getting Started: Raising Pigs

To get started in raising pigs you’ll need land, buildings, pigs, and equipment. Purchasing a farm generally involves purchasing a business as well, because there are financial considerations whether you work the land, rent it to another party, or leave it to lay fallow. How you handle these options may have much to do with your financial situation, inclinations toward farming, and level of involvement in the farm. If you already live on a farm but do not have any animals, you may decide that raising pigs is a viable option.

When purchasing or renting a farm, factors such as location and size of the farm, soil type, house or dwelling, buildings available, and a number of other intrinsic factors including schools, social outlets, and a sense of community may be important to you and your family. Planning, research, and obtaining good advice will help you avoid unpleasant surprises when purchasing a farm. Advice for purchasing or renting an available farm can come from an agriculture lending group or bank, a county agricultural extension office, or private professional services that specialize in farm purchases and setting up farming enterprises.

You can do much of the initial research on your own by contacting real estate agents about the availability of farms for sale or rent or by visiting properties on your own in locales where you may want to live.

Location and Social Considerations When Purchasing a Farm

In many cases your farm will also be your home. The property’s location and the services available may be important factors when deciding where to buy. Living in a rural area is not the end of the world; however, there are some significant geographic differences between rural settings and urban ones. Living on a farm does not necessarily exclude you or your family from the conveniences or services available in urban areas. There just happens to be a greater distance to access them.

When purchasing a farm, assess whether the house or dwelling meets your family requirements both now and in the future. If you have a young family, it may be important to be close to schools, doctors, or transportation systems. The availability of professional veterinary services may be important for your animals. If community activities are important, you can visit the area’s chamber of commerce, which provides information about local events during the year. You may also want to look at the opportunity for alternative or off-farm income or employment.

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