Consider how the wildflowers grow....Luke 12:27 NIV
Living small in our 880 square foot cottage and micro farming on approximately an acre of land.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Free Animal Feed

One thing I admit I wasn't prepared for in our homesteading endeavor is the cost of feeding these creatures!  Especially this guy, napping in the shade:

I assumed he'd happily chow down on kitchen and garden waste, but he's as picky as a toddler!  And a hungry pig is a trouble-making pig! He does eat some homemade slop and will pick through some weeds, greens and hay, but for the most part, he's hopelessly addicted to pig feed and carbs.  I'm thinking it is because we got him late in the year, rather than freshly weaned, so he got used to conventional feed before he came to us.  Still, he gets a fairly decent variety of diet, but I'd be so happy if he'd eat more of the free stuff.  In the fall, we'll pick up hickory nuts from the two trees in the hedgerow to give him.  When the garden is done for the year, we may fence it in and let the pig muck about in it to fatten up some more.

The goats are on loan.  They do not belong to us, so they are fed according to the owner's preferences.  No biggie, there.  We get milk out of the deal!

The rabbits and chickens have bins of pellets (from the grain mill next door), but we are surrounded by free food for them.  The rabbits love the lettuce and kale from my garden and the rye grass, dandelion leaves, clover and plantain from the yard.  It just takes a little extra time out of my day to pick through the yard and feed them fresh greens.  The chickens, I learned, will peck through kitchen waste and garden weeds quite happily.  Plus, there are bugs EVERYWHERE. I had quite the handful of grass that had gone to seed and dried that I gave them this morning to peck through.  

We get bales of hay as part of payment for work on a local farm and we can glean from the field next door after they're done mowing and baling.  So all that helps.  I probably only have about a month and a half of free food left.  Frost will hit and plants will stop growing.


  1. We added the "free stuff" to their store bought food. Usually, the girls just inhaled it all. :) With our next round of little piggies, we plan to do as much "free" and home grown fodder as possible.

    Your little guy looks happy. :)

  2. Have you tried cooking the food waste? I have absolutely no experience with pigs, but in all of the old timey books I've read, they boiled the 'slop'.
    Diana from Seattle