What do you feed pigs?
What do you feed pigs at Heritage Farm Maine? We feed our pigs health and love. We feed the opportunity and adventure. At Heritage Farm Maine we feed our pigs excellence and encouragement. We feed them bucketfuls of the goodness. Okay. I’ll be serious. For a minute anyway. We are always on the lookout for alternative, organic, local, sustainable, and affordable options. As such, our feed is always evolving. As of today, March 1 2016:
Our pigs are fed a base ration of grains from our local mill, Feed Commodities, in Detroit Maine. We like to ensure that the animals get a baseline of basic balanced nutrition. The feed comes fresh from the mill in a pelleted form. Some folks like a loose grain, but I find it’s easier to handle and we have less waste. The feed is a mixture we often get is a Sow & Pig mixture that has a higher amino acid profile for growing porkers. It is corn and soy basic mix, with vitamins and minerals added. The corn and the soy in the mix are both a GMO product. We have some mixed emotions both good and bad when it comes to GMO’s, that we will be discussing in future blogs.
On the farm we add kelp chips and diatomaceous earth to the mix as well. We feel that the kelp chips are a small price to pay to ensure that our animals are getting a full spectrum of minerals and vitamins. The diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring powder that is ground up diatoms. Diatoms are marine algae. We add it primarily as a form of natural wormer.
Milk! We get a decent amount of milk by products from our partner farm Siberia farms in Hermon. They run a grass based dairy and produces raw and pasteurized milk, cheeses, yogurts, and other treats. We often get left over by products to supplement the pigs.
More grains! We also help out our local breweries as well. Both the Winterport Winery in Winterport, and The Orono Brewing company in Orono send us their spent grains from the brewing process. Much of the left over grains is just fiber, and the pigs only eat a small portion of the available dry matter. However, the ducks, chickens, and pigs all love the treat! Plus, we love having all that extra organic matter going back into our soils. It’s an amazing way to recycle.
Grass! Hay! Dirt! Roots! Bugs! Worms! Nuts! Berries! Fruits! Vegetables that we grow!
My apologies for getting so excited. Our pigs get an amazing diet that they glean from the natural forest. pastures, and woodlots on the property. They capitalize on season abundance. We grow things like pumpkins and squashes as well for them. We also collect apples and acorns from neighborhood lawns as treats when available. if you have apples and want to come feed the pigs bring them on over! They would love you!
So there is an overview of what we feed our pigs. We have a base rate of feed to ensure they get basic nutrition. The rest is all supplementation on whatever is available. Both in the form of off farm inputs, and on farm forage. If there is one thing I can say, they get just as much, if not more, variety than we do. Wild pigs wish they had it so good.