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Camile

Feeding weaners

Hello guys,

I finally got my weaners 2 days ago .. 2 lovely boars of 11 weeks old. Nice and long with pinchable ham .. boisterous character and all .. (thanks Dara for the tips on what to look for).

They are more or less commercial crosses ... I think there is some landrace/large white/large black and the likes in them ..

Now, they have access almost ad lib to fruit and veg, grass and all on a good run ..

so should I complement their feed with a bit of barley/wheat/soya ?

at the moment they are getting a bit of pig meal like they used to just to prevent changing their food dramatically .. but won't buy that vile stuff ..

If so, any ideas what % protein I should mix it up to ? knowing that they will also get some eggs every now and then ..

I am hoping to have them as fat as can be too because loads of people have trouble finding enough for sausage making .. and I now my lovely butcher was one of them .. so if I could kill 2 birds with one stone that would be ideal.

any ideas or comments on that ?

Thanks,
Camile
patmci

I feed my gloucester old spot on lots of vegetable trims also but they were not putting weight on that quickly so started feeding pig finisher pellets but the pigs were coming back from the butchers to fatty for my customers so decided to start to mix my own feed which the pigs love a lot more than the pellets. I mix it at a ratio off 40% rolled barley  30% flaked maize 15% soya bean meal and 15% mollased Beat pulp pellets. I soak this over night  with a lot of water. Hope this is of help.

Regards Patrick
Camile

Thanks for that Pat,

What I mean is more to make sure to have plenty of fat on them to be able to make plenty of sausages.

so I was wondering if there was a nack to it ... or simply feed them ad lib ..

can you overfeed a pig ?

and what quantities would you roughly be feeding yours ?

Thanks
Camile
phil

I fed my pigs four barley to one soya,which would give you a protein level of about seventeen per cent, ad lib plus eggs veg milk.It depends how much exercise they get as to how much fat they put on.
Camile

Hi Phil,

Do you feed them the barley add lib ?

So I guess there is no way to overfeed a pig then ..

There run is at least 20ft long by 10 wide .. will measure it up to see.

Thanks,
Camile
chook

Quote:
Now, they have access almost ad lib to fruit and veg, grass and all on a good run ..

so should I complement their feed with a bit of barley/wheat/soya ?


Pigs' physiology is much like human's.
If you ate just fruit, veg and grass you would be as trim as a marathon runner.

Pigs need lots of grain etc. to put on weight or alternatively bakery and catering waste.
patmci

I dont know exact weights but i work it out in buckets. I put 3 scoops of barley into a bucket which fills the bucket nearly half way.I then put 2 scoops of maize in then 1 of beet and 1 of soya. i half 5 gloucester old spot baconers around 9 months old and i feed them this in 2 feeds. This may not sound like much but after a night soaking there is twice the mound of food there than there was. Hope this helps.

Regards Patrick
dara

I used to get about 4 ton of waste veg and fruit a week from fyffes in galway. I actually found that feeding large quantities made the meat quite tuff - fine for bacon but not what you want in pork.
chook

Just spoke to a friend who's a vet. The rule of thumb for feeding concentrate feed (pellets, grain) to pigs is 1 pound per day per month of life, so
1 month old: 1 pound/day
2 months old: 2 pounds/day
etc.
She also said to remember that pigs unlike all other farm animals have neither fur nor feathers to keep them warm, so they have a higher calorific turnover.

HTH
chook
macconraoi

What we find is when weaners are taken from their mother they need a good start in the form of a high protein diet.If they don't get enough protein early on a poor start will carry on through their lives resulting in a poorer finished pig.
blowin

It is a bit late to tell you this now but Gloucester Old Spots tend to put on more fat than many other breeds and the fat is somewhat different in texture and flavour . Quite light and buttery sweet . I don't know whether that would be the best for sausages but it is outstanding on a roast joint .
blowin

Somewhere on this forum is a table which phil posted up , showing the % protein which you would get from blending grains in various proportions .
If it is of any interest the bag labels show the individual products as having the following % protein :
Feed Rolled Barley 12.0 %
Feed Rolled oats 10.5%
Toasted Soya 17 %
More interesting , perhaps , is that I know someone who raises pigs almost exclusively on silage with just a handful of oats thrown in at the end of the day . They certainly look healthy and have good sized litters .
My own sows had very small litters -- almost certainly because I overfed them on a high protein diet .
macconraoi

We aim to feed our sows and boars (purebred Saddleback and Gloucesters) around 12% protein and to date have litters of 10  or more. The pigs for pork and bacon get a diet of up to 18% until their main growth is over then we drop the protein down to around 12% to 14%,if you keep them on high protein they will get fat.How your pigs go on a diet like this i don't know as commercial pigs don't lay on the fat of traditional breeds.Our pigs still lay on fat,all part of the rare breed deal i suppose.
dara

