Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Feeding Growers...ad lib or daily?  (Read 170 times)

PigsPigsPigs

  • Joined Mar 2021
Feeding Growers...ad lib or daily?
« on: March 30, 2021, 08:17:11 pm »
Hi everyone,
This is my first post so sorry if I’ve somehow done it wrong.
I am collecting my first three Saddlebacks next week. They will be 12 weeks old.
I have a 1.5 acre field sectioned off for them to have to themselves with plenty of sun and shade.
We haven’t yet got the mains water piped up to that field so am making a sealed water butt with bite nipples for them.
As for food, should I be getting an outdoor feeder and letting them have ad lib feed (I had always assumed they’d be ‘pigs’ and scoff more than they need) or should I feed them once/twice a day in rubber feed bowls so that I know each pig is getting the right amount.
I know to reduce it down from the package guide since they will be foraging too but just not sure how I will know how much is enough.
Thanks in advance.
S

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Feeding Growers...ad lib or daily?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2021, 08:17:57 am »
How are they fed at the moment?


There is much debate about ad lib versus set amounts and whether traditional pigs need a finisher at all. Contrary to what you might think pigs don't pig out anymore than any animal fed on an ad lib system. Food conversion is at its optimum the younger the pig so if you want to go with ad lib fine and as they get closer to finishing weight you can adjust what you give them.


Finishing pigs like all animals is something you hone over time. Think finishing not fattening and keep an eye on condition as they grow. If they are outdoors then they will get plenty of exercise as opposed to indoor pigs.


I would not adjust feed because they are foraging. They have to eat a lot of grass and worms to make a difference to their diet.


The hardest thing ad libbing outdoors is a system to keep your feed dry so you might go with a daily ration instead. There is also the potential problem of birds and vermin taking advantage of an constant food supply.


Many people feed sow nuts instead of finisher to traditional pigs believing that they don't need a commercial ration and they will run to fat on it. This is not actually the case at all. Pigs are more likely to put on fat if protein levels of feed are lower and so the pig eats more to do the same job. Pigs run to fat because they weren't finished correctly.


I have a friend who ran one of the largest Saddleback herds and finished pigs for butchers. His pigs were fed ad lib and a change to a higher protein feed decreased fat levels on finished pigs.




sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Feeding Growers...ad lib or daily?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2021, 09:32:35 am »
I  fed my 2 outdoor pigs twice a day. We have lots of crows who would have been more than happy to eat any food left out.All the pigs we have reared have been fed this way and done well. I used sow nuts and some fruit and veg.

 

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