Thursday, February 23, 2012

First feeding cycle

Feeding the pigs the produce on concrete has had interesting results.  Heres a picture of the produce load before the pigs started eating it. 
 There's quite a bit of leafy green stuff there; lettuce and cabbage, and a variety of other fruits and vegetables. 
 24 hours later, the pigs have eaten everything that they like out of this load, leaving a very different looking material.  They don't like oranges or onions or brussel sprouts (the green things in the picture above), peppers or potatoes.  This particular load we mixed with a half yard of potting soil (with the plants) and what we ended up with looks like potting soil.  Interesting. 

 The cleanout takes about 5 minutes.  Tractor goes in, scoops up the material, backs out. 
 We carry this material over to a compost pile, where the stuff the pigs don't like will be converted into good soil.  I'm kinda liking this concrete feeding thing.   Take a look at the leftover material, above.  Click on the picture for a bigger version.  It looks like topsoil already. 
The concrete itself gets pretty clean; there's a very light layer of mud, and a little bit of material on either side. 2 minutes with a flatbladed shovel to bring that stuff to the center, another scoop, and we're ready for the next feeding cycle. 

My initial impression is that more of the food is going into the hogs; less is trampled into the mud.  Cleanup is certainly much easier - I designed it so that the feeding area was 18" wider than the tractor bucket to make that possible.  Now I think I'll try loads that don't have potting soil in them.  I'm hoping that what the hogs don't eat (oranges, potatoes, onions, etc) we can scoop up and present to the cows, to get even more use of the fruit.   

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