Raising our own food is a big deal and a major part of our homestead life. One of our favorite things to do is create meals solely from what we’ve raised and grown ourselves. We raise our own beef cattle, both meat and laying hens, vegetables and fruits, and pigs. Raising livestock is kind of addicting.

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Pigs are a great option when it comes to raising your own meat, especially when you watch the grocery store prices skyrocket for pork. We’ve found it easier to raise pigs in pairs. It takes about the same amount of work and it keeps them from getting lonely.

If you are on the fence about whether or not to raise pigs, here are 10 reasons why you should:

1. It is easier and cheaper to raise a few pigs than it is cattle or sheep.

2. Pigs don’t require the space that larger animals do.

3. The infrastructure pigs need is minimal and does not require a big investment.

4. Depending on your lifestyle, you can raise pigs during the summer and butcher them come winter. They need not be a year-round job.

5. They are good multi-taskers, tilling ground you want to plant and consuming leftover produce, milk, eggs and whatever extras you have.

6. Their manure makes for some very outstanding fertilizer.

7. Butchering a pig is easier than butchering a steer or lamb.

8. Since you can use almost the entire animal in some way or other, little goes to waste. You not only get meat but lard, which has a number of uses, among them, as an ingredient in soap.

9. Homestead-raised pork is absolutely delicious, bearing scant resemblance to what you buy at the supermarket, is cheaper and you know exactly what the pigs were fed.

10. Pigs are fun to raise, very smart and family friendly.

RELATED: 6 Best Breeds Of Dairy Cows

This article originally published in THE NEW PIONEER® Spring 2015 issue. Print and Digital Subscriptions to THE NEW PIONEER magazine are available here.

  • Genevieve Malouin Diraddo

    Nah, we’re vegetarians. I don’t have the heart to kill any animal; never mind one that is “very smart and family friendly.” I have heard that they make great pets though – smarter than dogs. 🙂

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