What’s The Cost To Buy A Pig? (with examples and prices)

Berkshire cross feeder pigs eating out of a pan

Thinking about buying a pig? Your options and costs may surprise you! Chances are you’ll have a few choices based on how much time you want to spend raising the pigs and how much you want to spend on your pig.

The cost to buy a pig can be from $50-2,000+ with feeder pigs being on the lower end ($50-200 each) and special or unusual genetics for breeding stock on the high end.

Generally speaking, there are two types of folks wanting to buy hogs.

Some folks want to buy a finished pig that is custom processed (this group just wants the pork) and other folks are looking to purchase piglets to raise themselves for the freezer or keep as breeding stock.

Is Raising Pigs For Meat Worth It? will go over the costs you should figure up when considering if it makes money sense for you to raise your own pigs for the freezer.

If you just want to eat the pig, not raise it, read the chart sections on 230-250 pounder, 300+ pounder, cull sows and whole hogs.

If you plan to feed and care for the pig as it grows, read feeder pigs and breeding stock.

Here’s the type of pigs you are likely to consider buying and why you would want or not want each:

Pig typePros of this pigCons of this pigPrice per pig
Feeder pig-least expensive to pig buy
-raised they way you decide
to raise your meat
-you do the work
-buy two or more
$50-200 each
230-250 pounder-full size market hog raised for you
-less fatty than pigs 300+ pounds
-smaller cuts and hams
-great if you have a butchering appt. but don’t want to raise the pig
-paying someone to raise the
pig for you
-less meat and smaller cuts per pig
varies with market
currently $250 (at auction) private sales will be more
300+ pounder-full size market hog raised for you
-plenty of fat for marbling and flavor
-great if you have a butchering appt. but don’t want to raise the pig
-paying someone extra for additional time and cost to raise the pig for up to 300+
-getting a butchering appt.
varies with market
currently $384 (at auction) private sales will be more
Cull sows-lots of meat per pig
-ideal for whole hog sausage
-may not be available in your area
-limited cuts, most folks go with all sausage
varies with market
currently $300 (at auction)
private sales will be more
Whole hogs-best price per pound for custom raised freezer pork
-usually raised by small farmers
-buy the entire pig at once
-lots of freezer space for the meat
-all cash paid up front
200 pound hanging weight x $2.69/pound
Breeding stock-huge variety of choices based on genetics, trends and age/reproduction stage of the pigs
-great way to get started with breeding pigs
-certain breeds or genetics are very costly
-you do all of the work, year round
$500-2,000 per pig for adults
(piglets will be less)
These are the current prices at the time of writing the article. Check your local auction market report for prices in your area.

Piglets (feeder pigs) cost between $50-200+ each

  • you raise these piglets to processing size
  • piglets are raised the way you want them to be raised
  • usually less expensive than buying pigs raised for you
  • takes more work from you
  • must have butchering appointments

Feeder pigs are the pigs you raise for meat.

Feeder pigs are purchased as weaned piglets from 40-60 pounds and raised over 4-5 months to butchering weight. Feeder pigs can be of any breed or cross of breeds.

These are the most common type of pigs that people wanting their own pork would buy. How To Raise Pigs Naturally will go over the things you need to have to raise happy, healthy porkers!

The low price for feeder pigs is $50 each going up to around $200. In the spring, feeder pigs cost more, as do pigs that have a more meaty build (vs thinly built pigs).

In my area, seasonal variability is a big deal. If that’s the case for you, consider getting pigs at a time when the price is lower, if you have some flexibility in your schedule.

I just sold a litter of 8 feeder pigs, that were a bit on the heavy side at 69 pounds each, for $107.50 each at the Kidron Auction. These were Berkshire cross feeders born this spring.

The reason I’m telling you about my pigs is that these were nice, widely built feeder pigs that I sold at my convenience.

The more common pigs are in your area, the less they will cost, overall. Rare or unusual breeds or crosses will cost more. Feeder pigs that are show prospects will cost more, sometimes significantly more!

Buying Feeder Pigs is an article I wrote with more details on buying feeder pigs specifically.

If you decide to raise feeder pigs, you’ll need to have an appointment at the processor set up before you buy the pigs.

Some processors are booked out until the next year. Make your appointment first, then get the pigs!

Here’s one of my videos, going over what you can expect buying feeder pigs, what you should look for and what you should avoid!

A 230-250 pound pig will cost $250

  • you buy the pig, not raise it
  • less fatty meat
  • smaller sized cuts
  • must have a butchering appointment

Some folks like a bit lighter of a market hog, in the 230-250 pound range. The advantage here is these pigs would have less fatty meat and smaller cuts, ideal if you are a small family or just don’t like mega chops and hams.

These pigs are running about $1 per pound live weight through the auction right now.

