• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Anyboby providing near 100% of their animals diets via their own land?

 
Jay Peters
Posts: 74
Location: Montreal, QC mostly. Developing in Southern New Brunswick, Canada.
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi All,

I don't have pigs, and will be posting this same question regarding birds too, but I'm curious who has been able to completely or nearly cut outside feed sources for their animals in favour of homegrown/foraged and how they're doing it.

I'm particularly interested in terms of those who need to overwinter animals indoors for long-ish periods. I would like to eventually invest in some small livestock, with the hope I could eventually feed them off my land solely...but its all hypothetical for me at this point. I'm in NB, Canada, so its of particular interest to know how folks are doing it when forage/grazing is not available part of the year. The most common sources of winter feed seem to be things that are mostly grown in vast monocultures. Grains and Hay come to mind for various different creatures. Is anyone growing enough of these staples to overwinter their animals? If so are you doing it via some sort of polyculture? If yes what kind of harvesting methods are used? Maybe you're still purchasing or bartering for feed, but you're getting it from a permie neighbor specializing in such things..if so, what are their growing practices?

I'm sure you all see what I'm getting at.

Thanks!
j

 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nowhere close to being able to do this, but wanted to share they'll eat the immature fruit from fruit trees with relish, I've given mine the wormy apples, crowded pears, etc. by the bucketful. In fall they can eat chestnuts, acorns, hickories, walnuts, etc. They root up earthworms and grubs as well as roots and tubers in the pasture and happily eat any animals that die, also guts from animals butchered. They also really like moldy hay. As in they go nuts for it and do a happy dance when you give it to them.

Small pigs like pot belly pigs eat a lot less than the full-sized ones for overwintering if you want to keep a breeding pair/trio.

If you read Foxfire, they used to just turn the pigs loose to fend for themselves then find them in the fall for "harvest". I guess with the wild hog problems now that's not PC at all, tho.
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
42
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We produce nearly 100% of our livestocks needs. We are capable of doing 100% but there are some free resources that we avail ourselves of when appropriate. We do buy in winter hay but we would produce our own. I would rather buy it in because that imports those nutrients to our soil and it is a time savings as well as meaning we can graze pastures that would otherwise be reserved for hay. If we produced our winter hay I would either cut the number of pigs down to 300 or expand hay fields.

Like wise we can and have produced our own food for years but we enjoy the luxuries of chocolate, bananas and such that we can't grow here in the mountains of northern Vermont. Winter is a wee bit too long.

Its good to be able to do it, but don't be fanatical.

Cheers,

-Walter Jeffries
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic