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Bodger

Milling whole grains at home?

I've mentioned this before but for the last few months I've been feeding my adult pigs on whole grains, that I've milled here at home. I've been feeding them twice a day, once with the milled food and then at night with proprietary pellets.

In the next few weeks, I'll be in a position to get barley, oats and wheat in bulk. I'll be adding some rolled peas to the mix to get protein levels up too but has anyone got any suggestions as to what ratio of the three named grains I should be feeding?

For the time being, until I've got a hang of this, I'll continue to feed my weaners and pork pigs on pellets but milling and mixing my own feed for the adults would seem to offer quite a saving.

The pigs also on free range, so they eat a fair bit of grass and at this time of the year and for the next few months they’ll be eating the waste from my cider and apple juice making. I’m obviously hoping that this combination gives them a well rounded diet.
Apple fed pork obviously has a nice ring to it, lets just hope that its a golden one.
gregotyn

Milling grains at home is a good idea for pigs as they like wheat and barley ground up in a mill, the reason is that they like their corn in a state that the body can deal with better than whole grain. for sheep and cattle then rolled barley is also a good way of feeding corn. Most livestock don't take full advantage of grains if fed whole as the feedstuff has passed through the body system too quickly to be dealt with efficiently.
I would not be feeding oats to pigs as their digestive systems are not so efficient at dealing with that particular grain and their nutrients are so much lower than wheat and barley. The thinking behind the feeding of wheat, changed as I was growing up from barley only to wheat/barley mixed, wheat being thought of as too potent to feed pigs, but not true. Oats are generally fed to ruminants in a rolled form.
Most of the barley fed to pigs is as ground barley, but is often fed to cattle and sheep as rolled barley, or ground, or in pellet form. However, if you do this you will also have to feed some protein to pigs, to balance out the low protein content of the wheat and barley,. I would suggest that you do your ground barley and wheat at home , but consult your local feed supplier for a feed supplement to supply the proteins, vits. and mins.- as there are rules governing you, as a home mixer, to holding 'straight feeds' on your premises. Worth asking someone about this-the rules will be somewhere hidden in the DEFRA web site! Best of luck there. But for efficiency of food conversion into meat you should only feed ground corn, (wheat and barley) to pigs, and you should see a marked improvement in your bank balance too!I hope this helps!
Bodger

I've had the council chap in and he say that the only time that he gets involved, is if large scale mixers use preservatives in their mix, so he's given me the green light to carry on as I am. My mill turns whole grains more or less into flour.
The only advice that I've been able to pick up so far, is that too much wheat may lead to gastric ulcers in pigs.
I'm stuffed when it comes to asking a local merchant to mix for me, because I live in an area where Wynnstay have a monopoly and they don't do anything with straights. They also charge a heck of a price for their products. I bought two pigs from Holmes Chapel the other day and the owner was feeding sow rolls to his pigs and was paying £6 .75 p for a 25kg bag. The best price that I can get from Wynnstay for their equivalent is just over £8.00. Hence my interest in mixing my own feed.
gregotyn

That is the important part that you don't feed grains without milling them first! I know what you mean about Wynnstay, I live about 6 miles from their HQ!
There is another mode of attack, contact your local agricultural college, who will have a nutritionalist for pigs or if not will point you towards one, who will "know" what you need to start with and probably know where to get it; ask the council chap who he has on his 'books' who stocks straights and he may ask if you can approach some with whom you may do business, obviously he cannot recommend anyone! When I worked on a pig unit in Shropshire we bought in the concentrate to add to our own milled barley, we used no wheat, but it was being introduced about that time in small quantities, up to 10% and being higher in nutrients was a good feed but as you realise not to be overdone! There are pig feed buying groups scattered about and it may be worth your while asking around. I knew of one in S Cheshire I will ask them as they din't confine their members to be in a designated area, I will ask if they are still going! I would go to a college first to get a ration sorted first and then press on from there.
Nick

http://www.thepigsite.com/pighealth/article/511/nutrition-and-disease

This might help. What you now need is the protein content of your three grains...
Nick

Et, voila!

http://www.immuneweb.org/lowcarb/food/grains.html
gregotyn

Its not so much the protein amount but the quality of the protein that matters. 'tis why I recommended a nutritionist, certain proteins are known as essential, from memory it is lycine, methionine and cystine. Its 40 odd years ago since I was studenting and was genned up. It is a shame that only 2 weeks ago I fired my notes saying 'I won't want this lot again.' Pigs definately need more than just grains to grow properly, which is why I would be looking for a supplier of a protein/mineral/vitamin supplement to be mixed with the grains you have. Best of luck.
Bodger

I'm getting into the groove now with this home milling malarkey. I do 25lb of meal every evening ready for the next day. This does the pigs and also supplies the ducks with their last feed as they go to bed.
I'm still proudly a feet and inches man, so here are the imperial weights of what go into the mix. My son Tom worked it out for me.

Wheat 11lb 2oz
Barley 5lb 9oz
Oats 5lb 9oz
Soya 2lb 12oz
Limestone flour 4oz

I'll be picking up some specially formulated pig minerals on Tuesday and that will be added as soon as I get the stuff.
I hope that the formula will be OK for them but one thing is for sure and that is that they really are loving it. I'm taking the food across to them dry and then mixing it into a mash with water once I've over there. It makes for less mauling.
gregotyn

Well done Tom! I am feet and inches, but have also had to become metricated when I worked for 20 years in the imported timber trade, but I'm back to normal now!
Dry feeding takes them longer to eat it, so they have less time for mischief and it is digested slower so they should in theory grow faster! Check that the minerals you feed to pigs don't affect the ducks, most pig feeds have some copper in them which may have an adverse effect on the ducks
Bodger

Thanks for that, I'll take the ducks food out before I put the minerals in.
I've been feeding the meal dampened to avoid as much wastage as I can. The pigs are free range and are fed in plastic troughs.
Bodger

My home milling set up. These old scales are essential to getting the right mix.









My mill.









The finished article. Pigs don't have the four stomachs that ruminants do and any whole grains that they consume tend to go in at one end and come out the other. I put the grains through the mill at least three times to get this nice fine meal.




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