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Advice About Feeding Pigs Naturally Please  RSS feed

 
James Landreth
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Hi everyone,

I'm getting pigs in a month or so and this is my first time handling them. I'm trying to figure out how to feed them without too much store feed. I have access to a lot of cheap, good quality grain (oats, wheat, and barley). I also have a lot of potatoes from my garden, vegetables in general, butchering scraps, and an area to pasture them. With some commercial feed to round out their diet, will they be ok? They're kune kune and "feeder pig" crosses. I'm not sure what the "feeder" pig is exactly, I assume it's a pig bred for commercial production though.

As always, thanks!
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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That looks like a good mix of stuff to get them started.  The only thing I would not use, would be the butchering scraps.  I give my slaughter and butchering scraps to either my dog or to the chickens depending on what exactly I'm cutting up.  In turn, I have extra eggs, which I will feed to the pigs.  That keeps me from feeding raw meat with potential pathogens to an animal as large and as valuable as a pig.  I never feed birds to birds or mammals to other mammals. I keep extra chickens around just for the purpose of eating rabbit and pig scraps.  I always feed poultry carcasses to the dog.  My pigs can eat as much of anything else as they wish.  I even grow extra forage spaces with mangles, pumpkins, kale and grains for the fall finishing of the pigs.  Plus they get all of the garden scraps, weeds and bad veggies.  I've never seen anything like watching a 500 lb boar crush huge pumpkins with his face, then delicately eat all of the flesh leaving the rind behind.  Powerful and precise.
Pigs are lots of fun
Good luck
 
James Landreth
Posts: 41
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Thanks Craig I've always heard (mostly) good things about pigs. I'm excited but nervous. They're the first large livestock that I've ever tried to raise on my own.

Do you feed rabbit butchering scraps to your chickens raw? I've heard mixed things about doing that. I've been cooking some of the offal for them that I don't want to eat but I don't want to do that with the less savory pieces
 
Jim Fry
Posts: 140
Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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We feed our pigs almost exclusively with fruit and vegetables we pick up for free 5 times a week from a local grocery store. We don't give them any grain at all. The butcher we send them to, to be processed, says that they often have the most fat of any pigs he handles. The fat we keep for soap making, skin care products we make, and candle making, --all very lucrative hand crafted products. The meat we sell at a premium because we advertise the pigs are GMO grain free raised. We've never had a sick pig, they gain fast and look great. We make good money, it costs us almost nothing, and we help make the world a better place by helping the store save money by reducing their landfill costs, and we reduce waste and landfill use. We do keep some shell corn on hand and keep any potatoes we get. Then if we don't get anything from the store because of a holiday or some other happenstance, we cook half and half the corn & potatoes to feed them. If we know ahead of a "no food" day, we soak an appropriate amount of shell corn for a day or several to make a better feed. If the corn starts to ferment a bit before feeding, even better. It makes a more complete food. We also often give the pigs weeds we pull from the gardens. They eat some and play with them some, ...and it makes better soil in their outdoor run. Now and again we clean that area out for garden fertilizer. Happy pigs, great food, cheap cost, good income, better soil, nice circle. .....And as a side benefit we sometimes get so much extra store produce that we have extra to give to families that need help with food expenses. Again a very nice circle of life.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau James and welcome to hog raising. The KuneKune is a semi lard hog that will reach around 300 lbs. in weight. Normally "feeder" pigs are pinks or other large growing hogs.

the KuneKune is a pasture hog, very similar to our American Guinea Hogs (a true lard hog) they are going to prefer grasses and weeds for their food source and that makes them pretty cheap to feed since all you need is pasture land.
To keep them from destroying their pasture, you will want to move them around very frequently so they don't eat all the grass to the roots, also you will need to let that area rest for at least a month or two to recover.

Use a good hog grower food as a supplement and any fruits, vegetables you can.  I would recommend against giving them any meat or meat scraps, offal, etc.
Potatoes would need to be cooked before they can be fed to hogs, they will not eat onions or peppers. Pumpkin  is a great thing to feed since the seeds also act as a wormer on hogs.

When you feed them, they should finish the food within 30 minutes, if it take them longer than that, then you gave them too much food. Hogs can and will get obese and that isn't good for their joints anymore than being overweight is for humans.
Herbs are great food for hogs and many of them do double duty by also being medicinal.

Redhawk
 
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