• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Pig food for temperate climate, in self-harvesting (grazing) systems.

 
hans muster
Posts: 24
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi permies,

Which plants are good for pigs in temperate climate?
Often cited are (here adapted from Mollisons designers manual)

TREES
Oaks
Mulberry
Chestnuts

ROOTS
Sunnchokes
Cattails
Potatoes
Comfrey

GREENS
Chicory
Legumes&grasses

FRUITS
Apples,
Pears
Plums


Walter Jeffries writes a lot about apples as well. (Hi if you read, and thanks for your blog! great source of inspiration)

What looks as a great fruit for pigs is the common medlar Mespilus germanica. It does not take long to fruit, and is ripe in winter, when most others are gone. It is really high in sugars, and they like it. I am sowing a lot of them...

Does anyone have other plants (especially for wet conditions, waterlogged soils) good for pigs?


Borrago officinalis
(borage) is high in protein, and looks great for pigs as well.

Fraxinus excelsior (ash) leaves seems good for pigs as well.

Sorbus domestica (service tree) fruits seem good for them as well.

What else? as said, especially for wet soils.

Best,
Hans
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
42
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We grow a lot of brassica family plants for our pigs. Kale, rape, turnips, broccoli... Both in our winter paddocks that become summer gardens and also out in the pastures. We also grow pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, sunchokes, beets, mangels, sugar beets and chicory.

-Walter
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 596
Location: Victoria BC
27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
During an internship on Vancouver Island last year, we found the pigs REALLY liked western skunk cabbage(Lysichiton americanus). It was like candy to them, a handful of leaves was a better attractant for an escaped pig than a bucket of feed. Certainly fits the request for liking wet areas, though I've no idea how to cultivate it.

On the other hand, apparently the leaves contain calcium oxalate, which sounds like an argument against making it a major part of their feed... And the roots, which they did indeed root for, are apparently a laxative/cathartic sought by bears after hibernation... could be exciting. No problems were experienced on that site where 6 growing pigs ate all the skunk cabbage they could find in a 3/4 acre area.


Other than that, alder foliage was well received.
 
hans muster
Posts: 24
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks!

Walter:
Here they don't like brassicas that much. (or yet. They needed some time to get used to the sunchokes, now they love it.)

Dillon:
I will avoid the skunk cabbage, as it is listed in the worst 100 invasive species in Europe (where the farm is). If it was already here I would use it, but there are a few nice sites in the area which have already many threats. I try to find an local alternative. But alder is a good tip, it grows well in the area. How was the setup of the farm there? Did you cut and carry the alders, or were they thrown over the fence?

Hans
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 596
Location: Victoria BC
27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can definitely see avoiding skunk cabbage where it's invasive; those deep roots are super hard to deal with by hand. We were very pleased with the pigs enthusiasm in removing them for us.

With the alder, we happened to be taking down some 30+ foot saplings near the fence for garden poles and general clearing purposes; we just tossed the branches over the fence. I'm not sure how time and space efficient it would be to harvest and transport as a dedicated pig-food producer, but if for example you are pollarding small alders for nitrogen fixation in a food forest whilst harvesting the main trunks for garden stakes, and thw pigs happen to be nearby, it's a nice added function.
 
hans muster
Posts: 24
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks
The plan was anyway to have hedges between the small fields, and pollarding alder in there would be a good idea.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic