Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Always Trying not to go broke farming

Ahhhh... The life of our Meishans!
Hanging out, eating and sleeping!
It's true that the Meishans are very low energy pigs. 
But they need good nutrition and plenty to eat in order to have all those babies they have and give so much milk like they do!!
Seeing as how this is not only our pig of choice to raise for our food and lard needs, it's also a major conservation effort we have undertaken. We have A LOT of pigs to maintain diverse examples of all 3 bloodlines. 5 grown boars, 2 junior boars, 6 sows ... I'm not sure how many feeders and junior gilts my husbands got! Lol
So we've been reaching out and finding alternatives to the feed store. 
The bread store is a great resource! I can't believe they throw all this out! It's perfectly good bread!
Feeding all these different breads allows us to cut way back of the carbohydrate portion of our pigs feed!
Chickens too!!! We get a whole truck load every week now.
Brewers grains... Very high in protein and fiber! So it must be kept to around 20% of the pigs and poultry feed.
I can feed higher amounts to the dairy sheep because they are ruminants and can handle the high fiber. 
This allows us to cut back on the protein portion of feed we have to buy for the pigs, poultry and sheep. 
This is something I do for the poultry and sheep mostly. Dehydrated alfalfa cubes rehydrated and made soft to mix into their feed. Adding some green food and great nutrients to their diet! It's especially liked by the geese and the sheep! The alfalfa cubes are less expensive than alfalfa meal for poultry and go farther than the pellets do for the sheep.
And we are hopeful that we will soon be getting bags of shredded lettuces and cabbages too!
It's not as easy as pouring out a bag of dry animal feed but we are seeing a major decline in our feed bill for the poultry, pigs and sheep by utilizing these things. Plus they absolutely love the variety they get!! I believe with a greater variety of foods they will be healthier happier animals! They sure get more excited about feed time!

Farming on a small scale you will find yourself paying the highest retail prices for feed which leaves you with a feed bill so high that many new people trying to farm struggle with the fact that their feed bill is now higher than their grocery bill used to be.
It also makes it very difficult for the small farmer to make any profit if they sell their products! Most of the time they actually lose money. 
Certainly the type of livestock you raise needs to fit the size of your acres and be adaptable to your climate , this also helps!
We are constantly looking for ways to save on the feed bill but keep the animals super healthy! Being out in the open air certainly helps with that too! 
Look around your area! You may find some ways to save on your feed bill and put to good use something that may have other wise been wasted!

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