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what you feeding your hogs?

 
mike clark
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hey all,i feed my pigs a lot of veggies,some bread,and recently I have got icecream,they also have run of about an acre plus for four sows and a boar.what do you feed in your area?
 
Paul Ewing
Posts: 127
Location: Boyd, Texas
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We feed ours a non-GMO, non-soy based feed along with what they get from the pasture. I looked into feeding whey, milk and grocery rejects but in Texas you are required to have a Garbage Feeding License to feed any of that. All meat based items are now banned. The problem with the Garbage Feeding License (besides being very bad for marketing) is that it also allows pop inspections of your operation by the state agencies. I don't mind customers coming to look at things, but I don't want bureaucrats wandering around looking for ways to justify their paychecks.
 
Paul Ewing
Posts: 127
Location: Boyd, Texas
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We are also planting hundreds of fruit and nut trees to take over much of the feed requirements a la J. Russell Smith's book Tree Crops. I am also thinking about doing this in a combination with hogging down some crops like non-gmo corn and melons.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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We're buying non-GMO corn and oats and making fermented grains in a recycled pickle barrel. I have a paddock system that they are ruining with their rooting, so I've been bagging grass with the push mower to feed them daily. They like zucchini, cucumbers, etc. that get too big or plentiful in the garden. Last year I fed them buckets of apple drops/thinnings and they never seemed to get tired of them. The sour ones would sometimes make them vomit but they'd go right back to eating them. I'm planting corn/squash/pumpkins/black-eyed peas in the paddock our boar plowed, and apple trees around the perimeter, one every 16 feet. They also relish cattails, whole plant. I wont let them near my pond but when the water is the right level I can pull up an armful and give them to the pigs.
 
ben harpo
Posts: 76
Location: Illinois, zone 6b
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I'm getting ready to purchase hog feed for this season. Non-GMO's available in my area are corn, field peas, and oats. I wish I had a source for non-GMO wheat, but not right now. No whey in this area that I have found.

Looking at 2/3 corn, 1/3 field peas. Plus pasture and vegetable scrap. Do people think this is good?
 
Paul Ewing
Posts: 127
Location: Boyd, Texas
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All commercially available wheat is non-GMO. There were some test plots years ago and the escaped stuff up in Oregon last year, but nothing is supposed to be in the marketplace. You are lucky you can find non-GOM corn. Most of it I have found is Roundup Ready stuff.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
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Location: zone 6b
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Another thing to ask if you buy directly from the farmer is whether the crops were sprayed by Round-Up prior to harvest. It's a new practice, they kill the plants just before harvest so they dry out and go through the machinery more easily. Peas, beans, and small grains are what they are pushing the practice on. Around here, even if it's not GMO they usually spray herbicide prior to planting. That's the wonderful new "no-till" farming way. Avoid mechanical cultivation by spraying poison instead.

There was one farmer here who was willing to plant non-GMO corn but I couldn't find him enough people who said they'd be willing to buy it from him. It was very disappointing.
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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mike clark wrote:hey all,i feed my pigs a lot of veggies,some bread,and recently I have got icecream,they also have run of about an acre plus for four sows and a boar.what do you feed in your area?


The primary feed of our pigs is pasture. That makes up about 80% of what they eat by dry matter intake - how one measures diet since once you know the % and item everything else falls into place. About 7% of their diet is dairy, mostly whey, as available. Sometimes we get that much, sometimes the local cheese and butter maker is having a slow time and we get half that. Seasonally available we have pumpkins, sunflowers, apples, pears, turnips, beets, mangels, etc that we grow in our winter paddocks and orchards. We get a little bit of spent barley from a local brew pub - that's got good protein and minerals but is mostly fiber. There are nuts including from our native beech trees, maple seeds, and such. There is the occasional treat of bread which makes a great training motivator. See:

http://SugarMtnFarm.com/pigs

and follow the feed links. Managed rotational grazing is key for us. Planting up our pastures to higher quality has been key. Seed is cheaper than feed.

-Walter
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1251
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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forest garden hugelkultur
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I've been getting calls from local landscapers about the number of apples dropping this year. A lot of home owners have never seen so many apples and better yet, they just want them gone. It's working out just right. I'm getting all the apples for the pigs and chickens to eat and at the same time, I'm seeding tons of new fruit trees in the summer paddocks via all the missed seeds from the fruit. I cleared out something like 100 gallons of apples from one lawn last week and there are still at least as many in the tree ready to fall. The pigs have access to a lot of things besides the apples but is there a possiblility of too many apples? They seem to eat them until they are nearly falling over from the binge.

 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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Craig Dobbelyu wrote:I've been getting calls from local landscapers about the number of apples dropping this year. A lot of home owners have never seen so many apples and better yet, they just want them gone. It's working out just right. I'm getting all the apples for the pigs and chickens to eat and at the same time, I'm seeding tons of new fruit trees in the summer paddocks via all the missed seeds from the fruit. I cleared out something like 100 gallons of apples from one lawn last week and there are still at least as many in the tree ready to fall. The pigs have access to a lot of things besides the apples but is there a possiblility of too many apples? They seem to eat them until they are nearly falling over from the binge.


It has been an amazing apple year. Our trees look like they're going to break - we've been picking smaller fruit to reduce the load. Apples are great food and we've free fed huge amounts with never a problem. Note that is with free access to pasture so they naturally balance what they eat.

I am working to gradually plant hundreds of more apple trees along our pastures as this is a great source of food we can produce ourselves for our livestock that falls from August to October. I particularly like doing double fence lines which protect the fruit and nut trees where the bottom wires are set to creep the smaller animals.

-Walter
 
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