Over the course of its life pigs will consume a lot of feed. Approximately 80% of the feed consumed will occur after weaning through to slaughter. What we feed out pigs over this time frame will impact how long it takes to reach slaughter weight, in addition to impacting the final carcass quality and your eating experience.
How long does it take to reach market weight?
- The length of time it takes to reach market weight varies greatly and depends on the breed and feeding program.
- In outdoor systems, market hogs are usually ready to ship/slaughter between 7.5 months to one year of age.
- Typical market weight (live pigs) for small-scale operations will range between 75 – 100 kg. The cut or dressed weight will be approximately 75 to 80% of the live weight
How to Estimate Pig Weight?
Use a scale when possible. If a scale is not available, the following method will provide an adequate assessment:
- Measure the pig’s girth by placing a fabric measuring tape just behind front legs
- It is easiest to do when pigs are occupied and standing still (e.g. eating at the feeder
- Use the graph below to estimate pig weight, based on girth circumference
- Time to market weight (slaughter) varies greatly with the breed of pig. Heart girth measurements may need to be modified to accurately reflect your breed and management
- Measure the circumference just behind the front legs. Try and take three separate heart girth measurements and use the average. This will provide a more accurate weight estimate.
- If a fabric tape measure is not available, use a piece of rope or string to measure the girth (marking the length with your fingers and then measure the string length away from the pig).