We've got 3 piglets out on pasture and I'm noticing many people don't seem to feed pellet diets but just corn or other grains with w/e they toss out to them.
Right now, I buy Producer's Pride Hog Grower 15%-protein pelleted feed for $14 a 50# bag.
Wondering if there is other feed I can give them instead that would still be healthy for them, but a lot cheaper. We have no storage for huge amounts of grain, so that's not possible.
They are pastured, but still learning what to do with the grass. So basically, I am wanting a supplemental feed. They do get scraps, but that's rare as it's only the two of us and we don't eat a lot.
There's Producer's Pride All-Stock 12% Dry Sweet Feed for $11. I feed this to my birds; chickens, ducks and guinea fowl.
Producer's Pride Whole Corn for $12.
I was told Producer's Pride® Calf Starter for $15 could be used to feed pastured rabbits. They didn't have any, so I use Purina 4-Square Stocker/Grower Supreme 14N for $13, its a supplemental feed for pastured beef cattle and creep feed for nursing beef calves. Since my rabbits are pastured, it's ok.
The whole grains they have are all expensive, seems like all that would be cheaper is just whole corn. How healthy is that really?
The main problem with straight corn is that it's only 7-9% protein. That depends on what label you read on a particular day. You have to find a source of protein and amino acids to build muscle. Many use whey or milk as a supplementary feed.
Kitchen scraps, bread, milk, good quality hay(lots if you can), garden veggies(including whole stocks of corn), OATS(yes, I said oats, it seems to help prevent mastisis)and whole corn(holds more protein whole, I believe)and ample forage of grass and weeds.
These are the things I fed my pigs, and they done well.
A hog mash will be much cheaper. As to storage I buy 1000 lbs at a time. That will fit in four or five 55 gallon drums. That's how I store mine. This lasts me about 3 weeks. A local feed mill will grind it for you. Neat thing about that is you can talk to some people and get an idea of what they use and customize it to fit your needs/wants.
Be careful about measuring a feed by cost per pound. What you want is the least cost feed per pound of GAIN.
I'm going to say it again to make sure that it's clear. What you want is to have a pig at slaughter weight for the lowest cost. If you feed a balanced ration that is formulated for that pig, you will find that your cost-per-pound of finished animal is usually lower than if you pick the lowest cost feed per pound.
Why? Because industry has spent a lot of time and money figuring out what a pig needs to grow efficiently, and the formulated, balanced ration contains all of that and in the quantities needed.
Believe me, if you could get efficient gain out of straight oats or barley or whatever, you'd see the professional pig folks doing that, but you don't, because it doesnt make economic sense.
If you're going to buy a feed, buy the feed for that breed of animal is my advice. What a cow needs to grow is not what a pig needs.