You can go to the auction and buy your own or have one of the order buyers at the auction get one for you. (Call the auction and set this up.)

If you are buying this type of a pig privately, it will cost you a bit more than $250, but then you’ll get to talk with the farmer who raised the pig and pick out the pig that will end up in your freezer.

Please note: this is a pig that needs to go straight to the butchering appointment, meaning you’ll need to have an appointment set up far in advance to be sure the processor can fit in your pig.

Some folks around here are selling pigs with butchering appointments already set up. If that’s the case, you’re good to go. If not, make sure you have somewhere to take the pig before you arrange to buy it.

breeding stock pigs eating
The boar is a Berkshire. Look at the color of the pig on the left!

A fat hog at 300+ pounds and butcher ready, costs $384

  • full size pig raised for you
  • plenty of fat for well marbled meat
  • must have butchering appointment

Fat hogs are more commonly sold around here than the 230-250 pound pigs. Buyers in this area like to have the extra fat on the pig to ensure great marbling in the meat and to grind in for sausage.

This is the size we raise our market hogs to and I encourage you to consider it, as well. We like the marbling of the meat, larger chops and getting more pounds of pork per animal.

As above, you can have an order buyer buy for you at auction. You’ll need to arrange to have this service handled for you (call the auction) and have an appointment that the pig can go directly to.

When Is Your Pig Ready To Butcher? will show you how to tell if your pigs are finished (butcher ready).

Currently, 300+ pounder pigs are selling for $1-1.20 per pound through the auction, private sales will be more. This means current auction price for these well finished pigs is $384 each.

Here’s a link to the Mt. Hope Auction Market Reports page, pick a date and download the market report to see the prices for pigs on your chosen date.

Cull sows (for sausage) cost $200 each

Here is a pork option that lots of folks don’t think about, cull sows. If you are really wanting to have sausage only from your pig, consider a cull sow.

You are looking for a sow with some fat on her, don’t get anything thin!

The whole point here is to have plenty of fat to grind in with the sausage, thin sows won’t have the fat! Get a 500+ pounder to ensure she is not thin.

The great news about a cull sow is that she will cost you anywhere from $100-200, depending upon the market, and will have more than 200 pounds of meat. That’s a great price per pound of pork!

True, you still have butchering costs (you have an appointment for her, right?) but you’ll have those costs anyway.

The catch with cull sows is they are not always available and your processing options are limited, go with whole hog sausage.

Whole hogs, custom cut for your order, cost $600

  • gets you home raised pork without caring for pigs
  • costs more than raising pigs yourself
  • butchering appointment is already set up for this pig
  • you pay for all the pork before you get it
  • you’ll need the freezer space to keep the meat

Buying whole or half hogs from a farmer who raised them and is selling pigs privately is becoming much more popular! Small farmers that are selling direct to customers are selling out early in the season.

This pig is going to cost you more than what you would pay to buy a feeder pig and raise it yourself, but that’s because you are paying for the other person’s time and efforts, expect to pay $600+.

If you love the taste of home raised pork but don’t love having the pigs, buying a whole hog is a great option for you if you have the freezer space and are willing to pay at one time for all of the meat.

Breeding stock pigs cost between $500-2,000 each

  • most expensive pigs to buy
  • adults are more of a “sure thing” than piglets
  • you will have some culls to sell

For anyone not finding the pig information in the above categories, you are probably looking for breeding stock pigs.

This is the most variable section of the article, in costs and what you can buy pig wise.

You can get breeding stock pigs as feeder pigs, up to bred sows or ready to use boars and anywhere in between. The most common ages to purchase breeding stock are: feeder pigs, breeding age and bred.

Let me caution you on going with younger breeding stock, I know it’s cheaper, but you also have no idea what that pig is going to look like when it is breeding size and age.

The more experience you have the better you can guess, but you don’t know (no one does).

If you want to get started with the pigs that are most likely to bring you the success you are after, purchase your breeding stock as adults, not feeders.

Until the pig is the parent of a few litters, mom or dad, you are only guessing as to his or her ability.

Buying adult stock makes the likelihood of you getting what you want higher. Still, not guaranteed, but much higher than buying piglets.

The next thing to understand with breeding stock is that not all of your pigs will be of the highest quality, high enough to be sold as breeding stock.

Expect to pay $500 to $2,000 (show pig producers) for your adult pig breeding stock. Breeding stock purchased as feeder pigs would be less per pig, more like $200 each.

Here’s a great little PDF from Oklahoma State University Extension on Selection of Swine Breeding Stock, it’s definitely worth a quick read.

The newer you are the more likely that you’ll need to cull heavily (cull means sell for meat) to move the genetics in your pigs where you need them to be.

Culling a high dollar pig can really hurt, but this is the game of high quality breeding stock and why you pay more for them.

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