[2-2-2012: Hi Natures Harmony blog readers. Walter Jefferies has been claiming you can raise a pig on pasture alone. After he made that claim for years, I finally called him on it, in this blog post. Even though I used all of his published comments as the rules for raising the 4 pigs, he declined. He continues to make this claim. Read the comments for links to the specific quotes for every parameter. Wouldn't you like to be paid $10,000 to raise 4 pigs?
If you'd like to see the post that set Tim off on his rant, you'll find it here.
Walter Jefferies from Sugar Mountain Farm and I have been discussing feeding and raising pigs. We have a disagreement. He believes, and has stated publically many times that he has raised pigs on pasture without supplemental feeding. That you can do this, and the result is a pig that gains weight only 10% slower than usual.
Walter has also suggested that you can do this with a stocking level of 20 pigs per acre.
The $10,000 Sugar Mountain Farm Challenge
1) Sugar Mountain farms will supply 4 weaner pigs of his choice, each pig an average weight of 40lbs or less
2) Sugar Mountain farms will supply hay of his choice to feed those pigs.
3) We put those pigs into a pen that is 1/5th of an acre in size and provide them shelter and water. Has to be pasture -- not a sugar beet field. Grass. Similar in nature and fertility to the dirt at walters farm. This size pasture per Sugar Mountain's reccomendations to other farmers about pen size and apparently his current practices.
4) That we feed those pigs .8 (8 tenths) of a pound of hay per day per cwt per Sugar mountain farms many published reccomendations and stated current practice and NO OTHER FOOD OF ANY SORT.
5) That the pigs finish on a schedule that is 10% or less different than 4H guidelines for finished pigs or any other grow-out length as agreed to by both parties.
6) That the average finished weight of the four pigs be between 250 and 280lbs live weight at the end of this time.
7) Sugar Mountain farms can pick the start date of this challenge so that he can pick the most beneficial time of the year but at a time less than 1 year from the date of this post.
8) That the pigs be kept at some other farm, agreeable to both Sugar Mountain and I.
9) That the pigs be weighed each month, and in the event of weight loss or lack of weight gain we deem the challenge to be over and Sugar mountain to have lost. Each weighing to be published on the web.
10) I will put $10,000 into an escrow account held by an attorney at the commencement of this challenge, and will direct that attorney to award that money to Sugar Mountain farms in the event that he fufills all of these conditions.
11) In the event that Sugar Mountain accepts this challenge and cannot meet all of these conditions, Sugar mountain agrees to host a banner at the top of each and every one of his websites for one year in legible text that states "I lost the sugar mountain challenge and the results can be seen here", and linked to any page I choose.
11 hours ago