It's probably the number 1 question I am asked....for good reason....
Feeding the Meishan is a little different from the leaner & larger hogs. A lard hog requires a different approach.
I'm also often asked if I feed them like another breed, from Berks to Kune Kunes. And that answer is "No."
I feed them like a Meishan.
There are a few "rules" I go by in my feeding program. I'd like to share them with you!
- As a lard hog, they do not need help producing fat.
- Protein is their friend as it builds muscle
- Fiber is needed but must be balanced
- Anything that may be moldly must be avoided
I have found a commercial feed that produces great results for me that you, too, can find nationally. It's Nutrena Country Feeds Grower Finisher.
I have found it to have the best balance for all stages of growth on my farm.
It's breakdown is:
My feeding plan is also a dynamic one. Meaning, we evaluate where we are at each day with each grouping. Weather can have an effect on their appetite. So, for example, on a really hot day, they may not eat much. The opposite is true in the fall. They can be ready and waiting for more when winter is coming.
I feed like this:
- Newly weaned piglets have free choice feed up to 3 months.
- At 3 months, each pig gets about a pound a day.
- A grown pig eats an average of 4.5 pounds of feed a day.
Reminder: I evaluate each grouping each day.
I also store my feed in a climate controlled space to reduce potential mold.
Soooo- what do I mean about mold? Yeah -this is something unheard of in pasturing pigs, in my experience. Mold is bad. We go into it thinking pigs are these garbage disposals that can grow off air and food waste. And some may. And as feeders, you may do fine like that.
But, mold can be costly in a breeding program. I only feed my pigs their feed to ensure that no molds are introduced. But, more about that on another day.
With my points outlined above, I am consistently achieving 300 pound hanging weights, or more, at the 15-16 month mark.
My pigs are also raised on pasture and have straw or hay as bedding.
This is my feed plan that has led to my success. What do you think?
Not too complicated....right?!