Weighing pigs

Yes, you can weigh with a tape measure
A pig weigher is well beyond our means at £400 plus for a good, used one, so how do we weigh our pigs? With this — a weighing band. It’s a tape measure with a weight scale that can be used to determine the live weight of cattle or the likely dead weight of pigs (although you measure the pig when it’s alive).
Simply pop the tape around the pig and read off the weight
In theory, measuring the pig is simple. You simply pass the tape under the pig’s belly, move it up to just behind the forelegs and then read off the weight at the point where the end of the tape meets itself. In practice, it’s rather more difficult unless you’ve prepared the pigs in advance.
Weeks of preparation are needed
I start the weighing process about four weeks before I intend to the do the first measurement—about eight weeks before slaughter. I touch the pigs each time I feed them, talk to them, stroke them and gradually build up to running a hand right around their sides and under them. Eventually, they allow me to do this without a shiver or a step away, which means they’re ready to be measured. Although even then, they do like to jump now and again. For the record, Dolly and Grolly should produce carcasses weighing 63kg and 70kg respectively. We aim for 80kg so they’ll be with us for another few weeks yet, although they may have to be separated if the weight difference doesn’t narrow.

6 Responses to “Weighing pigs”

  1. Expect fewer posts he says, and then does three in one day! I’m not complaining though as they make interesting reading…

  2. Four posts actually — and I’ve still only covered about half of what we did today. We do work out butts off… :D

  3. Ah okay so the pigs you will be slaughtering do have names. When both my grandparents were growing up on the farms they lived on. Only the milking cow and the mules had names. Anything else that was to be eaten didn’t get one.

  4. Generally, only the breeding stock have names. However, some of the eaters/sellers acquire names thanks to their size, colour, mannerisms, sounds etc. Others are given “giggle” names by the boys — hence Dolly and Grolly.

    We don’t have any qualms about eating or selling them, whether named or not, although that can shock city people and anthropomorphists. Many people seem to feel that if you name them, you can’t eat them because you’ve invested in them emotionally.

    Well, we’re too pragmatic for that. Our animals are well cared for – and then they’re eaten.

  5. Morgan O' Connell Reply 1 April, 2009 at 13:49

    Where did you buy this weigh band? Do you recall how much it cost?



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