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What do you feed your pigs?

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default What do you feed your pigs?

Post by GB on 19th January 2011, 1:59 pm

Have read about a few people who feed their pigs from thrown away fruit and veg from market stalls or out of date bread from bakeries but no first hand accounts so thought I would ask here about what you all feed your pigs and why?

And from start to finish, how much do you recon it costs you to raise a pig to a good bacon and ham size?

Was inundated with feed to growth stats last night in 4H but the man who is doing the pig project only used "PROPER" feed instead of what you can get for free (or as near as) so his cost to meat ratio was insanely high Mad

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default Re: What do you feed your pigs?

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 19th January 2011, 6:58 pm

Well it is of course illegal in the UK to feed pigs any waste from home kitchen or restaurant kitchens, so it is difficult. I keep trying to find cheese prducers to get their surplus whey, which is ideal for pigs but every one I have approached already sells it on to other farmers.

In terms of bought feed, each pig eats 2kg per day and a 25kg sack costs around £9 or so now (it was £7.60 a year ago), so approx 75p a day per pig. Commercial pigs are slaughtered at about 5 months, but ours by slow-growing free-ranging etc run for 8-9 months before slaughter. So that is in the regions of £200 per pig. Add in cost of the weaners, slaughter and transport and you get to about £280. Of course if you slaughtered at 5 months you would bring that feed cost down to £112 but you get correspondingly less pig.

If you are just eating your pig yourself, you could bend the law a little IMO from a moral/ethical standpoint, but if you are selling or giving any of it to friends, family or public, you have a responsibility to adhere to the letter of the law.

Pigs will happily eat just about anything in my experience with the exception of citrus fruit, onions (although they love garlic) and coffee grounds. If you get waste veg from the market or bread from bakeries that is fine and they will love it. You jjust can't take that same bread and veg home first.

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default Re: What do you feed your pigs?

Post by GB on 19th January 2011, 9:06 pm

WOW Billy Shocked How on EARTH did they get a law like THAT passed!?! I thought it was just for people selling on the meat rather than EVERYONE couldnt feed scraps Shocked

Goodness Shocked

Am a bit gobsmacked at that one, really am!

Oh, and the way I can tell if a wild citrus tree is worth trying the fruit is if the deer and pigs have eaten all teh windfalls. If a tree has fruit on the ground steer WELL clear of the fruit Laughing

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default Re: What do you feed your pigs?

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 19th January 2011, 10:03 pm

It's illegal even if you keep chickens or micro-pigs or whatever as pets and don't eat them or eggs or anything at all. And the peanlty is up to 2 years in prison.

They passed it on the back of CJD /Mad Cow disease. I presume it was easier to impose one blanket law rather than leaving any loopholes. It is a bit silly at backyard chicken level and in reality I suspect most people with backyard hens ignore it completely. And DEFRA are not really interested in peering over back fences to see if you are giving your hens porrage, but with pigs and so on... there probably aren't that any people rearing pigs solely for their own consumption. We slaughtered 4 before Christmas and have another six to do in March. Not even we eat three quarters of a ton of pork in six months.

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default Re: What do you feed your pigs?

Post by Compostwoman on 19th January 2011, 11:28 pm

The same laws preclude letting your hens scratch on your compost heaps.

Or keeping pigs anywhere near your compost heaps ( still trying to get a definitive answer on "how far away" is OK...... Rolling Eyes

You can let your pigs eat windfall apples on the ground, but if you have pommace from cider pressing, its a bit of a gray area....... Rolling Eyes

I have to follow it all, because it is the law, but it is daft.

I believe DEFRA are looking at changing ( hopefully for the better!) some aspects of these bits of the ABPR

I think its ok to buy up stuff from shops and feed, AS LONG AS it never enters your house....cetainly for hens..... Rolling Eyes

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default Re: What do you feed your pigs?

Post by GB on 20th January 2011, 12:03 am

Shocked

And I thought not being allowed goats and chickens in my own backyard was a hardship!

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default Re: What do you feed your pigs?

Post by Sparhawk on 20th January 2011, 12:13 am

There have been tales of "woe" that in various places of people that have to walk past their chickens or pigs on the way to their compost heaps with uncovered buckets & tripping over before they get to the intended place...

So make sure you have a suitable path, a correctly located compost bin, & you know where you left the lid for the bucket...

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default Re: What do you feed your pigs?

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 20th January 2011, 9:36 am

At the opposite end of the scale, I know some people from the Sausage making forum who feed their pigs exclusively on meat - possums to be precise. I have no idea what the law is in Australia or whether this is legal.
A pig is an omnivore, as is a chicken, and wild pigs and hens do eat pretty much anything they find, be it animal or vegetable - there are plenty of tales of pigs eating human corpses off battlefields in days of yore and so on. However there is a world of differnece between omnivore and carnivore. I am not at all sure I would want to eat a pig that had been reared on a meat-only diet. There is a direct correlation between an animal's diet and teh taste of it's meat, and I feel sure the carni-pigs would have some kind of carrionlike flavour.
Pommace is absolutely fine to feed to pigs, CW. As are dairy byproducts (from dairies).

The problem with relaxing the law for smallholders and backyard chickenkeepers, I suspect, is that once there is a loophole, however tiny, it will get abused by the unscrupulous. The vast majority of farmers and smallholders are evry conscientious about the welfare of their animals and the quality of theor product i am sure, but there are some who could not give a fig and will cut any corner to increase profit (otherwose we would never see those battery farm outrages) and they would find a way to exploit exceptions to the law. When the risk of outcome is meat infected with CJD or similar entering the food chain, I guess it is better safe than sorry.

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