The Other Half and I have just gone through the local free ads newspaper, Scot-Ads, browsing for cars, corrugated iron, and the like.
A couple of ads for weaner pigs really caught our attention, not because we want any more at the moment but because of the prices being asked.
This is the third time in the past month that we’ve seen separate buyers asking just £25 each for weaner pigs, far below the costs of buying, feeding and keeping an in-pig sow, then feeding and keeping her and her litter.
What really drives the point home about the ridiculously low prices is that I have a bundle of old Home Farm magazines from 1986, with classified ads from people selling weaners.
Yes, back in 1986 weaner pigs were selling for… £25 each.
With all the associated costs in rearing pigs having risen over the past 20 years, it’s no wonder that farmers and smallholders are not making a return when they’re selling pigs for the same prices as they were back in 1986.
By way of comparson, Home Farm sold for £1 in 1986 while Smallholder sells today for £3; a 10-acre croft with three-bed house at Methlick, Aberdeenshire was priced at offers over £27,500 while an eight-acre croft with two-bed house at Methlick is currently priced at offers over £229,000; and so on.
We will sell cross-breed weaners at point of weaning for £30 (ie eight weeks old) and £35 between eight weeks and 10 weeks (due to the cost of feed, housing etc). Birth-notified pure-bred weaner pigs will start at £40 (up to 10 weeks) and then rise after that.
Registered pedigree pigs will cost upwards of £40 from the off, and be priced according to their quality.
Even at those prices we’ll barely break even on the costs, but as we’re not doing this as a business we can ccept that.
So, it’s clearly daft when some people are selling weaner pigs at the same prices as they were 20 years ago while all the input costs have risen in that time..