Self-feeding food forest pig pen

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Nicolai Barca, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. Nicolai Barca

    Nicolai Barca New Member

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    I'm curious how well this would work or if it could be done at all. Has anyone ever heard of anybody using a food forest with a diverse assortment of fruit/nut trees, stacked, and with other perennials which would provide pigs with food year round?

    I'm thinking the design would need to address the year round needs of the pigs for protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. And you could always complement it with feed. Anybody ever heard of such a system? The pigs loved the 1.5 acre food forest we created out here but I don't think there is enough earthworm protein to support pigs full time without wreaking havoc on the ground cover. ...unless nuts could be used as an alternative protein source to earthworms. They also destroyed the cassava patches and i'm thinking bananas and sweet potato could be a more suitable carb source.

    Any thoughts? It would be fun to think of what sizes and what plants could be used to support a pig or two.
     
  2. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    What you are describing is exactly like the new pastures we are putting in around the large oak and hickory trees on our land. We plant root veggies (rape, carrot, daikon radish, sweet potato). Then there are the other items like brassicas, squashes, beans, which are augmented by grasses, alfalfa, barley, oats. We let pasture paddocks get grown p to around 7 cm before we turn the hogs loose and we move them weekly since we have large enough paddocks that they don't eat them bare between stints. It takes about 8 weeks between turns for the paddock to fully recover. This is also a good time period to make new additions to the pasture mix of plants. (tomatoes work great for a treat plant.

    Fruit trees have to be protected from the hogs since they will rub against the trunks to the point of breaking the tree trunk (they have already taken down a small oak (8 years old). What we are doing is planting fruit trees between two fence rows so the hogs can have fruits that drop but they can't get to the actual trees. Any tree that isn't at least 5 cm in thick is subject to be taken down by hogs rubbing against their trunk. If you have enough pasture growth, hogs will root less since they can get what they need elsewhere. Do use some sort of minerals supplement or spread Sea-90 on the pasture twice a year for the first two years so the minerals they will need are easily available. Use this stuff on all your garden spaces too, it will greatly improve the taste of your veggies, melons and tree born fruits. (I use it everywhere).
     
  3. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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  4. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    That is turning into a very nice setup. Wishing we could grow some of their items for hog food to augment what we have going.
    I'm currently thinning some of the hickory trees so more of the white oaks can grow bigger for acorn production. Our hogs love the acorns and shun the hickory nut fall, too tough to crack I suspect. We had some volunteer squash plants growing and they were doing great until the hogs found them. In one day they ate all the squash plants to the ground, but that means we just need to plant those for them since they love to eat them.

    Our plan is to only need supplemental feed and water for the hogs so we can keep costs down for more profit. I'm adding another 2 acres this winter so we can have more hogs growing without any additional feed costs than necessary.
     
  5. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    being far enough south it seems sweet potatoes would be a huge help
    in forage and fodder along with the rooting for tubers aspect later.

    turnips are also very useful. they get huge here in any good soil areas
    i let them go.
     
  6. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Sweet potatoes are an interesting conundrum with our guinea hogs, they love the tubers but don't care for the leaves much (at least so far that is the case). So we are planting them in the spring time and have to fence that area so the hogs don't trample the vines, when the vines start to die off, we take that barrier fence down and they will go in and root up the tubers to eat. We grow three types of turnip in the pastures, purple top, seven top and a rutabaga plus they get rape, parsnip and then collards, mustard greens, and in the winter time they get to eat kale. I go in to each pasture as we rotate them out and add new seed varieties to keep them from getting bored.

    If it is a crop they will eat, we plant it for them. Pumpkins are great but we have to grow them outside of the paddocks since they will eat the plants before they can produce pumpkins if we don't. I keep adding paddock areas just so we can have pastures growing most of their food. Our pastures have lots of trees, more woodland than what most think of as pasture.
     
    James Kniskern likes this.
  7. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds New Member

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    Nicolai, look at what ECHO has done in Florida and worldwide. They are a missionary training facility and I saw a demonstration of pig production using fermented banana stalks.
    here are a number of results:
    https://www.google.com/#q=echo+feeding+pigs+banana+stalks
     

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