Piggie food

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Chopped apples, sour milk, and barley: Yummy in a pig's tummy!

Chopped apples, sour milk, and barley: Yummy in a pig’s tummy!

Chop together in a bucket: rotten apples, sour milk, a couple of chicken carcasses, cracked barley, assorted vegetables.

Allow to sit for one to eight hours to allow the ingredients to soak and blend. 

Dump over fence into feeder.

 

This is the recipe for our baby pig starter feed.  Which only goes to show pigs will eat anything.  Plus, a heritage breed pig can even grow on it.  One of the reasons pigs have been historically popular on farms is that they can eat the refuse that other animals can’t or won’t eat and can convert it into food.  Pigs are omnivores, so they can eat vegetable, dairy, meat, and grain food stuffs.  They are not particular, either, about the condition of the food.

DSCN1438Our pigs get a large variety in their diet.  Mark plants fields with an assortment of crops, including field peas, turnips, rye, mangals (fodder beets), corn, radishes, and the occasional sunflower. Radishes, buckwheat, field peas are spring food as they don’t mind cool soil and are ready quickly.  Turnips and fodder beets are good crops to plant mid summer for fall food as the turnips need to freeze a bit before the sugar sets and the pigs like them.  Mark plants turnip and rye to serve as early winter food.   Rye is a very cold tolerant grass and the pigs will dig turnips out of frozen ground.

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Field peas, tunips, sunflowers make a tasty menu for a pig.

As omnivores, pigs need protein.  Most grain rations use soy to meet this need. We use the refuse from our chicken processing (heads, feet, hearts, livers, gizzards) to supplement their feed.  We haven’t found that this makes them more prone to hunting their own meat as the chickens sometimes help them clean up their grain.  We don’t separate the meat and other scraps (including coffee grounds and egg shells) from the kitchen as the pigs enjoy and convert it all.  When we had a couple of beef processed we asked for all the scraps and discard stuff.  The oxidized cover fat and large joint bones were great feed supplements!

We have used scraps from the prep table at a restaurant and high quality sourdough bread as feed sources.  Bruised apples, unsaleable or uneatable produce, seconds potatoes, etc.  are all good sources for pig feed.  Creativity can find lots of pig feed.  Be sure that what you find is of good quality to begin with.  Free Wonderbread is still Wonderbread and the result will be Wonderbread pork.

What you can feed pigs is only limited by your imagination!

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