Are you looking to find a few feeders to raise your own pork or are you wanting for a pig to buy for a BBQ? Either way, you’ll want to know the price you should expect to pay! We’ll go over the costs and variables you should know about for your area.
Feeder pigs cost an average of $2.00 per pound, with a range of $1.00-4.00 based on demand and genetics of the pigs. Plan to pay $4.00-6.00 per pound for roasters (pigs that are ready to cook). Whole or half custom raised pigs cost $2.40-5.00 per pound, which is based off of hanging weight.
As a general rule, the more someone else does for you to get the pig to eating size, the more you will pay for the pig, per pound. This is why smaller feeder pigs are less per pound, you are doing more of the work!
Compare that to when you buy a custom raised whole or half hog, the farmer is doing all of the work, so they get more money per pound because they did more to get the pig to butchering size.
Is Raising A Pig For Meat Worth It? is an article I wrote going over your costs and budget for raising vs buying pigs for freezer pork.
|Type of pig
|Purpose of pig
|Cost of pig
|weaned pig that you will raise to butchering size
|ready to cook pig that you roast
|Whole or half hog
|small farm raised pork that you buy to stock your freezer
(note: butchering fees may or may not be included)
Feeder pigs will be between $1-4 per pound, average $2
Feeder pigs cost between $1-4 per pound of live weight, with an average of $2.00 per pound. These are pigs that you will raise at home, if you want pigs to eat, look in the roaster or whole hog section.
Buying Feeder Pigs is an article I wrote that will help you figure out which feeder pigs to buy and where to find them in your area.
Feeder pigs are weaned pigs that you buy in the 30-60 pound range and raise to butchering weight yourself. These pigs are selling for anywhere from $1.00-4.00 per pound live weight.
$1.00-4.00 per pound is quite a range, so let me get more specific:
|Price per pound
|Total cost each
|farm pig, small
|farm pig, larger
|farm pig, larger and off season
To get numbers that are more suited to your area, look up your local livestock auction market report. If no auctions are local to you, find the closest one and use those numbers.
If your local prices are listed per head, take the cost per pig and divide by the pounds of weight to get the cost per pound.
A viewer commented on one of my videos that the local prices in his area were $350 a head. I’d guess this is for show pigs, but in the end, it really does not matter, the price is the price.
I mentioned looking outside of his immediate area or considering getting feeder pigs at a different time of the year. In my area, time of year is a huge factor in price.
The most common size of feeder pigs available varies from area to area
Each area of the country seems to have a common feeder pigs size and weight at which most pigs in the area are sold.
In some areas, the traditional weight for a feeder pig is 30 pounds, while pig farmers in other areas tend to sell feeders at a higher weight of 50-60 pounds.
In our part of Ohio, a 50-60 pound feeder pig is pretty common.
If you have the option, buy the larger piglets, they are more hardy and will adapt to moving to their new home more easily.
The smaller, $30 piglets will take a ton longer to grow and are more prone to stress related problems.
You’ll also note the farm pig that is 50 pounds for $50. The only difference between the 50 pounder for $100 and the 50 pounder for $50 is seasonality.
Prices are higher in the spring and lower in the fall and winter.
As an example, I just sold a group of feeders (late August 2023) averaging 69 pounds each for $55 a head. Pigs that size in the spring bring more like $90-120.
Whole hogs cost between $2.40-5.00 per pound
If you are buying a whole or half custom raised market hog, your price will be based on hanging weight, not live weight. I see prices from $2.40-5.00 per pound hanging weight for custom raised pigs in Ohio.
Do a search for your area to get area specific prices. Search “farm raised pork” and see what comes up close to you.
Prices of feed and availability of pigs vary wildly though out the country, so do the search before you decide on any specific numbers.
You’ll need to do a bit of math to compare buying off of the farm vs custom raised.
Why? Buying off of the farm is priced for the live weight of the pig, buying custom raised pork is priced off of the hanging weight of the pig.
Hanging weight is 70% of live weight. Hanging weight would be the weight of the split carcasses you see hanging in the cooler of the slaughter house.
Be sure to note whether or not the processing fees are included in the price. The $5.00 per pound listed above sounds high, but it has processing included, whereas the $2.40 per pound price does not.
You can buy a market hog from the auction for $1.00-1.50 per pound
A market hog is a pig that is ready to be butchered now, you do not need to feed or care for this pig, at all. You just need to buy it and take it to a prearranged slaughter appointment.
If you have an auction near you or you can buy right from the farm, you can get a market hog for $1.00-1.50 per pound live weight.
Note that the price for market hogs is per pound live weight, not hanging weight. A pig will hang about 70% of live weight, so take the live weight and multiply it by 70% for the approximate hanging weight.
This price changes week to week and seasonally, just look up your closest livestock auction market report for the going price.
When you buy a pig from the auction, you can arrange to have it all done for you. An order buyer can buy the pig, arrange transportation of the pig to the butcher shop, all for a fee.
You must call early and have this set up ahead of time. Processing appointments are hard to come by, so set this part up first, then set up your order with the auction.
Roaster pigs cost from $4-6 per pound
Roaster pigs are pigs that you would by from a butcher shop that are ready to be roasted or cooked whole, like for a whole hog BBQ.
Roasters can be of any size. In our area, roasters can be up to 150 pounds live weight. The size you should get depends upon how many servings of pork you want to serve for your event.
If you do the roasting, meaning you buy a ready to cook pig but you handle the transportation and the cooking, you’ll pay anywhere from $4-6 per pound for that pig.
You’ll also need to find a way to get the pig, which, if you have to get the pig shipped to you, will cost another $3-4 per pound between the shipping cooler and the shipping fees.
With these costs in mind, getting a roaster that is available within driving distance may be the better option, even if it is more per pound for the pig, since you would avoid the shipping charges.
Check out Sugar Mountain Farm’s explanation of roaster pigs, prices and shipping for more details.
Rent a portable pig roaster or pay to have your pig roasted for you
If you decide to buy a pig that will be roasted for you, you’ll be paying more to cover the cost of the custom roaster coming to your location and working for hours to perfectly roast your pig.
Of course, with all of this work, you’ll be paying more for the pig that is roasted for you. Pig Roast Pros has quite a few options, you can rent the roaster to have them do everything for you.
Pigs sold by the pound are for butchering, not breeding
Pigs that are sold by the pound are, generally, pigs that are to be butchered, now or later when they are grown. If you are looking for breeding stock pigs, they are usually sold individually, not by the pound.
Your location will determine pig prices
This (price) is one of the harder things to figure out how to explain simply because it varies so much depending upon your area and the local demand.
In my area, there is an auction that sells quite a few feeder pigs every week, so if I would want to get a few feeder pigs I’d just head on over to Kidron and buy something at the sale.
If prices are high or I didn’t see anything I liked, I’d come back next week or try again in a month or so.
For some folks, this is not the case, at all! In your area feeder pigs might be a rarity or only occasionally available. If this is your situation, you might have to take what you can get and widen your search next year.
How easy or difficult it is for you to find pigs just depends on where you live.
If you have few to no pigs being raised by small farmers (not industrial farms) in your area, expect prices to be higher. If demand is super high for local feeder pigs, prices will be higher.