Friday, December 18, 2009

Preparing the pigs food

As with any recipe, preparation is key.  First, start with a large enough mixing vessel.  In this case, we'll be mixing about 600lbs of feed, so the front loader will do just fine.  My dog monster is doing a quality check. 

Another key element to a good meal is to use the freshest ingredients.  Here you can see the brewers grain.  It's barley and wheat that has been sprouted, and then boiled to make beer with.  The liquid that its boiled in becomes the beer-the spent grains are the solid remains of the wheat and barley. 

It feels a lot like wheat bulgur, and smells a bit like porridge.  After it's been boiled it's sterile, so it's actually a pretty good base for animal feed.  It has about 30% of the calories of the original wheat. 

Next I add a couple of hundred pounds of something that is tastier to the pigs:  7 layer dip!  It's actually really nice stuff.  Smells good.  I'm hungry when i'm stripping the packaging off the dip.

Yummy!  bits of red pepper, nice cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole.  Pigs are doing great tonight!

The dogs are constantly on the alert to maintain quality.  Here, Red checks the bean dip to ensure freshness.

And then he inspects the bean dip in the front loader.

Yes, it's beard-licking good.  Dog approved. 

Now for 60lbs of condensed, sweetened milk. 

Again, red checks for freshness.  Yummy milk he says

After adding all the ingredients, stir gently.  I prefer a long handled shovel for this, but some people use a spoon. 

Having stirred it all in, it's ready to go to the final customer:  the pigs

A dramatic presentation will often increase the interest in the food.  The pigs are excited.  They're grunting and squealing.  It's pretty hard for a pig to look up, so they'll walk away a little, judge where the front loader bucket is, and then fight their way directly under the bucket.  After a while they get a little uneasy, back off, and repeat.  They know that right under the bucket is the primo spot.  Prime seating for a pig. 

Here, "the black pig", one of my older sows, has judged it right and gotten completely covered in food.  Ever heard the term "happy as a pig in slop"?  The only thing that makes a pig happier than standing in its food is bathing in it.  Happy holidays, black pig!

and then they get down to the serious eating.  I'm feeding 800lbs of this grain mixture a day -- and they eat every single bit and root out all of the spilled feed.  They like it a lot. 


Susan from the Pacific Northwest said...

I don't know whether I'd say Yummm, but it is fun hearing how much the pigs like it.

sheila said...

On the dairy farm we used to raise a couple of pigs every year on hog feed and warm milk fresh from the cow. Pigs really loved it on a cold winter morning. I can still hear them squealing with excitement and anticipation when they saw the bucket of steaming Pig Porridge coming their way. Made for some great tasting pork.

Unknown said...

Hadn't noticed before that your dog's tail wasn't docked. Good to see.
Great to put all that food to good use.

Bruce King said...

Monster and Kat, my dog and bitch, came to me with their tails docked. I decided not to dock the tails of the pups; the breed standard both has docked and undocked tails. The problem is that it contains a demerit for a tail that curls back over the dogs back. I think that's why most breeders dock the tails these days -- eliminates the penalty.

Theresa Towell said...

Hi Bruce, I just LOVE your pigs and your dogs. My dogs and my pigs are my favorite animals on my tiny farm :) I love the way you do things on your farm and I love reading your blog! I feed my 6 pigs a very varied diet. The last thing they want is hay or grass. They eat those two things when if they are still hungry after eating the grains & pig pellets and other foods I give them. They are such fun creatures, and I cannot wait until my now-pregnant sow has her babies. It will be my first baby pigs :)
anyways, please keep posting - so I can keep reading :D Thank you.

Robin said...

Wow, 800lbs is a lot of food. How many pigs do you have right now?

Bruce King said...

I'm carrying 80 pigs right now. 40 adults and 40 smaller, various sizes. Scratch that' I've got another 20 piglets the last few days, so I'm up to... 100 pigs now.