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How much milk can you give pigs?

 
Annie Hope
Posts: 88
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Hi,

We have started one jersey/dexter milk cow that is giving us about 4 litres (a gallon) of milk a day, and at present, most of that is going to feed two pigs (a sow, 8 month old boar). We have heard stories about milk making the pigs to fat, but am wondering how much is too much? As long as you are replacing kJ for kJ with their wheat, should it be ok?

I have done some working out below, and am wondering if anyway sees any major flaws with it.
This sets 100g wheat at 1369kJ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat
If we guess that a jersey/dexter gives 6% cream, (similar to sheep) then this would set that at just under 400kJ per 100g.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk
Can I make the assumption that feeding them 3 1/2 litres of full fat milk a day is roughly equivalent to 1 kg of wheat, and cut their diet by that much?

If I work on similar assumptions, then when we make butter, 3 1/2 litres of hand-skimmed milk would equal about 2/3 kg wheat, and 3 litres of whey from cheese making would only be equal to about 1/4 kg wheat.

I know there is also the factor of how much of the kJ is digested, but we sprout our wheat for a few days, and then grind it to improve lycine levels and digestibility, so hopefully most of it is digested.


Annie

 
Adam Klaus
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gardener
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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My understanding is that you can give them as much as they will drink.

I once had an old timer tell me that you could raise a pig on nothing but milk. Seems like a wasteful use of good milk to me, but I got the point.

My advice is to try and find a better utilization of the milk. At the least, skim the cream and make butter for yourself. Butterfat is way to valuable to feed pigs. Or sell some milk to your neighbors. Milk is expensive to produce and very valuable. I feed a lot of skim milk to chickens (and pigs in the past), but I realize that I am getting pennies on the dollar when I do.

good luck!
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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We find that our pigs will drink up to about 3.6 gallons of dairy per hundred weight of pig per day. See:

http://sugarmtnfarm.com/2012/12/28/units-of-hay-per-pig/

http://sugarmtnfarm.com/2012/06/17/all-the-whey-in-the-world/

http://sugarmtnfarm.com/2009/03/06/feeding-hay/

I would also suggest feeding pasture/hay with the milk for balance. We raise pigs on pasture/hay+dairy as their main diet. See:

http://SugarMtnFarm.com/pigs

for more about the diet we use. No commercial feed. The bulk of their diet is the pasture/hay. Works great.
 
Jeremey Weeks
Posts: 206
Location: Eastern Washington, 8 acres, h. zone 5b
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Walter has pointed out what I think is the best source of info for raising pigs. Sugar Mountain is an awesome blog.
 
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