We weighed and tagged two barrows, (castrated males), for the Lafayette County Fair. I like Lafayette County’s protocol. Barrows are identified in early April. It’s about a 110 day project until the fair. Records need to be kept, and the pig’s feed and overall cost is posted at the fair. Pigs need to weigh a minimum of 220 lbs to sell in the auction, so a child who doesn’t take care of his/her pig will feel a loss when it’s not allowed to sell. Almost all of the pigs make weight, so it’s not exceedingly difficult.
It can be a great project with a financial reward at the end. Parents can still do all the work of course, but it’s not as bad as when I first started showing. A Dad bragged about how he purchased what would become the Grand Champion barrow two days before the fair, and his daughter didn’t see the pig until she walked into the showring.
We make Shepherd do his own work, just like we make both boys do their chores twice a day. It would be easier to do the chores myself, so I understand why busy parents may be tempted to do that. However, I think it would be better to skip a project than to do the work for the child.
Shepherd is keeping feed records, and we have a beginning weight and we will have an ending weight, so I’m interested to see the feed efficiency. The pigs weighed 86 and 68 lbs, so to weigh 220 lbs at the fair will require an average daily gain of about a pound and a half per day. I’ll let you know how everything turns out.