As a week old piglet stumpy lost his tail but its all healed nicely , he just looks a little odd without his curly tail. We bought them from a lovely couple we didn't know about who live practically on our doorstep , they came home with us in a dog crate but no way they would fit in it now. After our previous experience with pigs and knowing the cost of feeding them we wanted to be a bit more frugal with the feed bill so we are experimenting with mixing our own feed rather than feeding expensive pre mixed commercial feed. Of course garden waste is being used to supplement their diet too. we are also investigating food waste from companies that may be used, there are strict rules about this so we are finding this difficult.
After a lot of reading I decide on my magic mix formula,I will share it at the end of november when the boys go to the butchers , afterall its not tried and tested yet. Old spots are rare breed pigs and slow growing they get slaughtered at age 9 months as opposed to commercial pigs that can be slaughtered any time between 3 and 6 months. Getting the balance of feed right is crucial, I have been warned that they have a tendency to 'go to fat' if overfed so am keeping a close eye on growth rates, body scoring them regularly. This scoring process is a way of assessing whether they are too fat too thin just right by feeling their hips this chart might help explain things better.
There doesn't seem to be a definitive pig feeding program out there and its easy to be fooled by little piggy squeals into thinking they are hungry and feed them more but overfeeding is expensive and unhealthy. We feed twice a day and the feed is measured our system is 1lb food per day for the age of the pig in months our pigs are in month 3 so getting 1and half pounds each feed per pig once we get to 6 months the feed amount stays the same ie no more than 6 lbs a day. Another good way of checking if your overfeeding is if any food is left after 20 minutes it might shock you to learn that this program means our pigs will eat approx 20 x 20kg bags of feed each in their lifetime(a bag of commercial ready mixed feed here is about £8 ).
I will keep you updated with progress and be back with that formula once its well and truly tested !