Saturday, March 12, 2011

Animal Garden = Animal Feed

(originally posted Sept 13, 2009)

Here's how we cut feed store costs and raise healthier pigs:

I'd be remiss if I didn't put up a post explaining how we are feeding our oinkers....I know I've alluded to it, but here's the bottom line.

Remember this? It's our Animal Garden...about 3000 sq feet of veggies grown mostly for our pigs and chickens. (I say mostly because I'm not above going down there and forking up a nice bunch of carrots or beets to sell, if I'm running out of those in the Main Garden.)

I plant my seeds and seedlings very close together down there in the Animal Garden. This helps keep down the weeds. Plus, as the plants grow, we can thin them out and feed the thinnings to the animals.

Sure, in the beginning, the thinnings don't add up to much. But we do it anyway, as it allows the remaining veggies to grow bigger. When we pick feed, we just pull the largest veggies, leaving room for the neighbour to get bigger.

We have a woodstove down at the barn. Every day now for the last month or so, we have been lighting the stove with canners on top full of veggies.

The Gman built a table inside the Animal Garden awhile ago. It has been a huge time saver! Instead of hauling veggies into the barn to chop up on the freezers (we were using the freezer tops as our table) now we can toss all the veggies on this table and chop right there.

Just some of the veggies picked for a meal: from left to right....a really mangy looking beet I wasn't willing to sell....a sugar beet...some rutabagas, turnips and over on the far right are some mangels.

Here's the wheelbarrow which we try to fill once a day...this will fill two canners to the top and then some.

We chop the leaves off, since the hens Lurv them and the pigs do not....I can almost hear them screaming that greens are Filler...we don't want Filler...we want Roots!!

they all get fed off to the hens.

The stalks however, get tossed in the wheelbarrow since the pigs like them...fussy things.

All morning we keep the stove going. By lunch time, the veggies are well cooked and we go down and pull the two canners off the stove.


One will get fed to the pigs in late afternoon along with their grain. The other will be fed the following morning with their breakfast grain.


And the Pigs Lurv these veggies....unreal how quickly they gobble it all up!


We're now in the finishing stages of growing these pigs out, so they get these canners full of veggies, plus any trimmings or weeds we happen to pull out of the gardens.

Next week, we will likely up them to two canners full for each meal. Gotta fatten these porkers up!

Sphere: Related Content


Joanne said...

Wow! So great that you don't have to rely so much on commercial feed. Thanks for posting that, gives me lots of ideas for next your blog often does :)
Just wondered why you have to cook the roots?

The Mom said...

I love that you feed them such healthy and wonderful food. Eating the way they were meant to eat, living the way they were meant to live. They'll be awfully yummy when its time.

Linda Foley said...

Thanks for the detailed post about feeding the pig!

Joanne, I don't think they need cooked - just potatoes and I am not really convinced they need cooked either. But cooking the potatoes is traditional.

Annie, I am thinking about you today!

Lisa said...

We do the same thing for our animals the only difference is that we get our veggies and fruit from the grocery store. They give us the "scraps". Really things that are slightly banged up. Really they are still good to eat but in our superficial world we don't want to eat things with blemishes. It's a pity. No wonder the price of veggies and fruit is so expensive!

Nothing really needs to be cooked though. The only thing that "needs" to be cooked is the potatoes. They cannot digest the starch in them. It will give them a belly ache. That's what the vet told us.

Our Charlotte will not eat cabbage cooked or not. Wilbur will eat anything. They only eat root veggies if they're chopped. We have a big old fashioned turnip chopper. We dump all the root veg in the chopper and away you go. Instant salad! I hope this helped.

If you have no idea what a turnip chopper is I'll post you a piccie.

Annie said...

Joanne, up here where we (you and I) live....the absolute best to grow are turnips, rutabagas and mangels...also sugar beets.

Turnips are probably #1 - mostly because they grow so darn fast....55 days. Then just let them get even bigger.

Mom, that is totally our philosophy...feed them well, treat them well, spend time with them...they are really really happy while they are here!

Linda and Lisa...yes, it is only the potatoes that really Need to be cooked. We did have to give up cooking on the woodstove down at the barn, there was too much work and not enuf energy.

So we went back to feeding raw, except for the potatoes.


Mike Marti said...

Thats great that you use your own Animal Feed! I have something like this that I use for my pigs.

Gardening Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory Gardening Blogroll Center
Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Software