Feeding spent grain

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by kidsngarden, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    We have access to spent grain for free. We have been feeding it to our two gilts (all we have right now - will be breeding the older one this fall.) We have gotten enough thus far to feed them for free. What is the nutritional value of this? I do feed a little commercial feed as well, but am wondering if it is necessary or if it is, is there a cheaper way to give added nutrition?

    Also, I know 4-7 lbs per gilt of dry pellets - but this is pretty wet stuff - how much of it should I be feeding? I have been doing 10 lbs per gilt because it is so wet, with 1 lb of dry pellets per gilt too.

    kids
     
  2. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    It depends a little on what kind of grain and how "spent" it is. Wet grain is fine and actually is easier to digest and contains higher sugar content (malt sugars) if it is sprouted. This will increase calories considerably. Others might have an opinion on this, but it sounds to me that you may be feeding heavy if these pigs are to be your breeding stock. You will want to give them good variance with their foodstuffs and include lots of greens to keep them healthy and developing. But, you are not interested in getting them fat. A fat gilt will have fewer piglets and be harder to get pregnant along with the other joint problems that will occur later in life and have been discussed recently here. Keep them trim and slim and eating healthy! Nothing wrong with free grain!
     

  3. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    Barley and uh, hey, I'm not sure exactly what is all in it! Guess I'd better ask! It is used for making beer. It does not sprout as far as I know.

    I don't want to make them fat, hence the questions. So how much would you say I should feed per gilt of the spent grain and what else should I add? Alfalfa for the green and protein?

    And remember, one of the reasons it is so heavy is it is VERY WET. So a pound of spent grain is a lot less than a pound of the dry commercial feed so I am not sure how much to give them.

    Pasturing is not an option right now, though I would love to do it. they are in a large dirt pen, if that makes a difference.

    kids
     
  4. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    Kids...there are some others here that can offer more technical advice on how many pounds etc. Agmantoo is a good source as is Ronney and UpNorth. Maybe they will chime in. Barley, especially Malting Barley, is an excellent source of feed for pigs and is the feed of choice here in Alberta.

    I kind of play it by feel. If they are acting like they are really starving and they eat everything in a matter of seconds...I give them a little more. I am just guessing here...but I would think that if you gave them 5lbs of your wet grain per day, that might be a good place to start. Make sure that they have some mineral supplements if you don't have access to a good variety of various fruits and veggy scraps etc. Yes, Alfalfa is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and protein. I feed it all the time in the winter. You can free choice them the greens and hay and that will keep their bellies occupied between grain feedings! Maybe you could start there and keep an eye on them and then you can adjust as you see fit? When they are close to farrowing and in lactation they will need 10 pounds or more per day.
     
  5. Charleen

    Charleen www.HarperHillFarm.com Supporter

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    I know of a long-time pig breeder near us that has a contract with Genesee Beer co for their spent grains. He picks up truck loads of it on a regular basis. I don't know what "grains" are used, I assume hops, but don't quote me.

    We ferment whole oats and wheat in milk for at least 24 hours. This softens the grains, and the pigs are better able to handle the whole grains this way. Otherwise, we find undigested whole grains in their manure.
     
  6. fletchsm

    fletchsm Member

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    I do all grain brewing at home and I know the grains we have left over after we sparge have a lot (60-70%) of the sugars leached out of them to use in the beer. So I am not sure how much nutrition the pigs would be getting if it was used as a primary feed.

    Also you shouldn't have to worry about hops since those are put in after the grains have been already been used and never come in to contact with the grain.

    edit: found this site http://www.fao.org/AG/AGA/AGAP/FRG/AFRIS/Data/468.HTM
     
  7. Argent Farms

    Argent Farms Pig farmer

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    I work at a brewery and so have access to all the spent grain I'd ever need. My pigs are pastured so I don't feed them much, to encourage them to eat more pasture forage.

    I feed my 2 pigs a mixture of 3 cups of wet spent grain, 2 cups of cracked corn and 1/2 cup of 48% soy meal, 2x per day. I add any table or garden scraps to that as well. That formulation was done for me by a friend that works at the USDA and I trust him. And my pigs have grown well, so it seems to work.
     
  8. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    I will try that, Thanks!

    kids