Sunday, October 20, 2013

Feed Crops & What we Feed Our Pigs

Not much to report for September. I was injured in a car crash so not a lot extra got done around the farm besides the daily animal chores. But everything kept growing during all that time, of course!

Now things are beginning to happen again. Lots more clearing out the jungle that had regrown out back, to make room for extending the rows in our "protein field" : moringa, mulberry, and cassava. The leaves of each of these plants are very high in balanced amino acids, thus making them excellent feed crops. We have more sugarcane ready to plant, too.

Big Mama & Spot are both pregnant and due soon. Big Mama's next litter is due at the end of this month, just in time for Halloween. Spot is due mid-November.

The six young ones from Spot's previous litter weigh between 120-125 pounds each. They now occupy two of the pens, as seen in the second photo below, with three pigs in each pen. These will be butchered sometime in December when they reach 180 pounds.

We are in the process of putting up bird netting over all the open spaces of the piggery. Those greedy wild doves and pigeons are eating far more than we can afford to lose!

There have been several farm tours coming through these past months. In the photo above, Mike is telling a group of college students about the sugarcane, cassava, and mulberries we use for part of the pigs' diet. The pigs are also currently getting moringa leaves (dried; they don't seem to like it fresh - too spicy, maybe) mixed with their organic non-gmo feed, fermented together with IMO4, and small amounts of OHN (Oriental Herbal Nutrient), LAB (Lactic Acid Bacteria), FAA (Fish Amino Acid), & FPJ (Fermented Plant Juice). These last are added along with a bit of water to nicely moisten the whole mixture. It gets covered loosely with a paper feed sack, and then ferments for 12 hours. Sometimes the piggies get eggs, kabocha, or guava as an extra treat since we have a lot of these right now. And of course, they get lots of scratches, pets, and attention.

(PS: We can hardly wait until the 'ulu and papaya (seen in the first photos of this entry) begin to produce in abundance. Should be soon! And when that happens, the pigs will be getting a share of those crops as well.)