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My Red Wattles are eating too much?

 
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I raised about 50 hogs each summer as a kid. Now as a retired adult raising all of our own meat I am at it again. I only do 4 at a time. One for us and the others to sell.
Each summer I have just purchased "feeder" pigs. One year I had Herefords. The other years just mixed breeds. This year I had a hard time finding anything. I ended up with Red Wattle for $100 each which around here is a bit high. The owner said he would deliver and kept having trouble so delivery day was delayed. That's ok with me, as it is less feed I have to give them. Well...when they got here they were 80-100 lbs! Great, you say.
Well I have our locker appointment for October! It can't be moved due to Covid indirectly. The hog processing plants have been closed down here due to Covid, 1000's of hogs being put down because the big producers can't get them processed, and individuals are scrambling to raise their own. So our locker is booked for 18 months and their cancellation wait list is full. So it appears I can't move up my processing day. Before you say it, I'm not in a position to butcher them myself and 3 are sold to others who would not want me processing them.
The problem isn't so much that they will be huge but the amount of feed they are going through. I will be way in the hole if I have to feed them until October.
I have them in pasture/timber and rotate them every week. I feed them a mix of corn, beans, and a commercial premix for hogs all mixed up by the coop elevator in town. I don't have free choice feeders out as they are too hard to move weekly. So I feed them by hand 3 times a day. I give them any scraps and garden waste, but there isn't much of that this early in the growing season. They are eating approx 10 lbs of feed per day!
I have never heard of anyone limiting feed to a feeder pig but am wondering if I should. My neighbor who got 5 from the same guy on the same day as me says his are eating even more than that.
Any thoughts on limiting to around 7 lbs of feed per day per pig?
Thanks in advance for help!
 
pollinator
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Roxanne H - Dunn wrote:I raised about 50 hogs each summer as a kid. Now as a retired adult raising all of our own meat I am at it again. I only do 4 at a time. One for us and the others to sell.
Each summer I have just purchased "feeder" pigs. One year I had Herefords. The other years just mixed breeds. This year I had a hard time finding anything. I ended up with Red Wattle for $100 each which around here is a bit high. The owner said he would deliver and kept having trouble so delivery day was delayed. That's ok with me, as it is less feed I have to give them. Well...when they got here they were 80-100 lbs! Great, you say.
Well I have our locker appointment for October! It can't be moved due to Covid indirectly. The hog processing plants have been closed down here due to Covid, 1000's of hogs being put down because the big producers can't get them processed, and individuals are scrambling to raise their own. So our locker is booked for 18 months and their cancellation wait list is full. So it appears I can't move up my processing day. Before you say it, I'm not in a position to butcher them myself and 3 are sold to others who would not want me processing them.
The problem isn't so much that they will be huge but the amount of feed they are going through. I will be way in the hole if I have to feed them until October.
I have them in pasture/timber and rotate them every week. I feed them a mix of corn, beans, and a commercial premix for hogs all mixed up by the coop elevator in town. I don't have free choice feeders out as they are too hard to move weekly. So I feed them by hand 3 times a day. I give them any scraps and garden waste, but there isn't much of that this early in the growing season. They are eating approx 10 lbs of feed per day!
I have never heard of anyone limiting feed to a feeder pig but am wondering if I should. My neighbor who got 5 from the same guy on the same day as me says his are eating even more than that.
Any thoughts on limiting to around 7 lbs of feed per day per pig?
Thanks in advance for help!



Rather than limiting feed, is it possible that you could sell one cheaper or give one to someone in return for processing all of them?  Or maybe you know someone that works at a school, restaurant, fast food place that could get you throw-away food?  My mother worked at the school cafeteria when I was younger and she raised a couple pigs a year almost exclusively from the food she brought home.  She would bring home a couple of 5 gal pails full of food every day for them.
 
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Hi Roxanne;  Welcome to Permies!
Don't feel bad at paying $100 this year, I had to pay $130 and drive 140 miles to boot!
I raise 3 pigs each year, one for us and 2 for neighbors.
A few times circumstances, made me keep one almost 2 months longer... YES they will eat you poor!
Is there a dairy in the area? Even just a farmer milking a few cows??? Most times there will be excess milk product that could be free.   PIGGYS LOVE spoiled milk... yuck...give them a choice of warm spoiled milk and they will choose it over fresh milk every time ....  
All I can tell you is if you limit their feed there is a much higher chance they will "escape" and go for a walk about.... that turns into a run about when you go to corral them...
 
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Food for pigs in the raising units here is rationed so yes you can limit how much they eat, how much you can limit it to I don't know. Could you get some seeds and grow something in bulk for them? Radishes, turnips, lettuce or other fast growing greens, maybe buckwheat. anything to fill up the bellies without piling on the fat or eating your wallet empty. Since it's October they are due you still really have time for carrots/potatoes as well (if your weather permits)
 
Roxanne H - Dunn
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Trace, I can't have some one else process as I am selling 3 of them. Very few people around here know how and most don't have refrigeration to hang them for a time.
I used to get produce that was going to be thrown away from a local grocery store but they had to stop due to "rules" I haven't called around to restaurants because they have all been closed but could do that now that some are opening back up. Thanks!
 
Roxanne H - Dunn
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Thomas thanks for the thoughts. I have been on Permies for years. Not sure why it wiped out all my old posts.
No dairies around that I know of but will put out a question on Facebook.
I thought the same thing about limiting food. They will get hungry and bored and challenge the fence.
 
Roxanne H - Dunn
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Skandi - My garden is full but I can squeeze some things in. I plan on feeding them my extras and "waste" from my garden. Would love some extra. I am planning on asking the neighbors to drop theirs off as well. Just trying to think of an easy way both for them and for me. Maybe a bucket at the end of the driveway?
 
Skandi Rogers
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Roxanne H - Dunn wrote:Skandi - My garden is full but I can squeeze some things in. I plan on feeding them my extras and "waste" from my garden. Would love some extra. I am planning on asking the neighbors to drop theirs off as well. Just trying to think of an easy way both for them and for me. Maybe a bucket at the end of the driveway?



How about giving each neighbour who agrees a bucket that they put out every few days when they have something? you could also ask on FB if anyone is throwing out vegetables I don't know about your area but is seems farmers in some areas are.
 
Roxanne H - Dunn
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I listened to the suggestions here and posted on Facebook looking for scraps. A food truck in town replied right away and loved the idea. I start picking up on Monday!
 
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Have you taken your pigs to slaughter?
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