Feeding advice, and how to tell if a pig is fat

BarnOwl

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Hi y'all! We're happy new owners of 3 American Guinea Hog feeder pigs. One is about 14 months old and the other two were born in April. I've heard AGHs are prone to obesity. I was wondering if there were any early indications that a pig is getting too fat. The breeder said to look out for fat buildups on the face/head. Are there any other early indicators I should look out for? If they start to get too heavy, I'd like to cut down on their feed before it gets too bad.

Also, what do you all feed your pigs? There are a lot of choices at our local feed stores (finishers, growers, ect). There are also some off-brands at the local feed stores that are cheaper. If the cheaper feeds are just as good as the name brand feeds, it would be nice to support a local business (not to mention nicer on my wallet). Are there certain protein or vitamin levels that I should be looking for. I like to read ingredient lists, and I can be slightly particular about my dog and chicken feeds, but I don't know as much what to look for with hog feeds, so any advice is welcome.

Finally, if any of you have AGHs or similar breeds, I'd love to know about how much and how often you feed. I have some pig books, but much of the feeding advice seems geared towards larger, more commercial hog breeds. So far, I've been feeding each pig about 1-2 quarts of feed twice a day, fresh produce from the garden, and healthy kitchen scraps and leftovers. Worried maybe I'm feeding too much. But they really love to eat (I can relate) and always seem so hungry at feeding times.

Thanks in advance for any feedback! So glad I found this site, lots of experienced people here. :)
 
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Jesusfreak101

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I have a kune kune. The others are a mix of kune and Juliana and I also have pure Juliana and a pot belly mix. I feed them twice a day with a mixed feed i was originally just feeding corn and sow and pig feed. Now I just mix two parts oats two parts crimped corn one part black sunflower seeds and one part alfalfa pellets. They get maybe 4-5, 3quart scoops between all of them if the feed at one feeding time but if i feeding slop aka kitchen scraps or left overs they get less feed. At dinner or breakfast. Now there are three that go and graze so not sure how much they eat in total the other three can't. But I pull weeds for them and give other supplemental hay when we have it. It all just depends on the animals. I am not sure what to look for how fat an animals expecially a pig is. But I know my pot is fatter then she needs to be baised off her face its got lots of rolls and her teat line is saggy and she a gilt(never bred female) that's partly due to lack of activity its offly hot here. So they don't tend to excersize much right now. So also take into consideration what your animals do all day when it comes to feed. Mine yell every time they see me trying to get more food. Pigs are glutons, agh and kunes when i research both breed they known for this. They are good actors. Your agh need to graze and move to stay healthy if you notice they aren't eating much grass cut back on feed. Every animal depending on weather and on their activity level need a different amount of feed and their personal body ability. If they care to much fat they wont breed well. Also if they care to much fat and you plan to harvest them then they will have less musscle and won't be worth as much fat as they put on. And if you have them just as pets or breeders they won't live as long if they are over weight.
 

misfitmorgan

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For telling if they are fat since we dont have breeds that get face fat we go off spine and hip points. If the tenderloins are lower then the spine they are pretty far under weight, if it is even with the spine they are a little thin. The spine in most any breed i've ever seen is indented a bit into the back just enough to make a channel. If you ever see the hip points except during late prego or the first few weeks of nursing they are underweight.

Our butcher pigs are feed pig and sow until 8 weeks old then switched to grower. Our sows are fed pig and sow while prego and nursing, boars, non-prego gilts/sows are fed premium chop. Pigs will always act hungry, as mentioned it is in their nature so you need to put that out of your mind. Once you develop a routine, they will be able to tell when feed is coming or not.

For our pigs they get atm 10lbs per head, because we are feeding chop which is lower protein and it is summer. Our butcher pigs get the same but in the pig and sow which is higher in protein and i believe fat. In winter everyone gets the same feed plus 5lbs of shell corn per head. This is our maintenance feed ration, our pigs are not thin and not fat. If we see anyone getting to thin or to heavy we lower/raise their feed until their weight adjusts then add about half of what we took out back in. Our breeding stock are all over 600lbs.
 
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Baymule

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Very good advice from @misfitmorgan on feeding pigs.

@frustratedearthmother has AGH and might be able to give some good advice also.

Since you will have some fat on your pigs, SAVE IT! If you take them to slaughter, ASK FOR THE LARD and they can even grind or chop it for you to make it easier to melt it. I use lard for practically everything. Stir fry, fried food, pie crust! I even use it in cake recipes that call for shortening. The cake is so moist!

Here is my lard thread on how I cooked it down and canned it.

