Ennis FFA
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Ennis FFA Swine program

The Ennis FFA has found much success showing swine over the past several years.  The Ennis FFA prides itself on selecting, raising, feeding and showing high quality animals, as well as producing a responsible, well rounded, mature student.  A competitive nature has been breed and is encouraged by all stakeholders in the Ennis FFA Swine Program. 

Goals for the FFA Animal Projects:

1.      This is an educational opportunity as well as an opportunity to instill responsibility into the student.

2.      This should be a family oriented activity.

3.      This will offer the student the opportunity to become competitive with other students.

Expectations for the Year:

1.      The FFA Advisors advice and assistance will be a key for the success of students and animals in the barn.

2.      The Ag Barn will be kept clean and orderly at all times and it is the responsibility of EVERY STUDENT to achieve this expectation.

3.      All animals will be cared for twice a day as suggested by the FFA Advisors.

4.      Communication will also be a key to a successful year.  A very open line of communication will exist between the student, the parents and the FFA Advisor.   

Estimated Budget for Raising a Pig:

This budget is an ESTIMATE of the expenses for raising a pig.  It may be more or less depending on several factors, which are listed below.

·        Cost of Pig: a pig for the Ennis FFA Swine program will cost a minimum of $300.  Pigs can be found cheaper, but are almost always low quality and not worth the money.  Pigs can be as expensive as you want to pay.  Normally pigs cost between $400-$500. Typically speaking, if you spend more, you will get a better pig, but this is not always the case. 

·        Equipment for Pig:  This cost is hard to estimate because each student’s situation is different.  Each student will be required to keep up with their supplies .  $100 is a ballpark figure for the raising process.

·        Feed:  Feed prices will vary depending on brand, store and ingredients. It is estimated $500 for the feeding process.

·        Pen Supplies: The pens are required to have clean shavings on a regular basis and fresh bedding in the pig box.  It is estimated $250 for these supplies.

·        Entry Fee/Validation Fee: Each pig is required to be county validated by the Ellis County Youth Expo rules.  The validation fee is less than $5.  Entry fee for the Ellis County Youth Expo is $21.

·        Medication: The Ennis FFA Advisor will supply some of the required medication for the pigs.  There will be some out of pocket cost is required.

·        Miscellaneous Supplies: Throughout the process, your pig may require additional items, such as feeders, shampoo, brushes, etc.  An estimated $50 should be plenty to cover these supplies. 
·       There is a $50 dollar pen rental to help cover the cost of repairs and such at the barn.

Selection of pig:

·         All pigs must be approved by the Ennis FFA Advisor.  Typically, the FFA Advisor will go to Swine Sales or Breeders barns to select animals.  Students are allowed to ride along as this is a great educational experience in the selection of animals.  Before animals are selected, the FFA Advisor will need to know what breed you prefer and a price range you want to stay in.  The advisor will not purchase an animal out of your requested price range without prior approval by the parents.

·         If a family decides to purchase pigs on their own, the FFA Advisor MUST BE NOTIFIED and given the opportunity to go view the animals BEFORE the purchase is made.

·         Basic Selection Tips:

o   The first thing you look at in selecting a pig is their skeletal structure.  You want a pig that is sound on their feet and legs, and has adequate length and height. 

o   Next you want a pig that has excellent muscle volume and lean expression down there top and through there hams.

o   Lastly, the pig needs to be attractive in its appearance.

o   The animal must come from high quality genetics to have the chance to do well.

Feeding of Pig:

·         Feeding your pig is the most important part of the raising process.  If your pig does not eat, it does not grow.  

·         Feeding changes are made throughout the process depending on the conditioning and appearance of your animal.


·         The Ennis ISD provides all FFA members a facility at the high school campus to house animals.  There is a $50 pen rental fee to help supply some medicines and facility repair.  This is the best place to keep, care for, and receive advice about your animal.  The FFA Advisor is inside the swine barn often. 

·         The Ennis FFA also allows students to keep animals off campus.  The FFA Advisors do their best to make house visits every so often to check on animals, but nothing is guaranteed. 


·         Feeder: Usually black and has two hooks that attach to the fence.

·         Heat Lamp and bulb:  Pigs must be able to stay warm in order to help prevent illness.

·         Small bucket: used for water during the cold nights when the waterers are turned off. 

·         Pig Whip:  can be bought at feed stores or Sullivan Show Supply.  Must use this to train the pig on how to walk.  Will also be used to show.

General Care for Pigs:

·         First and foremost, your pigs need to be checked on TWICE per day.  This means before school AND in the evenings.  Pigs should be checked on and feed in 12 hour intervals. 

o   Example: feed at 8am and 8pm. 

§  Needs to be as close to 12 hours as possible…EVEN WEEKENDS. 

·         Your pig is going to be messy; therefore you need to keep your pen clean.  This means replacing wet shavings and picking up poop.  It is recommended to do this AT LEAST once a week. 

o   The more frequent you pick up the poop, the cleaner the pen stays.

o   If you are in a north side pen, you need to keep the drainage alley cleaned out EVERYDAY!!

·         Pigs are hard to kill, but very easy to determine sickness.  Some general signs to look for are:

o   Not eating

o   Diarrhea

o   Excessive Coughing

o   Eye discharge

o   Hernia or abscess on belly or rear

o   Unusually dry skin or irregular spots on skin

·         If any of these signs are witnessed, please inform the FFA Advisor as soon as possible.  The phone numbers are posted by the door.

The Ennis FFA Swine program is a fun activity in which there is potential for profit to be made…if you do things right.  Showing animals is a major commitment that is taken serious by the Ennis FFA Advisors.  The advisors and experienced parents will be available to help you with everything along the way.  If you have any questions, comments or concerns about joining the program, please feel free to contact Mr. McGahan.


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