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Pigs Come Roll in the Mud with Us!

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Old 09/07/08, 07:33 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kitsap Co, WA
Posts: 3,025
Raw potatoes for the piggies, or not?

I've got a few bags of potatoes sprouting in the pantry...if I want to feed them to the pigs, do I need to cook them? I've done a search and there seems to be a divided nation on this...
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Old 09/07/08, 08:40 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 702
I've fed raw potatoes to my pigs before. In fact, just yesterday I threw out a 10 # bag that was starting to weep. The pigs are still alive today.

Vodka is made from potatoes too, so if the potatoes are fermented, you might have some drunken pigs?

I can't think of any good reason pigs couldn't eat potatoes unless they've rotted. But, there's the old "too much of a good thing" deal.
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Old 09/08/08, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2,686
No, no and double no! After having known 3 different people who fed raw potatoes to thier pigs with disastrous results, I wouldn't consider it worth the risk. One lost a litter of 11 just-weaned Kunes, the others lost porkers not far off being ready to kill. All got meal size portions of potatoe rather than heaps thrown into the paddock.

Throw them into a pot and cook them up as you need them while your doing the dishes. I would rather be safe than sorry and the effort to be safe is very little.

P.S. I feed my pigs lots of spuds but all my pig food is cooked so the problem doesn't arise.

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Old 09/08/08, 01:08 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kitsap Co, WA
Posts: 3,025
See? Two diametrically opposed answers. The reason I am confused is that pigs are born to root, you know? Though of course, some roots are poisonous. Didn't farmers turn out their pigs into potato fields after harvest to plow it up and glean the leftovers?

Need more people weighing in here...
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Old 09/08/08, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 227
well i know if they are green at all they are poisonous to humans and animals if not cooked
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Old 09/09/08, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2,686
Yes Snoozy, farmers did turn the pigs out into paddocks to clean up the waste and help prepare it for the following season BUT those pigs worked very hard for what they got. Our forefathers weren't as wasteful as we are and potatoes, or any crop, were too valuable to leave for pigs. Even the small potatoes would have been picked up as seed for the following year so pigs wouldn't have got enough in one hit to do them any harm and they would have spent as much time eating the worms, bugs and grubs that they came across. In other words, it may have taken that pig all day to grub out 10 small potatoes, if it were lucky, whereas your wanting to feed him that amount in 5 minutes. So it's not only what we feed our pigs, it's also how.

My advice is either cook your potatoes with whatever other kitchen waste you have or just give them a couple of raw ones every day until they are gone.

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Old 09/11/08, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dwelling in the state of Confusion - but just passing thru...
Posts: 8,092
When I first started reading this post, and came across our friendly Kiwis' statement about what feeding raw potatoes does to pigs, I was going to take exception, as I've done that without the same results, but then decided to do a little "googling" of my own and see what others with more experience and scientific study had concluded on the subject. After putting in: raw potatoes and pigs, I came across a number of sites and after reading most of them , found that this hyperlink probably said it best of any of them. Hopefully, we have all learned something from this exercise; I know that I did.......and it came at a time that I seriously needed to know about it, as we have two(2) 2 yr old gilts that are going into winter and they aren't eating any less!!! And the price of feed just seems to keep going up, UP, UP ! ! I now have plans to go to an annual farm market in the area that advertises U-pick-up potatoes in the field for .12 / lb.,already dug and believe that several hundred pounds of stored raw potatoes (and then cooking a few pounds daily or as needed) will be a cheap supplemental feed to get them thru. As in all things, moderation along with a balanced diet is best for both man and beast.
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Old 09/11/08, 09:08 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: "Quiet Corner" Connecticut
Posts: 45
Great info Copperkid3! I have a pet pig that I've been feeding cooked potatoes (about 5 pounds a day) and had wondered if there was any issue with it. It's not the only thing he gets but it's a large portion of it. We started giving him this when we weren't sure what else to feed him and he didn't want pig feed...yes, he's spoiled! The only thing I would disagree with in the article is that it could slow the weight gain process due to the water content filling them up and they eat less because of it. My pig is a year old and is about 500 pounds. One thing I can suggest for those who might want to find an easy way to cook potatoes is to do it in the microwave. I mash them with milk but like I said, he's a bit spoiled.
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Old 09/11/08, 09:25 PM
Sugarstone Farm
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 811
Originally Posted by copperkid3 View Post
I came across a number of sites and after reading most of them , found that this hyperlink probably said it best of any of them. Hopefully, we have all learned something from this exercise; I know that I did.......
I'd read that before and thought it was excellent, was just coming on here to post the same link!
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Old 09/12/08, 01:11 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Missouri Ozarks
Posts: 413
Thanks for the great article link. I printed it out for the DW to read tomorrow.

We had over 100lbs of potatos come out of our garden this year, and I now know where some of them will end up!
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Old 09/13/08, 02:51 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kitsap Co, WA
Posts: 3,025
It says that too much water in the feed reduces gain. I've been soaking my feed a bit before I give it to the pigs. Should I not? This is a feed made of ground up grains, not pelletized feed.
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Old 09/13/08, 03:46 PM
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Walter Jeffries
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Mountains of Vermont, Zone 3
Posts: 9,499
Snoozy, our pigs are on pasture and drink whey which is mostly water. They gain fine so I wouldn't worry about it. Adding water to the feed to make a mash may make it more digestible which would be good. A pig's gotta drink!


Sugar Mountain Farm
in the mountains of Vermont
__________________ -- Pastured Pigs, Poultry, Sheep, Dogs and Kids
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Old 09/13/08, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: LA.
Posts: 111
I have been feeding my pigs raw sweet potatoes for three yrs and have not had any problem. I dump a large bin at a time and they go hog wild for it
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