DoubleDogFarm
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Pigs - Sunchoke, Potatoes, Comfrey, Corn and or Cattails

Potatoes
Comfrey
Corn
Jerusalem artichokes
Cattails

Growing grains, to me, are way to labor intensive.
A bag of organic feed is around $20. Not sure the cost per pound from a bulk bag.

I'd like to have a couple pigs one day. Have any of you lowered the cost of raising pigs or other livestock with the list above. Could a field of these crops be raised and the pigs let loose to forage. Would they get all required nutrients.

Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bobberman
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I went to a amish home today to get him to do a roof for us! They were peeling apples. I ask what they did with the skins thinking they would be good for a compost and she said we feed them to our pigs!I raised three pigh about 20 years ago. One of their favorite foods was morning glories!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

DoubleDogFarm
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One of their favorite foods was morning glories
Frank, That's all I need, a hallucinating pig with diarrhea. :lol:

Eric

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applestar
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Is it true that pig manure is unsuitable for compost pile because their gut biology is similar to that of humans?

If true and you give them the kitchen and garden scraps, you may have diminished sources of compost.... But then there is less emphasis on compost piles in PC....

I heard they like expired milk and dairy though, which always makes me think of that old scifi series.... :>

DoubleDogFarm
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applestar wrote:Is it true that pig manure is unsuitable for compost pile because their gut biology is similar to that of humans?

If true and you give them the kitchen and garden scraps, you may have diminished sources of compost.... But then there is less emphasis on compost piles in PC....

I heard they like expired milk and dairy though, which always makes me think of that old scifi series.... :>
Apple,
Yes, I have read about pig manure concerns especially with leafy greens. I will be doing more research on that.

Milking goats are a good combination with pigs. The excess milk goes to the pigs. :wink: This leads to more complications. A goat needs to be pregnant to give milk. You need a Buck or someone with a Buck. You have to deal with the kids.

Eric

ArceyJohnson
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We have lots of pigs.

They do NOT like raw potatoes. Or onions, or citrus, or sourdough bread. I have heard this from lots of pig folks and it definitely holds true in my experience. They like basically everything else, though. They have sweet teeth and especially appreciate stale baked goods, melons and other fruit.

As far as the manure, from the research I've done (not a ton, but, you know, a fair bit), it can be used but you have to either manage the pile carefully to make sure that it gets to temp and stays there for a while, or you just need to let it age for a year at least. I have been using it for fruit trees.

They love corn, and if you are feeding whole kernels a fair bit ends up reseeding the pasture...same with oats.

Bobberman
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I also heard that the meat can get a fishy taste if you feed them to many fish! I gave them some 12 inch fish and they gulped it down! i use to go to the dumpster at a foodland and get them all kinds of stuff including cottage cheese which they loved!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

DoubleDogFarm
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We have lots of pigs.
What breed do you like best? I'm think about Tamworths, any thoughts here?

They do NOT like raw potatoes. Or onions, or citrus, or sourdough bread. I have heard this from lots of pig folks and it definitely holds true in my experience. They like basically everything else, though. They have sweet teeth and especially appreciate stale baked goods, melons and other fruit.
I'm a pig when it comes to sourdough anything. Bread, pancakes, etc.. It's to bad to hear about pigs not liking potatoes. They are so easy to grow.

As far as the manure, from the research I've done (not a ton, but, you know, a fair bit), it can be used but you have to either manage the pile carefully to make sure that it gets to temp and stays there for a while, or you just need to let it age for a year at least. I have been using it for fruit trees. Do you use it fresh around the fruit trees?

They love corn, and if you are feeding whole kernels a fair bit ends up reseeding the pasture...same with oat. So it sounds like they don't get much nutrition from corn, if it just passes right through. If they are out on pasture, do they still pick one area as their toilet?

Eric

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!potatoes!
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y'know eric, carol deppe talks a lot in that book about feeding cooked potatoes and squash to her ducks, and about how it's not really that big a deal to cook it for them...i reckon the same holds true for pigs. you don't like raw potatoes either....

ArceyJohnson
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pigs

We have "heritage crosses"...mixes of a lot of heritage breeds. A few are mostly Tamworth...they do very well on pasture and like to root a lot. We have a Large Black/Hampshire cross boar. We have two Duroc crosses. And children from all of the above. They all do equally well on pasture - the Tamworths are a little more docile and a little smaller, a little more interested in forage than grain. The Durocs are good growers and will happily plump themselves up on grain all day long. Both have benefits, obviously...depends on what you want to do with them. All of these breeds have been fantastic mothers, needing very little help from us in any aspect.

