Got my piggies :-) What to supplement?


Self Sufficient Queen
May 19, 2009
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Western MA
If you want to see what my pigs are eating (and growing and doing just fine) you can check out my pig blog on the sister site, sufficientself. Just put piggie in the search and freemotion as the author, set it to topic only, and it should come up.

I am a big believer that we are....well, I am, at least :p enough to feed my animals. I'm smart enough to feed myself, and I am only healthy when I DON'T eat what "they" say is a fine diet.

Variety is the key. If your pigs are confined, then you will have to do more work and more research to make sure they are healthy. Mine have a large pasture to dig in, with a variety of plants and plenty of grubs and worms (have you ever seen an acorn moth grub??? Look it up! :sick )

I ask around a LOT and get quite a bit of stuff. Right now they have free access to several piles in their pasture: Sacks and sacks of overgrown corn, unhusked; piles of acorns, picked up at the houses of grateful suburbanites; day-old bread, given by a helpful neighbor by the garbage-bag-full every couple of weeks, which the pigs mostly ignore; loads of squash and pumpkins from a farm that tosses out any blemished ones that they won't sell, which the pigs gutted for the seeds and are now getting around to the flesh which they prefer to be starting to rot; and lastly, any household scraps we might have, including old milk and whey from cheesemaking. They got buckets of tomatoes at the end of garden season and waited for them to soften and collapse before snarfing them up three weeks later.

I haven't fed any purchased feed in maybe three weeks, and it was not much before that. When we got all this free stuff that is piled in their pasture and they can eat what they want, when they want....they really started packing on the pounds. They are frisky and healthy.

You do not have to have a miniature version of the industrial model in your backyard. If anyone wants to, that is fine, I am not criticizing. I've reverted to bagged food on occasion when life didn't allow the time needed to do what I am doing now. For example, I got 25 chicks four weeks ago, and bought a 25 lb bag of chick starter. I am feeding them myself now that it is gone, but I am not above using it on occasion if I am overwhelmed at the moment.

Just know that it is not true that animals will ONLY thrive and survive and produce on commercial feeds. You do have options.

I can't tell you how many feed store people told me emphatically that I will kill my hens by feeding them whole grains only. I just smile and ask how many years that will take. Then they counter with, "Well, they will drop in production." So I ask how many years THAT will take. :D