View Full Version : Pigs cant eat wheat?
07-22-2009, 02:17 AM
Hi all the guy at the elevater told me today to make sure the piggies dont get into the bags of wheat we got for chicken feed mix. He said that if the pigs eat the wheat that it binds up in the gut & they die. Is this true? I have been checking on line to see if this is right but cant find any info on this, so i thought you all will know the answer as i am a first time pig raiser.Is there anything else they shouldnt have? This is whole wheat uncleaned straight from the field to the elevater . thanks
Hi all the guy at the elevater told me today.... that if the pigs eat the wheat ... they die. Is this true?
First I've ever heard of that.
We've fed wheat in the past without problems. As near as I can tell, almost all swine feeds do contain some wheat. Of course protien supplements will be needed, especially for weaners, and maybe a bit less of that for mature hogs. Check with your county or state ag folks for formulae and authoritative advice on your particular case.
07-22-2009, 10:16 AM
While I don't know for sure, I suspect he meant that if pigs ate their fill of wheat with nothing else it could cause a problem. Sorta like a human eating all the cheddar cheese they could at one time.
07-22-2009, 12:47 PM
Pigs eat anything. Before the giant feed companies bought out all the small feed stores, we would just buy a mixture of anything leftover by the truckload to feed pigs. Now the only mills you buy from are the Amish, so you can not get it by the ton. But in the past we fed lots of wheat to sows along with soybeans, corn, barley, etc. They eat absolutely anything. Even restaurant waste makes good pig food.
07-22-2009, 02:40 PM
When we were growing up, Dad kept a 5 gal "slop bucket" on the backporch. Kitchen grey water went into it. (soap no detergent in the dishwater). So did vegetable trimmings, leftover biscuits and cooking grease and any other appropriate left over people food. Before feeding to the hogs he'd mix a few scoops of hog feed. He emptied that bucket every afternoon, sometimes more often when we had surplus milk and/or buttermilk.
I can't remember the specifics, but there was a bakery outlet or something similar where he could get bread, Hostess cupcakes, dougnuts, and such by the pickup load. Believe it was unsold bread picked up from the stores. He'd only have to pay a few dollars for a whole load. We'd feed the hogs those loaves of bread until they began to mold. I remember sneaking a few cupcakes for myself on the day he'd pick up another load. :)
He always grew a big watermelon and cantalope patch. While they were in season, the hogs got a treat every day. When field corn was ripe, we'd cut the whole stalks. I remember him cutting mule drawn wagon loads with a corn knife. When he planted corn, he planted enough for cutting green and harvesting dry to feed the stock in addition to what he grew for sale.
All the surplus from the garden (that friends and relatives didn't use) went to feed the stock. One example, after the green peas were picked the vines were pulled for the hogs.
Thought about it yesterday, when I saw the can at Lowes Foods for people to put discarded cabbage leaves, corn shucks, etc. I'm hoping that someone is picking those up as they make good hog and chicken feed.
07-22-2009, 03:49 PM
Keep a couple things in mind. You can feed anything you want to a hog, and they will only eat what won't hurt them.... how do they know? I haven't a clue.
The only thing you must not feed a hog is any type of meat scrap. You never want a hog to get the taste for meat.
But, anything else is fine. If you feed scraps, wheat, corn, etc, they will pick out the good stuff and leave anything that would harm them. Pigs are extremely smart for an animal...
But, wheat alone is not enough for a hog's nutrtional requirements. If you feed just grain, you are better off with corn.
Also, one thing I used to do when I kept a few breeding sows... I would take my left over milk and fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of milo. Then I would pour the milk over it and fill the bucket. This would set in the barn for 12 hours before it went to the hogs. When I emptied the bucket, I would refill it for the next feeding. Hogs love anything that is soured.. milk, soured grain, etc.
07-22-2009, 06:40 PM
The only thing you must not feed a hog is any type of meat scrap. You never want a hog to get the taste for meat.
They do eat meat, but it can be dangerous. We have all heard those "stories" of men disappearing from a hog lot when they went out to feed alone. The sows use to love to chase down rats and snakes and eat them. They squealed in delight when you would move a hog hut in the pen because all the nasty mice/rats would run out from under it. Those ladies would literally stomp them, grab and shake them then swallow them whole. They are more savage than chickens when it comes to killing prey. And they can be cannibalistic too. If a sow happens to die or just get a sore, they will bite at her just like a chicken. My husband would never let our boys into the pens alone even when they were teens.
07-22-2009, 07:09 PM
Yikes. I didn't know that. If we ever get a pig, I will not be feeding it meat!
07-22-2009, 07:39 PM
We never fed raw meat to hogs either. This is the main reason.
Mom and Dad often talked about this parasite when we were growning up. As a result, Mom cooked pork to death. (sigh)
Even though we didn't feed them meat, I've seen hogs kill and eat newborn pigs. And attack sick or weak adults, too. Dad had to kill several, over the years, because the other hogs will rip them up so badly they couldn't be saved.
We, too, were taught from an early age how dangerous a sow with baby pigs or a boar could be. Back in the 50's and early 60's brood sows were huge as were the boars. We could go into the pasture (about 5 acres) as long as we gave the hogs a wide berth. But we did not go into the feedlot alone. Period. There were no exceptions to that rule.
07-22-2009, 07:40 PM
There were several hundreds of pigs in the confinement and pens, not just one or two like a homesteader would keep. We would keep several pens with 40sows/gilts and four boars. It wasn't just small pens like most people would have in their back yard. I didn't mean to scare you. Sorry.
