Feeding Hay

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Carol K, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    About how much grass hay should/could I feed per pig per day, I'm wanting to use it supplement their pasture and feed. I've never made hay a big part of their diet but would like to this year. Does anyone feed a large amount of hay to their pigs?

    Carol K
     
  2. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I don't put it in a rack and maybe I should, but my wild pigs don't like hay as much as fresh grass, and particularly grass roots. They'll eat it but they trample it down and burrow under it and play with it even more than they use it for food (even when I cut down their ration).
     

  3. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting, last year I used some hay as bedding as we were flooding and I needed to get the pigs up out of it. When I went to feed them the next day all the hay was gone, I threw more in and they just went wild eating it, that's why I figured I'd use more of it this year. Gawd, I hope I get pigs that like it this year!!

    Carol K
     
  4. Horace Baker

    Horace Baker Well-Known Member

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    My pigs love hay of any kind, I feed them as much as they'll eat. (Which is a lot!)
     
  5. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    there may be a difference with domestics that I don't know. I dropped half a bale of coastal into my sow's pen last week and its still there. They're using it as bedding. :rolleyes: I dropped the other half into the piglet pen and they might be creating bricks the Egyptian way :) now all they need is a mold because its thoroughly mixed in with the mud. :) Now when I drop fresh glass clippings in there after mowing- it's gone in a flash.
     
  6. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    We raise our pigs on pasture in the warm weather and then when the snow flies they go into our garden corrals where they get a lot of hay. The sows eat about 1/5th of a bale (~50 lb bales) of hay a day so that is about 10 lbs a day. The growers eat about 1/10th of a bale a day (about 5 lbs each).

    This last December 1st we started also feeding excess milk we're able to get from the local dairy (anyone in our area who wants some, contact me). Last year they basically got the hay and a little bread. They are growing very well, this year a bit ahead of last year probably due to the milk.

    I find that pigs that eat hay smell better. I suspect that the carbon and fiber in their diet is binding the waste nitrogen. Also, pigs who have been accustom to eating processed swine feed will need time, about a month, to gradually switch over to grasses and hay.

    Funny thing is they like the worst hay. They'll eat any hay but if I put out what I consider to be a delicious choice bale and a yucky moldering bale they go for the bad one first. Pre-composted. 'Course, I like mushrooms too so who am I to talk! :)

    Cheers,

    Walter Jeffries
    Sugar Mtn Farm
    in Vermont
    Livestock Dog Pups Available: http://SugarMtnFarm.com/pups/
    Vermont Cape House & Land: http://hollygraphicart.com/vermontcape/
     
  7. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can feed lots of hay, but how much can you decrease their ration, and what else do you feed? I am getting two pigs tomorrow, aprox 60-70lbs I think. About 3 months old. I plan to begin introducing them to hay as soon as they are here. They are on ground grain and bread right now.
     
  8. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My pigs are free-range and have a couple of acres each in amongst the gum trees. They don't like hay. I give mine oaten straw for bedding which they make big nests from and it goes in a few days...so whether they are eating it just making paper mache in their bed I dont know. But they do love fresh green grass we pick for them. :)
     
  9. Charleen

    Charleen www.HarperHillFarm.com Supporter

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    Our pigs were fed the hay that the goats wouldn't eat. They were happy with any kind of hay. They played with it first, but did consume it.

    highlands- we were feeding excess goat milk to our pigs. We fermented the milk overnight with oats & wheat in it. They seemed to metabolize it better when fermented and passed less whole grain that way. We were really pleased with the results in the freezer.
     
  10. BillHoo

    BillHoo Well-Known Member

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    Anyone try mixing it into their feed?

    It would be like Chex Party Mix during the holidays, you want to eat the Chex, but there's always some random pretzels in there you don't like, but you eat them anyway!

    I'm sure if you put ketchup or butter on the hay, they'll eat it. Everything tastes better with lots of ketchup or butter!