I’m wondering you much hay I will need to put by for my hogs this winter. I live in Montana and generally begin feeding other livestock around 11/1 and continue til around mid April. Are there any general estimates on pounds per hog? I have read that alfalfa hay is what i need. Any other thoughts on that?
We used to live in MT and found that they did well with alfalfa. The alfalfa you get up there is much courser that the stuff we get here (moved to Missouri), but there’s more nutrients in it. We used to judge how much they ate from the flakes we placed out for them and let them use the waste as bedding. We’d put a flake or two out for each and see how long it lasted.
As for water anything with a drop in heater is a pain. They will just pull it out, which is a fire risk. Anything made of plastic that can move around will just be chewed. We found that we had to live with the drop in heaters and give the pigs fresh water twice a day. They soon learnt that they needed to drink when the water was given to them. We used to get down to -40F regularly though, so it may not be as bad for you. We also had a river (the milk) that they could drink from, but I would have to break the ice twice a day. That got old when it was several feet thick!
Thanks Richard. I’m going to try a heated bucket w some sort of holding device so they can’t tip it over (my husband is good at coming up with that sort of thing). So you really don’t know how much hay they went through in a winter? Would you guess a flake a day per pig, two flakes? three?
We live in Central Wisconsin, and we feed about 2 flakes of alfalfa per adult, 1 for the babies, and also let them bed on the waste. For water we have found that the big rubber tubs work best for us. We don’t have to run electricity and it is easy to break ice in the rubber tubs. We usually don’t have -40, but every once in awhile have to break thick ice, but still feel this works best for us. Good Luck!
Sas, Is it feasible to have the end of a tank on the outside of your exterior fence? If so, you could run your hot wire just over the top of the tank to discourage any messing with the heating element or any valves. I’ve seen this technique with cattle many times. I am trying out our watering nipple/galvanized pipe wrapped with low voltage heat tape inside a 3″ pvc pipe to protect the wire and help contain the heat this winter although we don’t have nearly the winters that your have.