What Veggies to Grow To Feed Our Pig??

pridegoethb4thefall

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We are getting our first pig soon, an 6 week old American guinea hog. I enjoy gardening and I would like to use the garden this fall/winter to grow supplemental feed for our pig.

being we are new to this, and I hate wasted garden space- Does anyone know what veggies are healthiest and well eaten by pigs?

Please include weather the pig can eat the tops, greens, or roots.

we live in Nor. Ca and water is no issue (rains alot during winter here) but the soil can be clay-ish. Corn never does well at our place, nor do melons, and I have a tough time growing big carrots. Carrots grow, just not to a very big size.

We are on a budget and could use all the supplemental feed suggestions we can get! The local food bank will give us all the stale breads they have, I should have a doe or two in milk soon and we have lots of eggs. Piggy wont have alot of pasture since its' area will be kinda small, but I will have a nice wallow for it, as well as nice housing for bad weather. We also have some nice huge oaks that make just tons of acorns. Can I feed the pig acorns?

I will also have plenty of alfalfa hay available. But I would like to be as self-sustaining as possible while staying healthy. We do plan to process the pig for our freezer, so I want it to be a nice size and not too fatty.

This is one of those things I said id never do, so I am a bit scared of this new venture. Imm terrified it will get big and become destructive or out of conttrol, or worse, that it will hurt one of my small children. (yes, I know all animals have harming the kids potential, but for some reason Imscared of pigs!) Any advice on how to keep it friendly would be awesome too!
 

Stubbornhillfarm

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Congrats on your upcomming new pig!

Thus far, the only fruit or veggie that our pigs don't eat is citrus fruit. Other than that, they love it all. Root, top, etc, Ours especially seem to like greens like kale, bok choy, lettuce, spinach, etc. I can't answer your question on what is most beneficial for them.

I can tell you, they even like peaches with the pit. They chomp that pit right up! Not sure if they should, but ours do.

I know that you will get a lot of input from some of the more experienced "pig people" here.

Best wishes!
 

Cornish Heritage

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Because you are raising an AGH it is not going to require much feed each day. You are on the right track in wanting to feed garden scraps, milk, eggs etc. This is an excellent diet for a pig :) Pigs have the same digestive system as we do so can pretty much eat anything. It is advised that you part boil any eggs as they can digest them better. We cook up eggs every day for ours. The only veggie vines to stay away from are of the nightshade family - do not feed them potato vines. Chances are they will not eat them anyways as they are smart.

Just as a guideline, we raise Large Blacks which are a full size pig & only feed 3-4lbs of grain a day plus some eggs & milk when we have them. Now ours are out on pasture but if you do not have that then do supplement them with hay. We like our meat lean. Do NOT free feed your pig! Pigs will always tell you they are hungry (just like kids) but you need to control how much they eat. PLUS if you feed htem each day they will learn that you are their friends & soon tame down, wanting a belly rub :)

Our kids are in & out of our pigs all the time & we have never had a problem. Large Blacks are docile & I think the AGH is too.

All the best,

Liz
 

CochinBrahmaLover=)

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So I understand where your coming from. We've done this before, just not sure what breed it was.

We, at the end of the day, would gather all table scraps and feed them that. So about once a day we fed ours, and they had a little pasture. We fed them aything and everything!

Oh, and ours LOVED dog food- they would run inside the house to try and get some dog food or dog anything!
 

Cornish Heritage

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Oh, and ours LOVED dog food- they would run inside the house to try and get some dog food or dog anything!
I have to say here that unless you have a pet pig/housetrained etc this can be a really bad idea. Pigs that are not trained to stay behind fences can & do become a nightmare and very scary to little children. OP is scared of this happening so let me share something that happened just this week.

Once in a very rare while a pig will not respect our electric wire & I say very rare as it doesn't even happen once a year. If that pig is a breeder we immediately move it to somewhere where it cannot get out & retrain with HOT wire, lots of it. After a couple days it is allowed back out to see if it will be behave where we put it. Most times it does & life goes one. Last week on of our feeder pigs, named Sausage, decided that she was going to go through the Polywire. Partly of it was fault of this drought in that everything is SO stinking dry that the fence isn't grounding as well as it used to so the shock isn't as bad. Anyways we let her get away with it because she was just getting into an empty pasture. Well then Sausage decided breaking through the Hi-Tensile was a good idea so she was coming out each morning to greet us. She was only 150-175lbs, not full grown but became a pain in the butt very quickly. By Sunday morning she was pushing at us for food & absolutely terrifying our 2 year old. She would not have hurt him but was just being obnoxious. By Monday morning she was in the cooler!

