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.

Monday, November 23, 2015

How To Fatten a Backyard Hog on the Cheap

Without the luxury of an fenced in pasture, feeding a backyard hog for future butchering can get costly.  I am on my second year of raising spring pigs for December butchering, so I have been trying out and brainstorming how to fatten up hogs on the cheap.  This is a work in progress.

1. Try to get a recently weaned shoat.  I notice that the older the pig, the more used to whatever feed he's been getting he is, and the less likely he'll be to turn his snout up at certain foods.

2.  Throw everything edible into the pigpen.  If my beans got too tough and bulky on the plant, or the summer squash got too big and tough, I threw it into the pigpen.  Broccoli went to flower, I pruned the flowers and fed them to the pigs.  We threw in grass clippings (our lawn is untreated and organic), leaves (our current pigs LOVED fresh hickory leaves), cracked eggs from the hens, nuts that dropped from trees, fruit that dropped from trees, hay that the goats dropped and wouldn't eat anymore, etc.

3. Save everything in the kitchen.  I have a slop bucket in the kitchen.  In it goes crumbs, the water from rinsing out cans and jars of their food remains before washing, fruit and vegetable cores and ends, bread crusts the kids wouldn't finish, leftover that hadn't gone bad yet but weren't going to get eaten by humans, egg shells, plate scrapings, cooked potato peelings, the teaspoon or two of milk or juice left in the bottom of cups.  Every little bit is another calorie for the pigs.

4.  If you're not opposed to it, ask around for restaurant or bakery waste.  I personally don't like feeding my pigs unknown or unhealthy waste foods.  Once in a while, a donated bag of donuts I'll gladly throw in, but I won't make a steady diet of it for my pigs.

5. Ask around the neighborhood.  Surely neighbors have neglected fruit trees you could glean from, or even nut trees, acorns, garden waste, or even a pile of bread ends in their bread boxes.

6.  At picnics and parties, ask the host if you could bring a slop bucket for plate scrapings, dropped food, and leftovers to feed your pig.

7.  If you aren't opposed to feeding your pigs raw meat, ask your hunter friends for discards, innards, etc.

Every little bit adds up and whole lot of pig for a little money if you are diligent.  Do you have any ideas to share?

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