I'm not sure that feeding high levels of crude protein will lead to higher fat levels or reduced fecundity. Protein is not stored by the pigs body but used to promote muscle growth and bodily rejuvenation and repair. Unused protein cannot be stored and is excreted (think about those mingers who go on the atkins diet).
Unburned, carbs and fats are stored as fat. Old breeds are genetically given to make the best of their rations as well as being less energetic than commercial breeds and will readily lay down fat. I have found the old spots thrive on half the rations needed just to keep the ribs of my hybrids covered.
Young pigs find crude vegetable protein (like you find in straights like barley) difficult to assimilate because of their immature digestive system (too much barley can do young stock a lot of harm - acidosis). I have tried everything to avoid concentrates but have conceded - nothing replaces concentrates for getting them off to a good start. Perhaps when they are 4+ months old it may be possible to raise pigs on silage but it must be a slow process - bet the meat tastes great though.
macconraoi

I don't  have any experience of raising commercial/hybrid weaners and can only speak of Gloucesters and Saddlebacks .From my experience pigs of all ages can find Barley tough going.We don't feed commercial ration so i can't comment there either but i do find that if you don't feed enough protein  early on you are simply giving the pig a bad start.Traditional breed pigs(purebred) take longer to mature and if we feed protein after 7 or 8 months it is my experience that the pig kills out with excessive back fat.That is experience that we learned the hard way.
dara

Hi Macconraoi,
i find this interesting because as you know I have my own pigs at home and struggle with feed/killout and 's.  since we met i've started working for a piggery that produces hylean growers for export to england. We don't just feed concentrates but get all sorts of waste like whey, barley, spuds, chocolate - you name it and part of the job is to work out a diet and avoid bloating, death etc. - the secret is to get them fit to go as soon as pos'. We have a consultant nutritionist and even he does'nt always get it right. What I'd like to know is what you feed your pigs and what quantity, I'd run it past him and he might explain why the extra fat - but if you'd have to kill me if you tell me...pm me instead.
macconraoi

Is it legal to feed waste like chocolate to pigs ? I thought it was wrong to feed pigs processed food like bread,cakes or any food waste which is cooked.Teagasc and the Food Safety Authority explained that to us in no uncertain terms when we went through the process to allow us to sell our Pork & Bacon products at the Farmers Market.Also all our pigs are individually tested at a lab in Cork City to test for this before they are released from our local abattoir.During the 'Pork Scare' All the Govt. Agency's we dealt with checked our feed before any pigs were released from the Abattoir.Pardon my ignorance but what is a Hylean Grower?
dara

It's perfectly legal to feed certain waste foodstuffs from food processing to pigs, cattle, sheep, etc. You mentioned the dioxin thing from bread waste - there are several companies that still legally sell exactly the same product to the pig industry (minus the dioxins of course).  Whoever said you can't feed waste products like you mentioned, obtained through a licenced handler, is completely wrong though not surprising - the departments all seem to interpret these things in their own way and you could imagine they make it up as they go along.  There are big companies involved in this in the UK which still incinerates around 10 billion worth of perfectly safe, edible food industry by-products and in Ireland interest is growing.  Surely feeding waste rather than it going into landfill (which is illegal in the EU though ignored by this irish goverment) is a good thing?  The lab tests are usually for pollutant and pharmaceutical residues and the nasal scrapes are for bacteria - if the waste is fit for consumption (to be processed into animal feed it has to be) then it will not leave residues.
Hylean is a hybrid of duroc/pietrain lines, they are lean but the duroc influence does marble some fat so the meat is quite succulent and tastes pretty good.  A grower is a pig between 20-70kg that goes on for finishing or breeding.
Back to the thread - I think it would be very useful if we all pooled our experience of feeding to slaughter our free-range rare breeds. We might then be able to come up with a good diet and feed regime for a mix your own straights recipe that is easily obtainable from the local co-op. One that would maximise muscle gain/cost but keep fat to an acceptable level. As we know protein is the expensive part of their diet so can we reduce this and still get satisfactory results? There's info on this on the web but it tends to apply to commercials.
macconraoi

Thanks for that thank god we don't feed commercial ration.The last pigs we had slaughtered on Monday had 13mm of back fat which i think is good.Regarding Teagasc nutritionists they readily admit they haven't enough experience of Rare Breeds to give advice on diet.So best of luck. did we learn anthing from BSE and the Pork scare i would rather get out of pigs than feed them waste (just my opinion)
dara

13mm backfat is good for saddlebacks and old spots - the best we've had was around 18mm and they were'nt big pigs. I quite understand your stance on concentrates and waste - but I hope you understand i'm not talking about industrial waste, simply waste either as by-products of food processing or the actual food itself that for some reason or another does not come up to standard. I spoke with a pig nutritionist and he said that the biggest advantage of concentrates over home mixed ration is the inclusion of vitamin B12 derived from dairy, fish or egg products and some yeasts. B12 is essential for the pigs body and although small amounts exist in some cereals not enough is available from vegetable and cereal diets. B12 plays a part in a long list of functions but also helps metabolise protein and is particularly needed in higher concentrations in the diet of pregnant sows.
macconraoi

Hi Camile how are your weaners doing ?
Camile

Hi guys,

Sorry I've been away for so long .. there was plenty on my plate ..

The weaners are doing extremely well on their diet of fruit and veg, barley, milk, eggs and weeds .. they have more than doubled their size, if not tripled .. will try to weight them with the string method very soon to get an idea of how big they are ..

and most importantly they really look as happy as a pig in shit ... they ain't white no more at all .. just different shade of mud !

Camile

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