Here in my neck of the woods, finishing your home hog on something other than pig chow is commonplace. I've heard of neighbors using avocados and sugar cane as half the feed the last month. Macnut pig is common. So is mango pig. A friend just recently finished their barrow on barley and papaya and said the meat was great. My own hog will be finished on macnuts and barley, since I grow plenty of macnuts and one sack of barley should do the job.
I don't know how much influence these finishing diets make, but I can attest to the fact that local pork tastes way better than hunted pig or store bought pork.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
Location: Torrance, Ca
posted 4 years ago
I agree. Nothing worse than store bought pork. The other white meat is worthless in flavor.
I found the article while looking up stuff I could easily grow to supplement their pasture diet. I also plan on planting walnut trees in pasture. I may separate pastures for multiple breeds by what I plan on finishing them with. Peanuts are also good I hear. During their life up to 250lb, I want to give them the best and a well rounded diet. I also figure that 1/3 of what I grow aquaponically in my greenhouses will be dedicated to stock feed. maybe as much as 3/4 depending on what land I can get, water availability for irrigation of pasture, etc. I also plan on using a good amount of fodder.
I figure I have about 3 years before I get my property, to learn about how to do it right. I learned so much about pigs just today, it has my head spinning. I thought I already knew a lot. Haha, the moment ya think that, you need to research and learn what ya thought ya already knew. I had been basing all my ideas on old time traditions of butchering in December to provide one years curing time for the following years Christmas hams. As it turns out, I'll probably have way more hams than I will want when just starting up over the first couple years. And that's before I even plan on getting my hands on a couple breeds I want to produce with 100% genetic purity.
Some of the best hams in the world come from pigs that are raised on acorns in the Pyrenees. One thing to keep in mind is that if you are finishing a hog on something for flavor it will take at least a month to have any affect. Another words, don't feed them Advocados a week before slaughter and expect them to change the flavor of the pork at all. If a pig is kept on pasture, given clean water and not fed garbage it will taste great. Anything else, in my opinion, is just window dressing (although it can be very nice window dressing).