Snubbing snouts at alfalfa
December 15, 2010 at 8:03 am #16343
I have been having a problem with my pigs not eating their hay and was wondering if others have had this problem as well. The hay that I am feeding is second cut alfalfa of very good quality . They were like lawn mowers on the alfalfa plot this past summer but for some reason they want nothing to do with the bales . Even after a few times without grain they still wont touch it . I have left it tight without the strings and fluffed it up and still nothing. A few years ago one of the local farmers up the way from me lost two of his draft horses from a fungus in the hay . The farm where I got the hay from is certified organic so I know nothing was sprayed on it . The bales themselves show no evidence of having been wet . My pheasants and chickens love it but for some reason the pigs won’t touch it . It makes me nervous if a pig won’t eat it !!December 15, 2010 at 9:09 am #17160
This is interesting. It smells like alfalfa, right?
All of my hogs, all the breeds, eat alfalfa / mixed grass hay like it’s candy. It did take a few days to transition, tho, from pasture to dried hay. Maybe give them a couple of three days without feed and see if they like it more when their stomachs are rumbling?December 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm #17163
During the winter we run our alfalfa through a hammermill. Its extra labor but they eat every bit of it. We also add a small amount of grain and molasses or beet pulp to make it more appealing. Ours do not like baled hay either, but eventually they will eat it.December 15, 2010 at 10:31 pm #17164
Our hogs have never not eaten something. I think Brian is right, let their stomach rumble. I came home from a farm show with a few fresh mats from a Fodder Solution machine. It’s hydroponic grown grasses. It help up you daily rate of gain among other many benefits. The hogs, horses, sheep, goats and chickens went nuts over it. Cows will take time to get use to it as they didn’t care for it. I hope you do get this figured out as alfalfa is a great supplement feed in MO 🙂
~DeannaDecember 16, 2010 at 8:20 am #17165
Thanks for all the tips everyone . I did put some more out tonight and after reading what Brian said I did smell it !! In the past I had some jersey bulls and they refused to eat a round bale that I had put out . Come to find out it had a huge nest of field mice inside the bale . I’m sure it was because they could smell urine on it . The bale I put out tonight didn’t have any odd smell to it and there were no surprises inside . This will be the third day with no grain so I’ll see how it goes . If not the dried molasses sounds pretty good . Thanks JLDecember 16, 2010 at 11:04 am #17169Member: MO
Gosh, I hope they start eating it. I have to add to everyone else’s comments – our pigs nearly run over each other to get to the alfalfa when we put it out. They LOVE it!
Liz – MissouriDecember 18, 2010 at 4:06 am #17173
We are having the same issue with our pigs not eating our hay even though it is the same mix as what is in our pasture. It is clean and fresh and the cows have no issue with it. I bought some dehydrated alfalfa pelets and hydrate them with warm water. If I put that in the same pan as their grain twice a day, they will eat it. They’re not nuts about it but they eat it. I can do this because we only have 4 pigs at the moment. I am afraid to not have them eat when it is so cold. They need the calories to stay warm. Next year when we have more pigs – we may do the “tough love” and let their bellies rumble for a while if we have to. I have enjoyed reading everyone thoughts on this.December 18, 2010 at 11:33 pm #17174
Success !! After a few days without grain did the trick . They ate up most of the alfalfa I put out the other night . I also built a hay feeder with some extra pipe I had around and they are all eating just fine . Thanks all for the great advise and concern . JLDecember 19, 2010 at 10:52 pm #17175
~DeannaDecember 21, 2010 at 2:06 am #17176Member: MO
Good for you Joshua! Glad they are finally appreciating the good stuff 🙂
Liz – MissouriApril 26, 2012 at 8:51 am #17893
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