A couple of months ago, we purchased five feeder pigs from a local hog producer. They were about fifty pounds then, and have adjusted well.
We give them a feed we have ground to our specifications at the local feed mill. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to how much of what goes into their livestock a feed; however, our biggest focus is on making sure it has a 16% protein content. This seems to be the best for a steady growth rate.
We also feed our guys scraps from our own meals. This can be anything from corn cobs or veggie peels, to left over spaghetti. Don’t forget that hogs are omnivores, which means a little meat in their diet is a good thing. (Cooked meat only, raw meat is not a good idea.)
Most livestock at some point need to be de-wormed. Pigs are no exception, considering their little snouts are rooting in the dirt at any given moment. When I was a kid, we bought commercial wormer and dosed the animals accordingly. Today, though, I use a more natural method, diatomaceous earth. By the way, it just so happens to be cheaper too. If I’m going to be perfectly honest, that’s my main reason for switching.
I took this definition from diatomaceous earth.com, so as to accurately describe what this wonderful stuff is: “Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized shells of diatoms, an ancient kind of algae. As time passed, these microscopic shells, consisting mostly of the mineral silica, accumulated in freshwater lake beds and formed huge silica deposits. When mined and ground into powder, it becomes what we call diatomaceous earth. This chalk-like powder is microscopically very hard, coarse, and absorbent, which makes it useful for many things.”
That being said, when sprinkled onto the hogs’ feed, it becomes a nice natural de-wormer! I make sure to get every inch of their food covered, to make it very hard to eat around. I am a huge fan of this stuff, so do not be surprised to find it mentioned in several of my posts!
The pigs seem not to mind the D.E. at all, they took to eating as soon as I walked off about five feet!
To me, taking proper care of the animals is the most important thing. I take pride in raising happy healthy animals!