feeding meat to pigs

Poupoulles

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Total hog novice here so please keep the snark to a minimum. I am genuinely curious about this. We are picking up our first feeder pigs this week and I have some questions.

Everything I have read says not to feed meat to pigs. What I am trying to figure out is why? Arent they omnivores? And most feed I see at the feed store seems to have meat in it. It just says no brains (for mad cow), or no ruminants. Does that mean it has chicken in it? is it just no raw meat?

We raise our own poultry and I often cook a whole chicken and after taking it all apart I have a mess of bones, skins, and general bits. If its cooked, couldnt I feed it to my pigs? (And Would the bones choke them like dogs? )
Our pigs will be living in a moveable house with a big yard that is our vegetable garden (so they can turn it for me). So they will be getting lots of scraps, clover, weeds, etc etc etc in addition to their feed/corn.
Is there a handy list somewhere with the things NOT to feed hogs?
Thanks for your help!
 

ohiofarmgirl

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we give a little cooked meat.. but usually just scraps not stuff intentionally cooked for them. i dont think i would feed bones even if they were cooked. but maybe one of the other hog guys has an answer??

but to answer your question - yep they are omnivores... they will eat anything they can smell.

how's about instead of meat... why dontcha do what we do and feed them hard boiled eggs if you have extra? hogs will eat raw eggs but they have a protein inhibitor when raw - so cook first. you can also feed them any weeds, branches, whatever from your garden - and even hay.

we also feed our extra goat milk and corn.

if they are little and still on hog starter you can save some money by buying a bag of Calf Mana and adding it to regular hog food. you'll need to supplement with cooked eggs or milk - but we've had excellent results doing this.

we made friends with a local orchard owner - so we get anything left over (apples, peaches, etc) for the pigs.

they will be very happy in your garden area and while they wont uniformly turn it, all you have to do is rototill when they are gone. great job!

a great reference is Storey's Guide to pig raising. but i dont think i've seen a list of what not to feed.

good luck!
 

jhm47

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The biggest reason for not feeding meat to hogs is that they can get trichinosis from uncooked meat. This is a quite rare disease at this time, but in the past, when hogs were commonly fed raw garbage, many people contracted this nasty parasite from eating undercooked pork. The parasite is a tiny worm that infests muscle tissue, and passes from animal to animal by eating raw/undercooked infested meat products. It is most commonly found today in bears, which eat infected meat from garbage dumps.

If I recall correctly, the parasite is killed by cooking meat to 160 degrees.
 

ohiofarmgirl

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note to self: dont eat bears - check

good to see you, jmh!
:)
 

Beekissed

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We used to feed ours any groundhogs and snakes killed on the farm....they loved them! They also managed to kill a few chickens for themselves a time or two.

They say that the small bits of gristle you encounter in pork muscle when you are eating is the encapsulated trichinosis worm..... yum. :drool :sick
 

Poupoulles

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thank you so much for the answers. i dont mind following other people's wisdom, but I also like to know why. And now I know!
So I will not panic if a few scraps of cooked meat go into the hog pen, but wont give them anything raw.

I have plenty of veg scraps and plan on taking all the discard produce from my local grocers, as well as all the yard stuff...

I give my turkeys hard boiled eggs sometimes, when the hens are laying like crazy. this fall there will be tons more eggs, so the pigs can have them too.

How much Calf Manna? At what rate?
 

jhm47

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Why would you want to feed calf manna? Get yourself a well balanced commercial hog feed and you will save money, your pigs will grow well, and they will be healthier. You can still feed them treats, but make the bulk of their ration a complete feed.
 

ohiofarmgirl

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the calf mana is only if you need hog STARTER... if they are big enough for regular hog grower (14%) you dont need it.

the hog starter around here is $17 a bag (!!?!?!!?) but the grower is $7... which is why we started using the calf mana. but, again, only if they are very young.

i'll go check what size of scoop we have...but roughly its 1 part calf mana (which is just a high protein feed) and 4 parts hog grower.

:)
 

Oreo

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Seems like the cost of the calf manna would negate your feed savings.
 

ohiofarmgirl

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hey oreo!

yep thats we thought.. but then we did the math (standing in the TSC aisle arguing about if it was worth it or not).

calf mana = $20
starter - $17
grower = $7

we only need one bag of calf mana for 2 pigs for the season.

of course, if they are big enough to go directly to grower then it isnt worth it, but even if you need grower for a month it makes sense (for us).

starter only: $17 * 4 = $68
CM + grower: $20 + $7*4 = $48

so by the 3rd week (if one bag a week which quickly becomes 2 becomes 2 bags a week) then you've pretty much got your money back. but then a bag of Calf Mana lasts us more than a month - and we can use it for other things

we are comfortable with this because we raise on pasture - so not only do they get a lot of varied food items from us, they can go and root around. and as they are only "one season pigs" we are over worried about their nutrition as along as they are growing. right now ours are growing fast!

because we have other sources of protein available for "free" we stop feeding hog grower most of the way thru the season and finish them on corn + milk + eggs + apples/cider pressing from our orchard friends.

makes a good, and inexpensively raised, hog. we do our own butchering so while they might grow out a little slower, we need the time for the cold nites to set in around here. for a whole years worth of meat it totally works for us.
 
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