 

misfitmorgan

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I will get you a pic or two of the spine thing im talking about tomorrow. Visuals always help, Our boar is slightly thicker then we would like and our one breeder is thinner then would like since she just got off nursing about a week and a half ago i believe. So should be able to get you sort of all three versions of thin, good, and over.
 

misfitmorgan

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Very good advice from @misfitmorgan on feeding pigs.

@frustratedearthmother has AGH and might be able to give some good advice also.

Since you will have some fat on your pigs, SAVE IT! If you take them to slaughter, ASK FOR THE LARD and they can even grind or chop it for you to make it easier to melt it. I use lard for practically everything. Stir fry, fried food, pie crust! I even use it in cake recipes that call for shortening. The cake is so moist!

Here is my lard thread on how I cooked it down and canned it.

Bay i love your lard thread!
 

BarnOwl

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I will get you a pic or two of the spine thing im talking about tomorrow. Visuals always help, Our boar is slightly thicker then we would like and our one breeder is thinner then would like since she just got off nursing about a week and a half ago i believe. So should be able to get you sort of all three versions of thin, good, and over.
Thanks! Pics would be awesome if you have the time. I think I could tell if a pig was obese or emaciated, but it's the in-between stages I don't want to miss.
 

BarnOwl

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Very good advice from @misfitmorgan on feeding pigs.

@frustratedearthmother has AGH and might be able to give some good advice also.

Since you will have some fat on your pigs, SAVE IT! If you take them to slaughter, ASK FOR THE LARD and they can even grind or chop it for you to make it easier to melt it. I use lard for practically everything. Stir fry, fried food, pie crust! I even use it in cake recipes that call for shortening. The cake is so moist!

Here is my lard thread on how I cooked it down and canned it.

Thanks I will check out the thread! I am definitely looking forward to cooking and baking with more lard. :)
 

BarnOwl

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I have a kune kune. The others are a mix of kune and Juliana and I also have pure Juliana and a pot belly mix. I feed them twice a day with a mixed feed i was originally just feeding corn and sow and pig feed. Now I just mix two parts oats two parts crimped corn one part black sunflower seeds and one part alfalfa pellets. They get maybe 4-5, 3quart scoops between all of them if the feed at one feeding time but if i feeding slop aka kitchen scraps or left overs they get less feed. At dinner or breakfast. Now there are three that go and graze so not sure how much they eat in total the other three can't. But I pull weeds for them and give other supplemental hay when we have it. It all just depends on the animals. I am not sure what to look for how fat an animals expecially a pig is. But I know my pot is fatter then she needs to be baised off her face its got lots of rolls and her teat line is saggy and she a gilt(never bred female) that's partly due to lack of activity its offly hot here. So they don't tend to excersize much right now. So also take into consideration what your animals do all day when it comes to feed. Mine yell every time they see me trying to get more food. Pigs are glutons, agh and kunes when i research both breed they known for this. They are good actors. Your agh need to graze and move to stay healthy if you notice they aren't eating much grass cut back on feed. Every animal depending on weather and on their activity level need a different amount of feed and their personal body ability. If they care to much fat they wont breed well. Also if they care to much fat and you plan to harvest them then they will have less musscle and won't be worth as much fat as they put on. And if you have them just as pets or breeders they won't live as long if they are over weight.
Thanks that is really helpful. Right now ours are in about 1/2 acre adjacent to the barn. They walk around in the grass during the cooler parts of the day (it's hot and humid here too, ughh), but I'm not how much they actually graze. Maybe I am feeding too much. They definitely prefer the pellets to the greens I give them from the garden.


For telling if they are fat since we dont have breeds that get face fat we go off spine and hip points. If the tenderloins are lower then the spine they are pretty far under weight, if it is even with the spine they are a little thin. The spine in most any breed i've ever seen is indented a bit into the back just enough to make a channel. If you ever see the hip points except during late prego or the first few weeks of nursing they are underweight.

Our butcher pigs are feed pig and sow until 8 weeks old then switched to grower. Our sows are fed pig and sow while prego and nursing, boars, non-prego gilts/sows are fed premium chop. Pigs will always act hungry, as mentioned it is in their nature so you need to put that out of your mind. Once you develop a routine, they will be able to tell when feed is coming or not.

For our pigs they get atm 10lbs per head, because we are feeding chop which is lower protein and it is summer. Our butcher pigs get the same but in the pig and sow which is higher in protein and i believe fat. In winter everyone gets the same feed plus 5lbs of shell corn per head. This is our maintenance feed ration, our pigs are n'ot thin and not fat. If we see anyone getting to thin or to heavy we lower/raise their feed until their weight ad
justs then add about half of what we took out back in. Our breeding stock are all over 600lbs.
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Thank you for all the great information! It is really helpful!
 
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