Right now we have them on a 4-acre pasture, eating the native greens, grains and roots. We accent their diets with oats and corn (hog mash for sows when they are close to giving birth or breastfeeding). We will look into seeding the pasture with mangels, turnips, grains, etc. once they finish clearing the land of its goldenrod and scrub.

Also: I have heard that they cannot eat parsnips as they irritates their mouths and noses.

They do get a lot out of the corn; if we are feeding whole kernels maybe 5-10% of it goes undigested and reseeds. (Higher for oats...maybe 30% undigested and reseeded). Usually we feed cracked corn, which they seem to digest more completely.

I use manure that's been sitting for 3-6 months to put around the fruit trees, and it's really mostly hay. I only get the stuff when we've had them indoors and they are always deeply bedded, either because it is winter or because they were having piglets...most of their manure ends up right on the pasture. So I have "used" straw/hay that's also got some goat poop, rabbit poop and chicken poop mixed into it. Then chickens are in charge of turning the compost pile, and they do a pretty good job of it.

They do pick areas where they tend to concentrate their toilet duties, but they spread it about a good bit as well. Mostly they just tend to keep it away from their current favorite sleeping spots and the spot where we feed them grain.

Once we get a stable herd size, we are going to look into getting into the dairy waste stream, as applestar mentioned. Whey from yogurt processing places, "expired" milk from the dairy up the street, etc. That is a very good way to get calories and flavor into pigs. They also adore crabapples and nuts; I am planning to plant a lot of crabapples and black walnut trees etc. throughout the pasture for them next spring.

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soil
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try things that fall from trees too,

acorns,chestnuts,peaches,nectarines, mulberry,persimmon,etc.... trees produce WAY more food/biomass per unit than annual plants. one oak tree can produce a couple hundred lbs in acorns. and drop them over a period of a month or more. persimmons can hang on the tree slowly dropping a few at a time well through mid winter here.

this way for each trees "period of drop" when the fruit/nut starts hitting the soil. the pigs get feed. planting different species gives different drop times. which extends that "free feed period. along with other crops like you mentioned, and small critters and such. the pigs will be feed free, or pretty damn close.

things like this make the pig taste much much MUCH better as well.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

Guest

Wow. I learned so much from this post.

I am planning to grow a pig to be roasted in my baby's birthday.
I also want to make a garden out from my backyard.
This thread sure gives a lot of info and I've learned a lot.

Roasting Pigs

MrMako
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Pigs Sunchokes ,potatoes, comfrey

I had read that pigs did not like taters, wonder if applies to sweet 'taters too? Anyone know? I plan on feeding alot of the food that drops, well, it is in the plan, i will have to see how much is dropping once orchard gets to size.....but surely will put the hogs in the hardwoods in a part of the fall, so they can benefit from acorns, hopefully will have some honey locust growing as well as mulberries to feed them in summer, then finish them on persimmons and chestnuts, I have heard they taste exceptional, especially the tamworths, when finished on the persimmons and chestnuts, and they will find all the chestnuts that might otherwise support some sort of chestnut attacking insect(name escapes me at the moment) that grow in chestnuts not harvested and that get buried, so the pigs will prevent the potential problem there....I think as far as chestnuts are concerned it'll be a toss up as to whether the chestnuts are more valuable sold as chestnuts, and the trick will be to figure out how many to leave for the pigs w/o robbing my own piggy bank so to speak....in other words find a balance between the harvest and sale of chestnuts, and leaving enough to flavor the hogs to bring premium price, I think the persimmons will help there....any experience out there to confirm or shoot down this untested (by me) plan?

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!potatoes!
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Re: Pigs Sunchokes ,potatoes, comfrey

MrMako wrote:and they will find all the chestnuts that might otherwise support some sort of chestnut attacking insect(name escapes me at the moment) that grow in chestnuts not harvested and that get buried, so the pigs will prevent the potential problem there
I'm guessing you mean chestnut weevils.

ArceyJohnson
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Honestly, just feeding a pig more than hog feed and letting them root around in the dirt and sunshine does amazing things for the flavor, and will absolutely command a premium price.

DoubleDogFarm
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Right now we have them on a 4-acre pasture, eating the native greens, grains and roots. We accent their diets with oats and corn (hog mash for sows when they are close to giving birth or breastfeeding). We will look into seeding the pasture with mangels, turnips, grains, etc. once they finish clearing the land of its goldenrod and scrub.
I was looking at Johnny's Selected Seeds, cover crops (green manure, biomass) last night. They actually sell a swine mix. "Laugh and Grow Fat Hog pasture mix. They also carry forage turnips, red and yellow mangels.

Eric

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Comfrey is very invasive. It has a thick tap root that grows all the way to China.

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vebyrd36
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-wall- Comfrey that is what it does to me
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