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December 16, 2018

Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs by Kelly Klober ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

This is not a book we normally review on Girl Who Reads, but what you may not know is that I was once a hog farmer. It was my 4-H/FFA project starting when I was 13 (my parents had farmed when I was really little but we weren't currently farming). By the time I graduated high school I had a herd of 18 hogs though through the years I had many more between the show markets that I bought and the feeder pigs I bred and sold to consumers. Earlier this year I joined a local chapter of the National Ladies Homestead Gathering. So when I saw Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs on Netgalley I thought it would be interesting to see what was currently going on in the swine world.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs
December 2018; Storey Publishing
978-1635860436; ebook, print (344 pages)
nonfiction, agriculture
It is an excellent resource for the new hog farmer. I would also recommend it to any who has seen the cute pig pictures on social media and thought 'I want one'. This book will give you a real look into the work that must go into working with pigs. Even I was thinking, "Maybe I won't ever go back to livestock raising." (He even touches on potbelly and miniature pigs, if you are thinking of getting one of those as a pet.)

There is a lot of information in this guide. Klober doesn't assume anything and starts with the very basics, but even experienced hog farmers will find useful information on maintaining and improving their own herd. It is written more as a textbook and with the way it is organized you can easily go to the chapter that you need for the information you want.  Within chapters, he often repeats important information that was mentioned in an earlier chapter, but still applies to the topic of the current chapter. That way if you do delve into the middle of the book, say the chapter on selecting breeding stock there will be some information already covered in setting up to raise hogs.

I think the best part was the resources in the appendix. I love templates and there was some for setting up your records. Also, there's a list by month of what other things are happening on the farm so if you are already farming and thinking of adding hogs you can see how they fit into the seasonal workload of a diverse farm.

As a bonus, there are some really great photos included throughout the book. It made me nostalgic for my hog days, particularly when I read the chapter on showing pigs.

Klober definitely demonstrated a breadth of knowledge and depth of experience. This is the 4th edition and he wrote the previous editions. He often mentions historical information on the swine industry to give perspective on where the industry is now and where it might be going.

My only caveat for recommending this as a great resource is if you are outside the midwest you will want to look for a regional supplement. There were a few times that I thought "I don't think that is how it is in the south". Klober occasionally mentions region-specific details, but more often he just states things may be different in regions outside his home region of the Midwest.

Other than that caveat, I think anyone thinking about raising pigs (particularly if you haven't raised livestock before) or is relatively new to raising hogs should pick up this book.

I think it is ironic this book is slated to be released on December 25 when many families will be enjoying their Christmas ham. Or maybe it is perfect timing.

Buy Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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  1. Good review! We had pigs when I was young as my brother raised three for 4-H. My husband and I also had pigs when our children were toddlers. He did all that work and boy would they run to him when they saw him coming.
    This sounds like a good resource. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Most of mine knew there names and were super sweet (even the boars). My sow got out one day when a tree fell on the fence. She couldn't get back in so she came to the basement door and knocked (I stored the feed in the basement and used that door everyday when bringing out her food).