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Written by Kindra Plumb   

Selecting the right market hog

One of the most popular 4-H livestock projects throughout the state of Colorado continues to be the market swine project. During the 2012-13 4-H year, there were 2,195 market swine members statewide. Enrollment just ended for the 2013-14 4-H year in Phillips County. There are 30 Phillips County 4-H’ers enrolled in the market swine project.

Now that members have enrolled in the market swine project, many are starting to think about where they are going to purchase their pigs from and also the traits and characteristics of good market hogs.

Phillips County requires that market hogs weigh between 230-300 pounds to make the weight requirements to show at county fair. Market hogs below or above this weight can still show but are unable to sell in the Junior Livestock Sale.

One lesson that market swine exhibitors need to understand from the beginning of their project is acceptable market weight ranges for animals that will be immediately entering the food chain. Packing plants want animals in the optimal weight ranges so they can effectively process the animal and sell the meat.

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Holyoke Enterprise February 20, 2014