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Author Topic: Feed quantities for weaners destined for the freezer  (Read 2515 times)

Paul and Caroline

  • Joined Apr 2014
Feed quantities for weaners destined for the freezer
« on: July 13, 2017, 08:47:05 am »
Hi

We have Large White/Saddleback cross gilts now approaching 24 weeks of age. They are now on Sow rolls (3lb per day) and spent brewers mash (1lb per day) split over 2 feeds. They also have a fairly large paddock to root in. Using the tape measure technique we estimate that they are between 63kg and 74kg (we have four) and would appear to be putting on 3 - 4kg each week. We want to get them all over 100kg as cutters and baconers and have estimated that we will need to take them to 32 weeks at least to get there.

My questions are: -

1. Will 4lb of feed daily be enough as they get older or should I consider increasing? I have seen advice that they should be given enough food to last them 10 minutes but I have to say they polish the lot off before I have even had time to refresh their water!

2. Should we increase/decrease the amount of brewers mash we give - currently 25% substitution by weight of their concentrate - or should we eliminate it altogether and reinstate the concentrate

3. Would increasing their feed just lay down excess fat rather than meat?

4. Should We accept that it may take several weeks longer than 32 to get to the weights we are aiming for and just keep to the current quantities?

Many thanks

90driver

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Independent Land Rover Specialst
Re: Feed quantities for weaners destined for the freezer
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 09:11:07 am »
Hello,

I am certianly not a pig expert, but over the last 4 years I have taken over 20 pigs from weaners to slaughter weight.

As a beginner I refered to the feeding rates as found in the livestock section of this web site. And have to say they are spot on !

Have a look yourself, but basicly it is 1lbof food per day, per pig, per month of age..... up to a maximum of 6lb per day.

Local friends who have bought from the same litters as I have and who have not used the above formula have produced vastly different animals for slaughter.

The most extreme case was  me presenting 3 pigs at the slaughter house at 28 weeks all were between 95 and 105 kg, and on the same day their siblings reared a mile away were all less than 30kg !!

Hope that helps

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Feed quantities for weaners destined for the freezer
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 09:16:43 am »
They're now at the stage where feed conversion is much less efficient.  If you pile in the feed you risk piling on the fat.  I've finished GOS, OSB and Saddlebacks but all have gone in at 30 weeks maximum, fed on 16% sow & weaner rolls with a little soaked grain for the final month.  None were getting more than 2.2kg of feed per day, split between two feeds, before slaughter.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Feed quantities for weaners destined for the freezer
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 10:39:41 am »
They're now at the stage where feed conversion is much less efficient.  If you pile in the feed you risk piling on the fat.  I've finished GOS, OSB and Saddlebacks but all have gone in at 30 weeks maximum, fed on 16% sow & weaner rolls with a little soaked grain for the final month.  None were getting more than 2.2kg of feed per day, split between two feeds, before slaughter.


What are your killing weights Marches Farmer?


We find large white crosses finish very lean. Certainly not bacon pigs even though you can get the weights. What do your pigs look and feel like Paul and Caroline? The saddleback might have put the fat into the mix.


If your pigs are lean now you may need to change feed to finishers.


























Pigsmightfry

  • Joined Jan 2015
  • Carlisle
Re: Feed quantities for weaners destined for the freezer
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 11:16:08 am »
Pigs enjoy eating, and will happily consume the majority of food put in front of them. The conversion rate for a pig is around 35% (compared to sheep at 16% and beef cattle at 6%), they are very efficient, that's why they grow so quickly, but if you overfeed them they will start to put on fat rather than muscle.
When you look up the weights for cutters, baconers etc, you will probably find the results for commercial pigs, who are fed on very strict intake regimes, yours can differ a lot from this.

I produce bacon, sausage, gammon etc all from the same pig, the bacon may not be as deep as that from the commercial world but it tastes brilliant, and nobody complains, and my pigs are sent to the abattoir at 80 - 85kg.

The only way to find out what meat you will get is to try it, but is would be useful to start with a benchmark feeding system and slaughter weight, from this you can make adjustment to see what you get back.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Feed quantities for weaners destined for the freezer
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 12:19:22 pm »
When you look up the weights for cutters, baconers etc, you will probably find the results for commercial pigs, who are fed on very strict intake regimes, yours can differ a lot from this.
I produce bacon, sausage, gammon etc all from the same pig, the bacon may not be as deep as that from the commercial world but it tastes brilliant, and nobody complains, and my pigs are sent to the abattoir at 80 - 85kg.
The only way to find out what meat you will get is to try it, but is would be useful to start with a benchmark feeding system and slaughter weight, from this you can make adjustment to see what you get back.
I agree and do the same.  I also adjust the feed amount to take account of the weather - a little more to help them to keep warm on a sub-zero day, a little less as they're moving around very little on a really hot one. 

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Feed quantities for weaners destined for the freezer
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 01:21:52 pm »
Pigs enjoy eating, and will happily consume the majority of food put in front of them. The conversion rate for a pig is around 35% (compared to sheep at 16% and beef cattle at 6%), they are very efficient, that's why they grow so quickly, but if you overfeed them they will start to put on fat rather than muscle.
When you look up the weights for cutters, baconers etc, you will probably find the results for commercial pigs, who are fed on very strict intake regimes, yours can differ a lot from this.

I produce bacon, sausage, gammon etc all from the same pig, the bacon may not be as deep as that from the commercial world but it tastes brilliant, and nobody complains, and my pigs are sent to the abattoir at 80 - 85kg.

The only way to find out what meat you will get is to try it, but is would be useful to start with a benchmark feeding system and slaughter weight, from this you can make adjustment to see what you get back.


Interestingly if you feed adlib they might "pig out" to begin with but then they just take what they need.
Yes, pigs convert food efficiently but convert the most efficiently when young. You can get all all cuts from a smaller pig however it costs the same to kill a big one as a little one. I would take my lops to 100kilo liveweight and bacon some.


Finishing pigs isn't just about type and quantity of feed it is a lot about feel and eye.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Feed quantities for weaners destined for the freezer
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 03:01:30 pm »
Also about the breed - Large White has a lot of frame to build first before it starts putting on flesh, the Saddleback much less.  Your crossbreeds may be variable in frame size and therefore have a less predictable growth rate than pure breeds.

 

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