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I have feeders now for the horses, goats and rabbits so that I can fill with hay once a week with very little waste and no overeating. I woulld LOVE to have a system like that for the pigs.

Should I just be putting a bale of hay inside their huts? They never waste hay in there and they sleep in it all snuggly during the time it takes for them to eat it. I guess I am concerned that they will over eat.

Do any of you feed hay in a similar fashion or is everyone throwing hay every day?
 

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We feed about 120 tons of hay a year to our pigs. They eat about 400 to 500 lbs per hundred weight of pig. We feed it out in large round bales which makes it easy to do. Our pigs both sleep in and on the hay and eat it. On cold winter days they may choose not to get up and go out but just stay in eating the hay. The hay composts which makes it more digestible. When I've measured what remains in the spring I find that there is only about 3% "waste" which then goes into my compost piles to become additives for my soil. Thus there is no such thing as waste.

-Walter
 

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I agree with Walter that nothing really goes to waste. My pigs really drive me nuts though as I pack their shelters with hay and they promptly drag it out onto the wet bare ground leaving their shelters with zero deep bedding.

They typically will lay in the damp hay outside their sheds and only go inside the sheds when it is raining, sleeting or very windy. I imagine there is a composting heat generated by this practice, but I personally would find it more comfy laying on dry hay inside... then again I don't have thick skin, an inch or more of fat (ok, well maybe I do) and coarse hair.
 

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I have feeders now for the horses, goats and rabbits so that I can fill with hay once a week with very little waste and no overeating. I would LOVE to have a system like that for the pigs.

Should I just be putting a bale of hay inside their huts? They never waste hay in there and they sleep in it all snuggly during the time it takes for them to eat it. I guess I am concerned that they will over eat.

Do any of you feed hay in a similar fashion or is everyone throwing hay every day?
Feeder pigs that is penned up is the ones i feed hay to right now. It is a very good mix of hay 5 different kinds. I feed them a corn mix in the morning all they can eat for the day. I throw in hay each day and they like to play in it and sleep on it. They eat mostly the seed in the hay. Maybe eat only about 10% of the hay. Hay is cheap and get some good out of it. I do not short my feeders on grain. They grow a lot faster on grain if penned up in the cold weather.

My sows and boars and gilts in the fields and woods still have a lot of pasture and acorns in the woods to eat so they don't require a lot of grain yet. Later in the winter they will require more grain. At that time i will throw a big round bale of hay for them. I roll it out on the ground a ways so they can get to it better and later roll it out more. This way they don't mess it all up at once.

One thing to remember is different breeds have different eating habits. I have Yorks,Blue butts,Spots,and Herefords. All of these breeds do very good on pasture. I have to watch my breeders close in the fall because they eat a lot of acorns and put on weight fast. I do cut back on grain according to their weight.
 

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I always feed my pigs hay by putting a bunch of it in their shelters. They sleep in it and eat it. When it gets low, I put in more. No waste to speak of. Sure wish I could get my goats to use their hay as well.
 

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I always feed my pigs hay by putting a bunch of it in their shelters. They sleep in it and eat it. When it gets low, I put in more. No waste to speak of. Sure wish I could get my goats to use their hay as well.
Years ago i had some goats. I fed them mostly good clean clover and alfalfa mix along with their grain.
 

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I agree with Walter that nothing really goes to waste. My pigs really drive me nuts though as I pack their shelters with hay and they promptly drag it out onto the wet bare ground leaving their shelters with zero deep bedding.

They typically will lay in the damp hay outside their sheds and only go inside the sheds when it is raining, sleeting or very windy. I imagine there is a composting heat generated by this practice, but I personally would find it more comfy laying on dry hay inside... then again I don't have thick skin, an inch or more of fat (ok, well maybe I do) and coarse hair.
That's funny, my pigs do the opposite. They drag the hay from outside in. They are better than the weather guy. We can tell if the weather is going to get bad by how much nesting the are doing.
 

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I agree with Walter that nothing really goes to waste. My pigs really drive me nuts though as I pack their shelters with hay and they promptly drag it out onto the wet bare ground leaving their shelters with zero deep bedding.
Gravytrain, is the roof of the shed bright or dark? An interesting thing I've found is that our pigs prefer a bright sky over their sleeping area. Given two spaces that are exactly the same they'll choose the one with the bright sky. Translucent glazing for roofing is something they really like, thus we've been shifting towards open greenhouses and away from earth sheltered dens.

Thus the question of what is the roof of your pig sheds...

-Walter
 

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It would be interesting to experiment with a translucent roof on one of your sheds. What we found was the pigs then chose that shed.
 

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We feed hay in a horse hay feeder that is wired to the fence at ground level. The feeding area is set up like a creep so the cows can't get in; it is about 15'x15' with 3 sides. They do tend to cherry pick the hay but they use the leftovers as bedding. They sleep inside at night and are never locked in the pen. They never move the hay outside. Interesting that some pigs haul it outside. Our roof is a good 12 feet high and solid tin. Our lows at night are in mid 40s so not exactly "cold" compared to most on here.
 
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