07-22-2009, 09:11 PM
Momma to seven,
That will happen not only in a confined commercial operation but in a pen or lot at home, too. The hogs could very easily overcome a child, a small animal such as a small dog or cat, and even lambs and kids. They LOVE meat and will eat any meat they can. That is why you must never feed any meat scraps to hogs. If you ever are around hogs and have a chance to catch a big snake, like a black snake, throw it live in the pen and see how many seconds before it disappears. We used to do that for fun.. we woulda got a good whipping if we had been caught. lol I did it once as an adult. I had about a 6' black snake in the chicken house. I took it out and threw it in with 5 little hogs that were to go to the sale in a few days. They all hit at by the time the snake hit the ground. They all attacked, tugged, and tore it to shreds and had it eaten in quicker time than it took to catch it and throw it to them... and squealing all the while.
07-22-2009, 11:57 PM
Thanks for all the replys. The feed we do is a 1 gallon pitcher dumped into a bucket & mixed. The ratio is 1 gal. oats ,1 gal cracked corn ,1/2 gal of dried crumbled beet tops, 2 gal pig pellets & 1 gal wheat.That is the food that is kept in the pan inside their house to stay dry. The feed pan outside has all the greens ,collard ,swiss chard, left over watermelon spinach. Right now at only 25 pounds we have 2 pigs in each 16x 16 grass pen . Each pen has a 6x8 house outside the pen. When the pigs get to be 100 pounds there will only be 1 pig per pen & house.I was hoping the guy at the elevater was just upset that I only wanted 15 bushel of wheat & not the grain wagon load he wanted me to buy, & trying to scare me about killing the pigs.I didnt know if there was a difference in the wheat that is in the pig feed from the feed store & what i buy at the elevater for the chickens.
07-23-2009, 02:15 AM
We would feed our feeder pigs hooch. We'd take 1/2 55 gallon drum full of wheat and fill it to the top with water and cover. In about 3 days, the wheat swelled to the top and fermented. When you scooped it out you could actually smell the alcohol. Our hogs loved it. We also had to feed corn and alfalfa hay to get a balanced ration. This ration made the best tasting pork my family and friends have ever had. When we get a farm again, I'll go back to feeding that same ration.
I'll tell you what, no matter what you feed, if it is natural and not processed pellets, you will never go back to the commercial feed again. To me, pork from commercial pellet fed hogs tastes like commercial pellets.
07-23-2009, 09:53 AM
I was hoping the guy at the elevater was just upset that I only wanted 15 bushel of wheat & not the grain wagon load he wanted me to buy, & trying to scare me about killing the pigs.
Based on your first post:
Quote: Hi all the guy at the elevater told me today to make sure the piggies dont get into the bags of wheat we got for chicken feed mix. He said that if the pigs eat the wheat that it binds up in the gut & they die. Is this true?
I believe the fellow was telling you not to let the pigs get to the bags of wheat and eat their fill. Something in your conversation may have led him to believe (right or wrong) that your pigs could accidently get to the feed bags.
To speak a little more plainly :) , if I eat too much cheese at one time chances are I'll have to follow it with ExLax. The equivalent may happen with pigs and too much wheat at one time.
Don't know, for sure that's what he meant with what he said, but do suspect that's the case.
Just 2 more cents....
07-23-2009, 05:54 PM
The feed we do is a 1 gallon pitcher dumped into a bucket & mixed. The ratio is 1 gal. oats ,1 gal cracked corn ,1/2 gal of dried crumbled beet tops, 2 gal pig pellets & 1 gal wheat.
Thyme, a suggestion. I would do away with the oats and wheat. If you're feeding pig pellets of good quality, they are nutritionally balanced and by adding other items you end up with a VERY unbalanced diet. Also, oats are way overpriced for any benefit. They are not that nutritional but are used in other types of feeds as filler more than anything else. However, up-to-date nutritionists don't normally add oats to feeding programs for hogs, horses, or cattle. I would either feed the pig pellets or feed the corn or milo but not both. You are actually wasting more money than what is benefitting the pigs. The pig pellets, of good quality, are maximized for the best nutrition for the best feed/gain ratio. In other words they are designed to make the pig grow as fast as possible with a balanced ration.
That is the food that is kept in the pan inside their house to stay dry. The feed pan outside has all the greens ,collard ,swiss chard, left over watermelon spinach. Right now at only 25 pounds we have 2 pigs in each 16x 16 grass pen . Each pen has a 6x8 house outside the pen. When the pigs get to be 100 pounds there will only be 1 pig per pen & house.Another question. You plan to separate the pigs? They actually do better when not separated. I would keep them together until slaughter.
I was hoping the guy at the elevater was just upset that I only wanted 15 bushel of wheat & not the grain wagon load he wanted me to buy, & trying to scare me about killing the pigs.I didnt know if there was a difference in the wheat that is in the pig feed from the feed store & what i buy at the elevater for the chickens.
Also, I agree with Lee. He was probably referring to not allowing the pigs free access to all the feed they want, in this case, wheat.
07-24-2009, 01:38 AM
About pigs in grass pens--
The vet always said not to let them eat too many weeds or pasture as a goat/cow would. They can certainly eat some, but not total pasture. You can crowd hogs more than that, and should feed them grains, slop along with pasture. We had a couple necropsys done on sows who ate too many horse weeds that bound up in the tummy. We learned to not allow them to eat too many weeds, and kept them more crowded after a couple of losses. Of course they may have died from other things and the vet was wrong, but our vet did warn us not to let them eat too many tall weeds when they were moved into a new pen. We learned to mow first before a group came out of the farrowing house and went into a breeding pen with the boars.
Don't get me wrong. They always had plenty of grain. But when they first come out of the farrowing building to go into a pen with tall grass and weeds, they pig out on it. And more than one was lost that way.
07-24-2009, 01:23 PM
When I had hogs on a continuous basis, they were always pastured and I never had a problem. It may also depend on the type of grasses since different areas of the country use different grasses.
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