Posted 8/1/2020 22:03 (#8409830) Subject: First Hogs not growing
Hey guys, this spring I wanted to try my hand at raising a couple hogs. I have tons of space and a barn to house them. I picked up the sows first week of March from a neighbor, by then they were 35-40 lbs. Durocs. I am obviously at August and these pigs haven't grown much. I'd say they are 80-90 lbs. I went to the neighbors and the rest of the litter are huge, easily double in size, he had already taken 2 to the fair and weighed in 179 lbs. So I think I know why, a combination of things, and I wanted to run it past some more experienced growers, so at least next year will be better, a little smarter.
Now a month ago I was informed by a family member these pigs were not growing. Not knowing much about growing hogs I didn't pay much attention. They are very healthy and happy pigs so I figured all was good.
I started them on a sack feed, and I can't find the nutrient tag, sorry about that, so I don't know what was in it. the following bags 2 bags were 12% protein. And after I realized I was behind the ball about a month ago, I've upgraded to 17% protein bag feed. And being a on a farm I had easy access to corn so I would blend in some whole corn, and I had some dryer fines that I had planned for chickens, but they were gone, so I did blend some of that shelled corn in to their feed also.
Once I was informed the pigs were undersized, we went through the gambit of what could be the problem, we landed on they were possibly wormy. So I got some dewormer from the local Mill, I was given a 3 days dose. I checked the manure the following days for signs of worms, nothing visible to the naked eye anyway.
They are and always have eaten everything I've given them, I'm constantly filling their feeder and the manure is plentiful, food availability has never been a problem.
Here's my hypothesis.
First I maybe got the pigs to early, and maybe they were still suckling on their mother, and I interrupted a crucial growing stage. I maybe should have waited for them to get a little bigger.
Second, I started them on too low of a protein source, and then diluted that down with filler and a time when they needed it the most.
Third, I bought some insecticide from the coop to help with mange because they were rubbing themselves raw, I wonder if the stress prevented weight gain, after using the insecticide rubbing has reduced dramatically.
Fourth, I don't think the dewormer helped, but unfortunately I asked several sources about preventative maintenance like this and was told not to worry about it, I think I needed to do more preventative stuff.
Fifth, I have a huge concrete fenced in area for them to run, all of 50' x 50'. I think I gave them to much space, so what they ate, they burned off quickly running around.
Now like I said they are very happy and healthy, but very very small for where they could be, what do you guys think of my hypothesis? Do you think I stand any chance of butchering a sizeable hog in November or December like I had planned? Any more information or wisdom would be very much appreciated! I like the idea of raising at least a couple outdoor hogs a year for my own use. I can't stomach confinement raised hog, I've worked in those buildings, and all I taste is the stink when I eat it.