Comfrey as Pig Feed

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by gilberte, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Anyone have any experience in raising comfrey and using it as pig feed. I'm in northern Maine, will it grow here? Any down side? Where do I get the roots to start it? How much should I plant to feed one or two pigs for the growing season? Thanks.
     
  2. greggholmes

    greggholmes Member

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    comfrey, The plant contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can cause veno-occlusive symptoms leading to liver cirrhosis. The plant can also accumulate toxic amounts of nitrates. Animals do not normally eat the plant because of the bristly hairs on the leaves. However, swine given the plant as green fodder showed signs of nitrate poisoning. Long-term use of the plant as food could lead to liver dysfunction
     

  3. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wow! Why does Jerome Belanger recommend comfrey in his book, "Raising the Homestead Hog?" That's what made me curious about trying it.
     
  4. greggholmes

    greggholmes Member

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    http://www.injury-lawyer-network.com/comfrey.htm

    http://www.rootgrafix.com/herbalnexus/h_comfre.htm

    Its not even a really good forage crop.
    he didn't read everything.


    http://www.richters.com/link.cgi?linkno=034&cat=Crop+Production&cart_id=6204458.6920

    "However, a study on the nutritional value of comfrey conducted in Australia in 1983 found that you would need to eat more than 4 lb/day of fresh comfrey to obtain the minimum daily requirement of B12. Eating such large amounts of comfrey, a poor source of vitamin B12, is inadvisable due to the potential health hazards. "
     
  5. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you, the richters link was very helpful.
     
  6. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Gilberte-I saw your post and wanted to encourage you to grow comfrey anyway. You should be able to grow it up north, but it can't take a frost, so treat it like an annual. It'll produce a huge leafy plant, kind of like a furry hosta. I keep one near my garden. If you get a cut, scrape, etc. just take a piece of the leaf and rub it into the wound and it'll help a lot. I also steep the shredded leaves in hot olive oil, add a little beeswax to harden and use it as a salve on burns, scrapes, and especially mosquito and blackfly bites.

    At the end of the year, cut the whole plant at the base, tie it and hang it to dry, and you'll have comfrey all year round.
     
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  7. greggholmes

    greggholmes Member

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    Why would you use something that can KILL you. you can buy allantoin, which is what helps heal you, in pure form without the risk of liver failure.

    http://www.thesage.com/catalog/LotionSupplies.html

    "As noted, even the pyrrolizidine alkaloids that common comfrey contain can be hazardous with repeated use. Liver failure is a very real risk."

    There are faster and nicer ways to kill yourself. liver failure is a nasty way to go.
     
  8. Horace Baker

    Horace Baker Well-Known Member

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    We raise comfrey specifically to feed the pigs. It is fed on an occasional basis, and the pigs love it. We inspect the livers at slaughter and there is no sign of disease. Moderation may be the key to feeding comfrey.
     
  9. greggholmes

    greggholmes Member

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    Feed them what you want, but its not even a very good forage. you can get better results with alfalfa.

    "Research trials conducted by USDA scientists (Hart et al., 1981) found crude protein contents that ranged from 13 to 17% for comfrey and 16 to 17% for alfalfa. However, they also observed that except at the highest nitrogen rate, its digestibility was usually somewhat lower than those for alfalfa, orchardgrass, and other forages."


    "Rat livers were examined after low dose administration of comfrey-derived alkaloids (6 doses in 6 weeks). The livers exhibited vascular congestion, mild necrosis, and loss of definition of liver cell cellular membranes."

    Live the way you want to live.
    you can lead a horse to water..