Taping a Pig

So we’ve covered pigs eating, pigs wallowing in mud and pigs sitting in a tub.  Today, how about something that might actually be of practical benefit to homesteaders raising pigs?

There is an easy way to get a reasonably accurate estimate of a pig’s weight.  To do that run a tape measure behind the pig’s front legs, around the heart girth, and directly behind the shoulders. The pig’s weight is 10.1079 times the girth in inches, minus 205.7492.


This one measures 38 inches. She therefore weighs about 178 pounds.

Obviously you don’t need to go out four decimal places to get the same basic answer. That’s just the way I learned it.

Most folks these days say the ideal processing weight is 250-275 pounds. I’m not sure about that. Yes there is less fat at that weight, but I think the primary reason pigs are processed at that weight is because they convert feed to pounds much less efficiently once they get past 275.  So that’s the point at which they’re the most profitable.  Country folk who raised pigs for their families would have thought it crazy to process a pig when it only weighed 250 pounds.

We will probably process some at that weight, but we’ll keep at least two until they’re around 400 pounds or so.  Those will become whole-hog sausage.

I doubt there is anyone reading this who has a need to estimate a pig’s weight, but didn’t already know how to do it.  But just in case.

And for everyone else, you now have a bit of farm-life trivia you can use to impress or amuse your friends.