Beginning with pigs and knowing what is best for you as a beginner is something very dear to my heart. You will already know that you want to own pigs, as it has been your passion for a while. As with any purchase you make in your life you have to make sure that you have done the necessary research, ask questions, read – if necessary – and visit people. Basically do all the investigations you have to do to make sure you have made the right decision in owning this wonderful animal and once you have chosen the breed then please make sure you purchase your breed from a reputable breeder. There are so many “breeders” who are claiming to be “experienced” and feel the justification is in the size of their herd or the amount of farrowings they have experienced it is sad to say this is not so. See more than one breeder. The breed society groups will be able to help you and advise you of breeders near to you or sometimes you may have to travel for a good breeder but in the long run it will be worth it.
When first starting out, I would suggest two weaners for fattening and if you enjoyed this experience then perhaps have one registered gilt and one weaner. Jumping in with two feet always more than lightly ends in disaster, resulting in people saying it is too much hard work having two farrowings so close together, then realising they had to go to work the next day and take children to school. Think about the logistics and how it will affect you. Start small and grow and enjoy the experience in doing so.