Feed question and Winter

Nekatlla

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Hello,
Just need a little more advice, we got our piglets late this year and have another month to go, they are outside with a leanto structure for protection from the elements and have done well so far. It is starting to get colder and the weather will be 30's and 40's for the next couple weeks with some lower dips and snow coming. Will they still put on weight? We are feeding about 5-6 lbs of local pig feed per pig and are thinking of suplementing 2-3 lbs of that with cracked corn starting now for the last month. the person i'm doing this with is convinced that the pigs are going to start losing weight and we should cull now and try again next year. We live in upstate NY a little south of Albany. Also is it possible for pigs to eat and just pass it through gaining no nutritional value from it? Do they eat just to eat? If we see evidence of this should we look at changing feed? The pigs now are 165-185lb range.
Thank you all any help is appreciated!
 

frustratedearthmother

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Not a pig expert here and don't have the temps that you do...so my 2cents only.

If the pigs have adequate shelter and aren't spending all their calories trying to stay warm they should continue to gain - IF - they are getting adequate feed. If the feed amount/quality stays the same and they are constantly shivering then I don't think you will see a gain. Some deep bedding in their shelter might help.

I would probably bump up the feed a bit in those colder conditions.
 

High Desert Cowboy

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I second that if they’re warm they will continue to gain weight. When you say lean to are you referring to a roof with no walls or does it have walls on one or more sides? While the cold is miserable, if you have any wind it will be doubly so. I recommend putting some walls on that lean to and making it a shed So they can get out of the elements. As far as feed goes they will generally eat their fill, then they will start to play with their food if there’s any left and they’re bored. Keep an eye on the area around the feed trough, if you’re seeing a lot of feed winding up on the ground around it you’re feeding too much. No feed on the ground maybe try giving them a little more, a growing pig needs it’s groceries. Also a hungry pig will jump up and come running every time you come with feed, if they’re not overly excited about you and your bucket, they’re probably getting more than they should.
As far as feed goes how much you want to give and if it generally “passes right through” will depend on quality of feed. Corn doesn’t digest well and the wholer the kernel the more you’ll see in the feces.
With a growing pig, their daily gains are going to be influenced by genetics, environment, health, and feed/water consumption. Genetics are out of your hands, but if you control the other three they’ll gain just fine.
 
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RollingAcres

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Hello @Nekatlla and welcome. I'm in upstate NY as well, almost Amsterdam area. I don't have any pigs so I can't offer any advice. But I do know how bitterly cold it can be up here and some days with that wind chill it's quite unbearable. I second what @High Desert Cowboy said below.
While the cold is miserable, if you have any wind it will be doubly so. I recommend putting some walls on that lean to and making it a shed So they can get out of the elements.
Good luck with your pigs!
 

Nekatlla

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I second that if they’re warm they will continue to gain weight. When you say lean to are you referring to a roof with no walls or does it have walls on one or more sides? While the cold is miserable, if you have any wind it will be doubly so. I recommend putting some walls on that lean to and making it a shed So they can get out of the elements. As far as feed goes they will generally eat their fill, then they will start to play with their food if there’s any left and they’re bored. Keep an eye on the area around the feed trough, if you’re seeing a lot of feed winding up on the ground around it you’re feeding too much. No feed on the ground maybe try giving them a little more, a growing pig needs it’s groceries. Also a hungry pig will jump up and come running every time you come with feed, if they’re not overly excited about you and your bucket, they’re probably getting more than they should.
As far as feed goes how much you want to give and if it generally “passes right through” will depend on quality of feed. Corn doesn’t digest well and the wholer the kernel the more you’ll see in the feces.
With a growing pig, their daily gains are going to be influenced by genetics, environment, health, and feed/water consumption. Genetics are out of your hands, but if you control the other three they’ll gain just fine.
Thank you, the leanto has three sides and a partially opened front definitely changing it to a closed shed like structure with a carpet door they can come in and out of, deep hay bedding and a complete raised floor. Hopefully this will keep them warm enough to get to weight over the next 4 weeks.
 

misfitmorgan

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They will gain as it is not yet that cold and wont be for the next month.

The bigger problem might be not able to gain enough in your time frame. I don't know what weight you're looking for, normal butcher goal weight is 250lbs. After 15 weeks old pigs level out and gain approx 1.5lbs/day, so 30days should give you 45lbs of gain. Meaning your end butcher weights would be 210lbs and 230lbs based on the weights you gave. Your actual hang weights should be approx 147lbs and 160lbs. Feed conversion should be 1.5:1 feed:gain, so every 1.5lbs of feed makes 1 lb of meat/fat. Depending on genetics and feed quality as others have mentioned those numbers can change.
5-6lbs per pig is really more of a maintenance or summer ration so i would definitely look at bumping it up until you start seeing waste. If your not using a pig grower feed, you should. Adding cracked corn is ok but it will not have a large impact on weight gain, it will however help them stay warmer.
Also keep in mind that a pig can only eat and digest so much as with any animal so giving way to much feed is only going to waste money and not get you gain. Pigs are not actually pigs and won't just eat for no reason.
Our pigs eat hay/bedding....make sure your checking yours so they don't run out of that nice deep bedding you put down for them.
 

Nekatlla

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Misfitmorgan;
Just want to say thank you for the excellent information, we came up with about the same thoughts and we upped the feed based on current weights and some studies on temperatures from Iowa state university and came up with 8 pounds per pig per day at temps of 20 degrees Fahrenheit to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. We measured them again this week and found most are right at about 195 to 198 lbs. so it looks hopeful that they will make the 225-250 weights in the next 3 weeks. This has also been the first time we’ve noticed the absence of the feeding rush, they’re still excited about feeding but not knocking us over to get to the buckets. It’s actually pleasant to do the chores now instead of a knock down drag out fight with them. Also we are now seeing just the smallest amounts left after feeding. So again thank you very much.
 

misfitmorgan

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Misfitmorgan;
Just want to say thank you for the excellent information, we came up with about the same thoughts and we upped the feed based on current weights and some studies on temperatures from Iowa state university and came up with 8 pounds per pig per day at temps of 20 degrees Fahrenheit to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. We measured them again this week and found most are right at about 195 to 198 lbs. so it looks hopeful that they will make the 225-250 weights in the next 3 weeks. This has also been the first time we’ve noticed the absence of the feeding rush, they’re still excited about feeding but not knocking us over to get to the buckets. It’s actually pleasant to do the chores now instead of a knock down drag out fight with them. Also we are now seeing just the smallest amounts left after feeding. So again thank you very much.
Glad i could help some what....better late then never :lol:
Really glad to hear you did some research and got the feed up. If we are late feeding our pigs get very mouthy. We just switched to our winter feeding for our pigs, our feed is different because we are feeding breeders.
 
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