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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Joining 4H Club

Last night we had a two hour visit from our local 4H leader. I invited her over to discuss the details of joining and all the activities they do in our area. We discussed all the animals that can be raised and shown at the fair in September.

We also discussed some of the non-animal stuff like dutch oven cooking, sewing, crocheting, and more. After much debate, we've just about settled on raising some pigs for this upcoming season.

We'll buy them around May and care for them until September when the fair is in town. Luckily for us, the county fair is straight down a road not far from our house. It literally only takes us five minutes to get to the fair.

If I wrote the numbers down correctly, sounds like a pig can be had for around $100 at the approximate age of 3 months old. The feed should run around $200 for the four months we will be raising the animal. Then we can either sell it at the fair or process it with a local butcher for around $120.

This will be our first time in 4H and raising anything other than chickens. Any advice gladly accepted.

~OJD

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rabbits are a cheaper start up and easier for the younger girls to handle without getting hurt. They can be processed at home and taste great, much like chicken. With rabbits you have a year round source of meat.
We started our daughter in 4H with a netherland dwarf buck. He is strictly a show rabbit. We bought him for $40. Our meat rabbit does are a papered Californian, $25 and a half Californian half New Zealand, $10. We just bred them, free from other 4Hs.

Joshua Tolley said...

Or, if you have a suitable location (not like this guy) and a knowledgeable mentor, and you have something to do with the meat that won't require state inspected processing (like a sufficiently large freezer) you can process it yourselves. Definitely a useful skill if you can handle all the yick.

OrangeJeepDad said...

Nice! Right in the driveway!

OrangeJeepDad said...

Nice! Right in the driveway!

OrangeJeepDad said...

We were informed that, as far as showing goes, rabbits were more work for the kids and this will be their first time showing an animal. We were told that you had to report on each little part of the rabbit during the judging (this is the right ear which you can see if free of mites, this is the right eye...) so we're leaning towards the swine for an easier animal to show first year.

Anonymous said...

My daughter is autistic and first showed her rabbit when she was ten years old. Who ever told you it was difficult must never have shown rabbits.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention, meat rabbits you just leave in the cage for judging. No getting stepped on or knocked down. No sure how a swine could ever be considered easier than meat rabbits. Rabbits are the easiest and cheapest meat animal for a 4Her to start with. With the added benefit of being the easier and cleanest animal to butcher. If you are set on doing swine as a starter for girls it's your call. You asked for advice from experienced people. This has been my 2cents worth from an old county girl.

OrangeJeepDad said...

No, I appreciate the input. I'd rather have some variety. Maybe we'll do rabbits for the little girls and swine for older girls. The folks telling us about how easy swine were to show also sell the starter pigs so...

Lisa said...

My brood has been showing animals for 15 yrs, hogs are easy to show since they don't have to be handled. They can be destructive if housed on dirt or somewhere they can root a lot. We use concrete pens for ours, letting them out to exercise as kids walk them around. As far as cost they are more expensive than goats or lambs. However if your fair has an auction that has supporters it can be profitable with a hog too. We only take to auction 3-5 of each class depending on total # of hogs shown and we do not have good supporters. I believe hogs are great 1st project for kids,market goats are 2nd as they can be shown with collars and generally are friendly, market lambs are 3rd easiest as they need to be shown hands on but no halter, steers are most difficult just general size wise. All great meat for freezer and you know what is in it as well.

OrangeJeepDad said...

Informative comment, thank you Lisa!

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