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red wattle hogs

 
holly wildcroft
Posts: 7
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Anyone here ever raised Red Wattle Hogs? We are considering raising them, and I'm wondering what percentage of their food can be foraged so we can get an idea for how much feed we will need to buy to supplement. They are a rare breed so it is difficult to find information. Any other tips you have to offer from experience with this breed would be appreciated as well. We have raised pigs but not RW.
 
David Dodge
Posts: 34
Location: College Station, TX
bee trees woodworking
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Holly,

I'm current raising RW hogs and I really enjoy them. My goal is to create a pastured program but right now we are feeding a non-medicated commercial feed. We had them penned initially but opened them up to some unimproved pasture to see how they'd react. They went out and immediately started eating certain grasses to the ground and did some minimal rooting. It gets hot where we are so the digging they did was mostly to create wallows. In the fall we roped off a section of oak forest and they spent most of their days looking for acorns. Our plan is to farrow in late spring, raise the pigs on summer pasture and commercial feed, fatten on acorns to butchering size and then overwinter the breeding stock on cool season pasture like rape and turnips. Still figuring it all out but the RW as a breed is a good choice IMO given the fact they were reintroduced from wild populations where they foraged for 100% of their food.
 
holly wildcroft
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Thank you for responding! That is great to hear and very helpful. We have a small property, 2 acres, so it will be small scale. I'm hoping to be able to grow squash and beets etc. for them in the future, but for this season we will have to buy some feed to finish them up.
Good luck with your hogs!
 
Luke Groce
Posts: 49
Location: Louisville, KY
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If you get very good at rotating them regularly on abundant, ideal, diverse pasture, you may be able to cut feed by 30%. If you grow them squash, make it winter squash. Mine never liked summer squash. Especially not the overgrown stuff i couldn't find buyers for. I can't blame them. It's probably the least flavorful, nutrient-dense thing in the garden.

Kitchen scraps are good. But piglets will die on you if improperly fed. And a finishing hog wants 10+ lbs of 14 percent corn/soy Mix a day. That's a lot of calories to replace with vegetables, to say nothing of the protein.

All that said, I'm trying to find ways to finish out my pigs with less grain, and think it extremely valuable. Keep the grass tender. Keep the water clean. Move em. Get them under fruit and nut trees.
 
Luke Groce
Posts: 49
Location: Louisville, KY
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Abd RWs are great!
 
holly wildcroft
Posts: 7
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Thank you, Luke! Good info. I'm hoping to grow nuts and legumes for them in the future. We are just getting started on a new property. Slow food is, indeed, slow! Haha looking forward to having homegrown pork again! And these pigs seem like a good homestead breed. Thanks for the input!
 
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