Pig feed questions

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by havenberryfarm, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. havenberryfarm

    havenberryfarm Well-Known Member

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    We are raising corn next year and I thought it might be a good idea to raise a couple of feeder pigs the year after that. The only thing is, I don't know how much pigs eat. I estimated about 1700 lbs of feed for each 225 lb. finished pig. Is that right? Also, I am having a hard time finding out how much corn I can get away with feeding. Could I give up to 55% corn, 25% oats and other assorted odds and ends, clover and grass, leftover milk and scraps from my kids, maybe a few eggs from my chickens, vegies in the fall... ?
    ALSO,
    I have a 1 1/4 acre patch that is currently unused. I am thinking about planting corn, oats, and some type of legume on a rotation there. Maybe soybeans or ? (other choices?)

    Does anyone have a grain recipe or two that feature corn and oats as the main ingredients?

    Have any of you fed squash, root vegies etc. to your pigs with success? I heard about this method, but obviously it is just for the end of the season for fattening and the pigs' enjoyment.

    I am wondering about this now because I am considering how many animals I can afford to feed and what to get for next year so I won't have too many mouths to feed when the time comes. Also, I may want to plant a stand of oats this August if I think I can use it. (for goats, sheep and chickens)
    Thank-you.
    Kris
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Corn is your best chance of raising animal feed. You could plant it by hand, and harvest it by hand. The other small grains would be a bear to harvest. Oats are planted as early as you can get on the ground in the spring. They don't do as well south of the great lakes as the do in the north. 1200 lbs of corn should fatten 2 pigs. You can feed them all the corn they want to eat, but they will grow faster if they are getting some protien along with it. Corn is easily stored, and you have a long period to get it out of the field. Not so with small grain.
     

  3. havenberryfarm

    havenberryfarm Well-Known Member

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    Thank-you. We are growing corn next year, so I will just wait until then. I had hoped that I could supply myself with corn in other years too, but other than crop rotation, I could not think of a feasible way to do it. I had not considered how difficult oats would be to harvest by hand. I can see that now that you mention it. I have heard of people raising oats as a fall crop after their soybeans and wondered if I could do that here. I guess I am too far north for that. Oh, well. Next March then.
     
  4. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oats has decent protien, but the most efficient hog ration is corn, along with a high protien supplement. Find a local mill, they can sell you a supplement to mix with your feed, or they can grind and mix a complete ration with your own grain.
     
  5. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I feed a mixture of cracked corn, oats and soybean meal. It's fed to all of our animals, horses, sheep, pigs, ducks, guineas, chickens. Each animal gets any extras required, (minerals and salt, etc.).
    Sure is handy when someone feeds for you, they just need to know the amount of feed to give each critter. :)
     
  6. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cowgirl, I would be real careful about feeding to much of that ration to horses. I believe too much protien is bad for thier kidneys.
     
  7. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Tinkal, we've used this ration for 20 plus years with no problems. Thanks for the warning anyway. :)
     
  8. havenberryfarm

    havenberryfarm Well-Known Member

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    thanks, guys. I WAS considering a corn, oats, and soybean meal combo. They seem to be the main ingredients in quite a few recipes.
     
  9. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    Haven,

    You asked about raising roots for the pigs as well as corn or other grains.

    First grains: as mentioned, maize is the easiest. But rather than feeding only the ears of corn, pull the whole plant and feed that...and I start this before the corn is set. As you mentioned, plant a sizeable plot for feed. Pigs will eat the whole thing and gain well from it, no doubt getting additional nutrients than merely the grain. I usually plant the three sisters for the hogs. You mention the issue of late harvest and such crops being "candy" for them. Well, here our weather is very good to us so I do grow excess corn, roots, and squash to put in the root cellar over the winter for the early feeding. And I get my weaners later in the season because I do not want to slaughter until late November or December when it is coldest here. The root cellar gives good carryover to the spring. Plus stored fruit (apples mainly) that I don't want to eat.

    Two other grains that are easy to grow and harvest include milo (grain sorghum) and amaranth. The advantage of amaranth is that it is high lysine which is a limitation in other grains. Both form seed heads that can be easily harvested and bagged to dry completely and then be threshed by simply flailing the bags. Pigs will snarf both up quickly.

    Second roots: I like to plant mangles, Lutz beets, sugar beets, and rutabagas for the pigs. They root cellar well to carry over the winter. I simply chop them up with an axe and soak a short period in water before feeding. The water sucks some of the sugar out of the sugar beets and the pigs love it.

    Also plant the three sisters. Again the winter squash carries over the winter just fine. Pumpkins work well also. The beans add nitrogen to the soil and protein to the pigs. And, if you get too much for the season, you can harvest and store the beans dry over the winter...but this is a more work. I just pull the plants whole, let them dry down, and bag them up for storage; the pigs don't care.

    In the spring, the pigs get an additional source of protein...excess goat milk. Never seen a pig that didn't love that stuff. Also have a lot of excess fruit that goes to the pigs...in fact they get so much they get tired of it...just like the wretched bears. Just try to feed fruit to a pig (or bear) late in the season...Ha!

    The last thing I do is gather some acorns which I have in abundance. Pigs love them and they are so abundant that a few minutes work feeds the pigs for a day.

    One other issue to consider about what you feed is the nature of the fat in the pig at the end. Most of our meats here contain way in excess omega 6 fatty acids. If you heavily grain feed this will be true especially, corn oil not being very healthy to eat. If you feed less grain and much more roots you end up with more omega 3 fatty acids in the animal and that is much more healthy for you. Lots of roots and acorns will produce a carcass with "soft fat" which many people find less than pleasant. Even if it is healthier for you. An in between medium can be worked out with what you feed so you end up with harder fat on the carcass, but still enough omega 3 fats to be healthy. In case you are not aware, the omega 3 fats are essential to human nutrition meaning you must eat them, the body cannot make them.

    Actually this is like bear fat. When you cut and gut a prime bear the fat is solid, but after rendering you end up with solid lard with a high omega 3 fat content that makes bear lard among the very best for baking. Just don't use it for frying because it damages the fats.

    So, obviously there is much to consider in feeding your pigs other than how much is enough. Hope I've given you something to think about and a few pointers how to get to where you want to be.

    bearkiller