Blue Butts

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Thunder5Ranch, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    For whatever reason Blue Butt Pigs have been a growing topic of late in many discussions. A lot of folks don't know what they are or mistakenly believe they are their own breed.

    Blue Butts are derived most commonly from breeding Yorkshire or China Poland boars to Hampshire Sows, about 70% of the resulting offspring have the blue butt trait. They typically grow very fast and have very good pork. This results from what is known as hybrid vigor, crossing breeding two pure breeds usually gives you a much better overall animal.

    I breed Blue Butts here but take a round about way, I use Hampshire/Berkshire cross sows and Hereford/Old Spot cross boars. The result is about 40% Blue Butts, 40% Red Butts and 20% Pink, Dalmation spotted or Straight black. The pork and traits are the same from these lines across the color spectrum, I just think the blue butts look the best :) The important traits are their foraging efficiency, fast growth, and overall increased size and the very high quality pork, that comes from the combining of the 4 pure breed lines. I also very much like that they are very docile, easy going and easy to handle.

    Here are a couple of our Blue Butts in a load of pigs that have cull hereford/spot crosses, a Berkshire, and some Hampshire/Berkshire crosses.

    They are not really practical for a smaller homestead or small farm to breed, as they require at least two pure breed lines to cross breed. But they are well worth buying as weans to finish out if you don't want to run a more complicated breeding program :)
  2. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    I had Blue Butts for feeder pigs in high school, think they were all York X Hamp. I always thought they's purty pigs. :D

    Tasty bacon too, but I never told them that. I just named them all after high school girls I hated, and cackled like a mad hen when it was time to send them to the packer. :D
  3. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    York/Hamp is the most common cross and yep they are fine porkers with good bacon. I wanted to squeeze the Berk in for a bit of marbling and the old spots for a bit more fat and broader shoulders. I name pigs after my inlaws for the same reason ;)
  4. jim2

    jim2 Monkey+++

    Sounds like a good deal for the small guy to buy the feeders. I think bill, Hillary, and Joe for starters.

    Tully Mars and ditch witch like this.
  5. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    If you can buy and keep feeders and finish them out, that is the way to go. It cost around $80 in supplemental grain to raise a feeder to finished on pasture and wood lots, processing cost if you don't do it yourself varies A LOT the packing plant I use is .70 cents per pound custom processing and .80 cents per pound HACCP Inspected processing (Hanging weight). So A hog with a 200 pound hanging weight = $140 processing + $80 feed = $1.10 per pound to finish and put in the freezer in vac bags, raising it yourself VS someone like me raising it and it coming in at $3.25 per pound. Which is still competitive with the grocery store pricing and much better pork ;) The HACCP inspected processing comes into play if you sell retail cuts of meat and has a much higher level of regulation and cost associated with it and the end consumer price there pans out to $4.25-$5.00 per pound depending on the cuts and labor cost of say making the foot long brats ;) But going back DIY is the way to go if you have the space and patience......... Pig in general require a lot of patience as they can be quite the PITA when they want to be.
    Ganado likes this.
  6. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    As a kid in FFA I always raised Hamp/York cross. Still prefer that cross. I've always enjoyed raising hogs, however mine weigh closer to 500-600 pounds before I put them in the freezer. The largest I've raised was back in Colorado and was 763 pounds. Loading her into a two horse trailer I was pushing her butt with the trailer door to close it. Down here Duroc seems to be the most popular breed.
    Ganado likes this.
  7. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Too big and too much feed for my taste :) I will take the 300-350 live weights and 200-240 hanging weights. Have had a few of my sows in the 3 -4 year old range made into cuts and regretted it every time, but they do make great sausages. The feed conversion also steadily declines after 300 pounds costing more and more to put each additional pound on the carcass. Personally I like my own pork in the 125-130 pound hanging weight range. Also a lot harder to sell a whole hog that will hang much over 200 and since this is how I earn 70% of my living, I raise what the bulk of my customers want ;)
    Tully Mars likes this.
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