Want to know how much does your pig weigh? It’s possible to estimate how much your pig weighs simply by using a tape measure (or string, piece of baling twine, etc…) and a calculator!
By taking 2 simple measurements and applying them to a formula, you can get a general idea of the live weight of your hog. We’ve been using it for several years in order to gauge when our pigs would be ready for slaughter.
Since it would seem that we’re going to continue butchering our own meat, we decided to invest in a hanging scale with some of the savings we saw this year by raising our hogs differently than the year before.
Having the scale in our possession allowed for us to have a more accurate hanging weight for our records. In years past, we would weigh the broken down sections of the hog on our kitchen scale and then add them all back up. Ounces and all.
It was money well spent!
It also allowed us to test out the formula for weighing the pigs and estimate what the scale would show their live weight to be.
According to this method, if you take a couple of measurements and then apply them to a formula, you can calculate how many pounds your pig weighs. The weight also depends on your selected hog breed. There are some breeds that practically yield a lighter weight.
We like to do this to make sure they’re gaining well and to schedule when they will need to be butchered. The pigs come so small and look so big, we always think they’re ready long before they actually are!
If you’d like to make pork butter with me along with many other amazing prepared and cured pork recipes including prosciutto, capicola, bacon, guanciale, pate, rillettes, and more join us in December for our Homestead Hog Butchering Workshop in central Ohio!
How to Estimate Live Hog Weight
This trick is so cool! How awesome is it that you can know how much the weight of a pig is without using a scale? It’s like your own pig weight calculator!
There are two measurements to take. It’s best to start this practice while the pigs are younger so they get used to it. Just makes it easier on you.
And of course, the best time to do it is while they are eating. Otherwise, they’ll try to eat you while you do it. Just kidding. No, I’m not.
The first measurement is the length.
That’s from the base of the tail…
All the way to between the ears.
The second measurement is the heart girth.
Then apply those numbers to the following formula:
Heart Girth Squared X Length Divided by 400
Using this method on the day of slaughter this year we estimated the weight of our hog to be about 350 pounds.
Her length was 56″ and her heart girth was 50″.
50 X 50 X 56 = 140,000
140,000/400 = 350
Sure enough, her live weight (with all of the organs, head, etc…) was 350 pounds!! Once the carcass was eviscerated and the hanging weight (what the butchers use to charge you by) was taken, there were 250 pounds left.
For our second hog, the live weight was 335 pounds, and once she was eviscerated the hanging weight was 215 pounds, just to give you an idea of how to calculate your hanging weight based on the live weight.
Suggested Read: 10 Keys to Successful Livestock Farming