Hog feed

Our feeder hogs made the transition from bagged to milled feed about a month ago – just before they moved from the undercroft of the barn to their pasture run. When we first raised hogs, feed was available for something less than $15 per 100 pounds. Increases in soy bean and corn prices have pushed that figure to nearly double. Having feed ground at a local mill saves us quite a bit (we recently paid $22.50 per 100 for a ton of feed). In addition, having our feed custom milled allows us much more control over what goes into it … and, importantly, what does not go into it … such as antibiotics. If one is raising a handful of hogs, especially if they have access to pasture and are not confined, there is no need for prophylactic dosing. This practise simply selects for bacterial resistance to the drug administered – which can, potentially, render that drug ineffective if and when administered as a curative. I do understand the logic of routine drug administration under conditions such as those found in commercial CFOs (Confined Feeding Operations). But small groups of hogs on pasture do not comprise a CFO. We’re happy to know where our own food comes from and equally happy to know what our hogs are, and are not, eating. [I would be remiss if I did not point out that the need to store large quantities of feed provides ample justification for a large number of barn cats.]

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