Life Cycle of a Market Pig
The life cycle of a market pig lasts about 25 to 28 weeks or between six and seven months. They typically weigh 2 to 3 pounds at birth and are nurtured to their market weight of up to 280 pounds.
114 days — (3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days)
• Gilts (female pigs) reach maturity and are bred at 170 to 220 days of age.
• After delivering their first litter of pigs, gilts are called sows.
• Gestation (pregnancy) is about 114 days, or 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days.
• Piglets weigh 2 to 3 pounds at birth.
Farrowing (birth to weaning)
21 days — (3 weeks)
• Sows and gilts are moved to a farrowing barn when ready to give birth (farrow).
• Usually, a sow or gilt will have 12 to 13 pigs per litter.
• Sows nurse piglets until they are weaned at about 21 days of age.
• Piglets weigh 13 to 15 pounds at weaning.
42 to 56 days — (6 to 8 weeks)
• After weaning, piglets are moved to a nursery or to a wean-to finish barn and are housed with piglets from other litters.
• Specialized temperature controls and ventilation support the newly weaned piglets.
• Piglets are fed a corn/soybean meal diet, eating 1.4 to 4 lbs. per day.
• In this phase, pigs grow to 50 to 60 lbs.
Growing and Finishing
115 to 120 days — (16 to 17 weeks)
• Pigs are moved from the nursery to a finishing barn to accommodate their continued growth. If pigs are in a wean-to-finish barn, they remain there.
• In the grow/finish phase, pigs consume 6 to 10 lbs. of feed daily.
• A diet typically consists of corn and soybean meal, as well as vitamins and minerals to ensure proper health and growth of the pigs.
• As the pigs grow, they are monitored daily to ensure that they are healthy.
• At about six months of age, the pigs weigh about 280 lbs. and are then market ready.