pumpkins for pigs

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by chrisntiff, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. chrisntiff

    chrisntiff Well-Known Member

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    I have just recently procured a whole bunch of blemished pumpkins from a local halloween dealer. They assured me I would be able to come and pick-up a couple of skids of not quite right pumpkins every week or so. I currently run 5 sows and a boar on pasture and was hoping for advice on feeding this new found feed. We currently rotate them on pasture and feed them all the garden scraps as well as produce from our local grocery that has expired. I add sbom unscientifically to average out the protein content. If I can get this much pumpkin can I store it successfully for the entire Year? I would appreciate any advice anyone will offer.

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  2. grimm_mojo

    grimm_mojo Well-Known Member

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    my buddy an me feed pumpkins to are pigs when we get them we normally toss them in an let the pigs have a feast but they store ok as long as it is cool or cold out once it starts warming up dont have much luck storing them but the pigs love them an we let them have at them
     

  3. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Chris, sometimes not all of them will store too well and you will have to go through them now and again to sort them out but if you have somewhere cool, dry and with some sort of air current, they usually store reasonably well.

    They make excellent pig tucker so grab as many as you can get - I used to chuck them into the paddock and whack them in half with a spade.

    Be wary about feeding them to pregnanat sows though. No, there not bad for them but the piglets come out covered in orange rather than clear membrane. The first time it happened I nearly had a blue fit before the penny dropped and I realised why the membrane was orange.:rolleyes:

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  4. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    I read a really good article online a few years ago. I can't recall where it was from, but it was some university that did a study (back in the 1950's or 60s) on feeding pigs pumpkins.

    They found the pigs grew well on pumpkins, but that the meat did take on an orange hue. I believe taste was unaffected. A hour on google should turn up the article if it's still available.

    Pete
     
  5. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    Pumpkins are great. I don't know if true or not, but was told pumpkin seeds were a natural wormer. Depending on the size of pumpkin, you may have to cut in half for the hogs. If they are smaller and they can get a bite on them then leave whole. Pumpkins will store pretty good if in a cooler area. I stashed mine along the woodline on a bed of pine needles. Sometimes wildlife will come nibble on them, groundhogs will eat a bigger portion but not more that a quater of a pumpkin. If you set them out to where they are not touching each other in a cool area; they should last until spring. Then you'll have volunteer pumpkins growning all over the place! I get them by the dump truck load! Great filler. Goats and other animals also like them, but you'll have to cut them into small pieces. Chickens will go for the seeds.
    This never affected the flavor of our meet and it never took on a real orange color at all. You could also ask that place for their gourds. Not those small very hard skinned ones, but the softer skinned. Hogs love them too.
     
  6. Paul O

    Paul O Well-Known Member

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    Pumpkins are okay but they don’t have much food value per pound. They are about 95% water.
     
  7. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    I am hoping we're talking bout pumpkins as snacks/treats for the hogs and not the sole source of nutrition.
     
  8. chrisntiff

    chrisntiff Well-Known Member

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    I believe I will be receiving about a ton at a time. I pick through them and save the basically whole pumpkins and gourds for later and have a pile of ready to eat. I took a tractor bucket load with a bit of sbom mixed in and the pigs ate it up. I just read an article about feeding pumpkin dated back in the 1930's and they stated that It should be great but you would have to fed a bit more to gain the same weight. Sounds OK to me as I will feed them all they want since it is free. My next stop are the apple orchards, I often find they will let you have all the fallen apples you want for free. It seems as though I should be able to feed these sows for free with a little bit of work on my part. The Wife will be calling our local organic dairy that makes their own cheese curds to see if they have whey and trim available for barter. This will complete our protein needs for our hogs I believe. What do you all think? Should this work?
     
  9. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Chris, I have kept sows and growers going on exactly this type of feed. It cost me little in dollars and as I don't get paid for my time anyway no matter what I'm doing, I looked on the whole thing as being an economic and good way to rear my pigs. Go you for looking outside the square and being prepared to do a bit of work.

    Might I suggest that you cook up some of the pumpkins along with the apples and whatever else you can scrounge - I used to buy rolled barley to cook with it to give the protein value. If your able to get the whey, add this at feed time and watch your growers thrive.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  10. springvalley

    springvalley Family Jersey Dairy Supporter

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    Your pigs will not have worms either, pumpkins work on them . they are also very tasty, and you can also feed pumpkins to other livestock. Cows will eat them too. Pumpkins keep good this time of year, and a frozen one won`t hurt either.marc
     
  11. KIT.S

    KIT.S Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our pumpkins lasted for a while last year, but when they got wet, they deteriorated faster than our single pig could eat them. With 8 pigs this year, they can probably eat everything I can carry! I don't have storage big enough to keep them dry.

    Our pigs like gourds, and the hard ones cook up well. I pressure-cook rabbit and chicken carcasses for the pigs, and throw in as much other stuff as will fit, so the gourds work well there.

    The local squash-seed-growers have a combine-machine that scoops up the pumpkins/squash, chop them up small, winnow out the seeds and then spit out the chopped flesh. I've been trying to figure out how I can put a truck under the flesh tube, but so far it hasn't been possible. I just hate to see that dumped back onto the ground. I know it's a good return for the soil, but I'd like to see it go through a pig first!

    Kit
    Oregon
     
  12. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    We grow pumpkins for our pigs. It's a great way of extending the feed of the summer season into winter. Usually we have lots of pumpkins but this summer was too wet. I planted over 200 pumpkin plants and we have five pumpkins, all small (30 lbs each?). Beets, cabbage, broccoli, turnips and such did well though. Funny thing is our pumpkins are blooming now, rather too late.

    Often we simply turn the pigs into the pumpkin and other veggie patches. I don't worry about feed value. We just feed some every day to the herds, either tossing picked or opening a new section to them. It is part of the total ration. They eat what they want. What they don't want is there tomorrow. If I feed too much there is some left over so I feed less the next day. They grow great on the pumpkins and other things along with the pasture and dairy and the meat tastes most excellent. Good eating.

    Of note is that pumpkin seeds are a de-wormer.

    Cheers

    -Walter
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    in the mountains of Vermont
    http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/
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