Can pigs eat walnuts?

rbruno

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I have about two weeks to go with my pigs and my neighbor has two walnut trees and a hickory tree that is just starting to drop nuts. There are tons of green ones still hanging from the tree. Has anyone feed walnuts and hickory nuts to their pigs? Are they safe for them to eat. There are also a couple corn fields around me that the farmers are taking in. There are few cobs laying on the ground. Can you feed the dried corn on the cobs to the pigs with out grinding it?
Thanks,
Rob
 

farmerjan

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We used to pick up corn from harvested fields all the time to feed to hogs. We would take 5 gallon buckets and walk around and fill them and dump them in the back of the truck.... throw in a pile at the house and then feed it to them to help finish them. Perfect, just throw it in to them. Most of the time the husks were pretty loose so they would just go right to it. They will digest it fine. If the farmer harvesting has a chopper that is off to the side of the tractor, the outside 2-3 rows will get "run over" as they get into the field. Many harvesters now are "self propelled" and so they go down the rows with the "chopper" in the front so there is less waste... many here will hire a self propelled chopper to open up their fields if they have a pull behind... just to give them a clean outside to maneuver around and not waste so much...

When hogs were run on pasture in the "olden days" many were finished on acorns and other nuts. I don't know about them cracking the walnut shells as well, but acorns and hickories, which have a thinner shell are fine for them. An "acorn" finished hog has a little bit of a sweet flavor to the meat. Very desirable.
 

rbruno

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Hi Farmerjan,
Thanks for the information. Looks like I am picking walnuts tonight. :) I will also take a bucket and start walking my neighbors fields. My pigs go to slaughter in two weeks exactly. Maybe if I fill them with corn and nuts for the next two weeks it might make for a better taste. Do you think two weeks is enough time to impact the meat?
Thanks,
Rob
 

farmerjan

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2 weeks won't make as big a difference in taste but it will have a little influence. Especially if it makes up the bulk of their diet the next couple weeks. If you are looking to raise some more next year, you might want to see if you can get an appt a little later and be able to take a little more advantage of "nature's bounty". And by all means take advantage of the "free for your labor corn"....
And if you have chickens, if you husk it they will learn to pick the corn off the cobs too. Good exercise and keeps them from getting bored with something to do.
 

rbruno

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I think that sounds good. I was hoping to have the pigs a little be later in the season which would be my plan next time. Finding feeders in the spring and then finding an appointment for processing was tough this year. At some point I hope that changes a little bit, but it might be a while. I do have chickens and will admit they have been getting short changed this year because the pigs have been getting all the scraps I would normally throw to the chickens.
Thanks,
Rob
 

Alasgun

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To ”improve the flavor of pork” add whey powder and dry molasses to the dry feed. We used 100 lbs to a ton of feed and had it mixed in at the elevator. Then add enough water to a bucket of feed to get it all wet and let it set till tomorrow. Do this each day and you will have better tasting pork. The term “Danish pork” is simply pig’s who were fed a high percent of dairy by-products.
i’ve raised Danish pork in both Iowa and N.Dakota! Nothing very exotic.

when our kids were young they raised up toward 20 feeder pigs at a time, twas they’re way of earning money. The Danish pork thing gave them a sales edge in the community without adding a lot to the production cost.

not to mention, better feed conversion! If you can recognize the oats or barley in your pig poop, you’re not getting your money’s worth!
 
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rbruno

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That is interesting. I have not heard of adding the powders. I don't go through nearly that much food for the two that I have for the brief amount of time, but I could certainly adjust the ratios. I have been throwing them walnuts for two days and they seem to like them. They are eating the hulls and leaving some of the seeds, but they are definitely chewing on them.
 

BarnOwl

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We have hickory trees in our little section of woods. The kids and I like to walk along the treeline and pick up the fallen nuts and give them to our Guinea hogs. The pigs love it. We give them as treats; they don't get tons and tons of nuts, but I've never seen any ill effects.
 

MoreAU

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I remember reading that feeding nuts with high concentrations of glutamate to pigs will make the pork taste better. While Walnuts are one of them, the context I read it in was about tender & tasty wild hogs that were harvested in an area with lots of fall acorns.

Edited to correct grammar.
 
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rbruno

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The oaks in our yard and neighbor's yard don't seem to be producing many if any acorns this year. Not sure why. We had a cold snap in the spring that I wonder if it damage the acorn production. I have been throwing the pigs walnuts in the evening for the past three days. They have been eating most of them, but slowly. I still have at least a weeks worth of walnuts on the ground and more in the trees. I have started picking the hickory nuts yet. I think I will be able to give them a bunch each evening up till the 16th when they head of to the processor.
 

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