We will not tolerate animals like that around here. Our kids can be around them at all times except feed time when they would not deliberately hurt them but would knock them over to get to feed. Many folks make the mistake of not training their pigs to behave/respect fence. They think it is cute for a pig to be running through their legs! WRONG! This is extremely foolish. Pigs are smart & will continue that habit even when they are 400lbs which will then result you being in the hospital. That is also why we tell our buyers to never hand feed a pig. Oh yes you may think it is cool when they are 8 weeks but what if when that pig is 6 mths old he accidentally decides that your fingers are part of the food you are offering? Pigs have very sharp teeth.

I am not trying to put anyone off here - we LOVE our pigs & you could go out, rub a belly & lie down beside one but you have to use common sense too.

Happy pigging :)

Liz
 

pridegoethb4thefall

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Thank you everyone for your advice!

I am still kinda nervous and really hoping our pig will be tame. SO glad you mentioned NOT hand feeding it! I had thought about that being a way to tame it, but can see where that would be a bad idea in the long run, especially with children and their small fingers. We went to visitthe 2 week old babies and they are still squealy and not very people friendly. They are being pasture raised with no pig chow and a few scraps from the kitchen, so I am concerned about the change in diet when it comes to us.

What do I feed it when it first gets here???? I dont have that kind of pasture! And she is suggesting we take it when it is about 5 to 6 weeks old, should I ask to wait until it is 8 weeks old? She did say the mom pig weans at 5 weeks, but that seems so young! IDK about pigs so...

I have been looking up ways to tame a pig online, and all I get are ways to tame a 'guinea pig'!! yeah, I dont think thats gonna do the trick! LOL!

I dont think we will be feeding any meats to piggy, but Im hoping to stay away from commercial pig feed as much as possible. I know we will feed some pig chow, but I am really hoping to plant almost my entire winter garden around feeding the pig. Between that and the tons of acorns we get and plan to gather from our tree's, we hope to have a very tastey pig come spring!

Still looking for winter garden foods to plant ideas though....

So far I have pumpkins, butternut squash, turnips, beets, and radishes.Watermelons, cantloupes and honeydews are coming along, but very slowly and I might have to pull them to make room for more productive plants.
 

Cornish Heritage

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When you get your piglet home it will be scared to death of you. You have to go REAL slow with it. Put it in an area where it cannot get out & each day just quietly speak to it as you are taking down its food. It will gradually tame down but may take a couple weeks. Don't go trying to pick it up - let it come to you. Rub its back & side & it will soon learn that that is very good.

Personally we would NOT let our piglets go at 5 weeks but there are plenty of breeders that do :( Not much you can do about it PLUS AGH I think do mature quicker so 5 weeks may be OK for them?

Remember you are not picking up a cute little puppy that loves to be cuddled. This is a pig, a totally different animal!

Does the breeder worm at weaning? If not, you will need to do this. Check for lice & mange too. I know, totally gross but chances are your piglet will have lice. Lice are host specific so they are not going to start feeding off of you but you do need to try & keep them under control. If the piglet has mange, then walk away as it takes a lot of medication & work to cure mange up. Some folks have had real problems with their pigs having mange. Look for real dry scaly skin around the ears etc. We have NEVER had it on our pigs & now no longer have a lice problem to the chickens doing their job :)

The breeder should wean the piglets 2-3 days before selling them on. It is not advisable to just pull a piglet off its mother & hand it over to the new owner. You should feed whatever she/he is feeding so if it is scraps, feed it scraps. Honestly, it will not eat much at that young age so you will have time to allow it to adjust to your diet.

Is it a boar or gilt? If a boar, is it castrated? If not something else you will need to do.

I think you have plenty growing for it :)

Liz
 

Mo's palominos

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I would not feed alfalfa. It gives the fat and off taste IMO.
I also feed alot of apples. Most people will be more than happy to allow you to pick up the apples that fall off their trees :)
Also after Halloween most grocery stores will sell you the left over pumpkins super cheap and they love them.
I feed mine grass or oat hay. They eat what they want and carry the rest into their hut to make a bed.
Mine don't like onions, orange peels and I don't feed any vines in the nightshade family. They eat milk, eggs, veggies fruits and leftovers from the fridge. Just don't let them get too fat :lol:
 
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