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So as I sit here waiting to go combine, I plan ahead. I have never raised hogs, weaning to slaughter or otherwise, but want to start planning for next spring. I may even get a sow or two long term and raise them start to finish, it seems there is a huge appetite for fresh, traditionally raised pork, and folks are willing to pay for a superior product, raised "the old way".

I would plan on getting 3-6 weaners from a neighbor for the first year, for our own use, as well as sell to friends and family. I have for feed: Unlimited quantities of Barley, wheat, dry peas, oats, flax, canola, rye. I also have hay and they will be in an outdoor pasture situation. We also have potential to graze the grainland after harvest, garden leftovers, cracked eggs, spoiled grain, etc.

My best blend from what I can tell would be a pea/wheat/barley mix.

What ratios would you recommend? How much would be needed per animal to go from 40lbs to say 250? And how many days would be a normal expectation?

Thanks for any and all input! Look forward to REAL pork... My wife gave the go ahead, so I need to take the plunge!
 

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Rocky Mountain Deserts
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674 Posts
We are just finishing up our first year of raising pigs as 4H projects. We were told that the feed conversion on pigs is roughly 7lbs of food to 2lbs of weight gain in prime conditions. Being a noobie at this, I found it to be closer to 10lbs of food to 2 lbs of weight gain. When we switched our feed to rolled corn and barley (soaked till fermented) with table/garden scraps and pasture instead of the "bagged crap" from the co-op, our pigs nearly doubled in size in a few weeks. There are lots of opinions on what/how to feed pigs, and I am interested to read what others with more experience have to say on it.

We will take on this project again - and we will probably have pigs long after the kids leave, I love raising them.

Things I would do the same:
Work with the pigs daily to show in a ring - it makes them very easy to handle, lead around (drive), and mine are not aggressive to people (big or small) at all.
Let them root in my garden - they are amazing tillers this fall, and have cleaned up a lot - saving me a ton of work!
raise more than one pig at a time - these guys are inseparable, I'd hate to see only one constantly trying to find a buddy, they are very social.

Things I would do different
Start earlier and avoid trying to gain weight in the heat.
have a mister for them instead of just a wallow
wash them more - the more baths, the more chances we have to see if they have any issues (and fair time sale sucks way less if they know what to do in a bath)
foods - they did way better when we fed them rolled fermented grains instead of processed pellet foods.
More Milk - when we could get extra milk for them, they grew amazingly, and have more fat on them - (yes I want extra pork fat for game meat)
automatic feeders - I want to see if grazing instead of gorging is really better for for constant weight gains!
 
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