two heads are not always better than one

John Seymour, in his classic book of self-sufficiency, speaks with passion of the ‘fine art of the pig bucket’. He states for the large scale producer of pigs it is ‘irrelevant, but for the self-supporting family, fattening a pig or two in the garden to kill, with one or two dear breeding sows who become almost part of the family themselves, the pig bucket is very relevant indeed.’

John wrote these words in the 1970’s prior to the health scares in the UK linked to Swill Feeding, including the 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease. Since then, changes in legislation have created new guidelines for Swill Feeding which all owners of pigs should adhere to.

I have fed our pigs waste from the kitchen, being careful to apply the guidelines for Swill Feeding – I’ve definitely got a ‘waste not, want not’ policy about our scraps, plus I’ve enjoyed the excitement of the pigs when they are given treats like stale bread and cakes that are added to their normal feed.

The volume of waste food I have had to offer as feed has been insufficient to completely meet the needs of my pigs, as I have had chooks and composting worms to feed too. It has been simply an added bonus to supplement their usual feed ration. As the nutritional benefits are virtually impossible to measure it would never be a reliable primary food source, instead it has been part of a varied and interesting diet for them to enjoy.

I have been careful not to feed my pigs anything that has gone ‘off’, or is mouldy. A good guide as to what is suitable for inclusion in your pig bucket is to ask yourself the question– would I be willing to eat it myself ? If not, don’t give it to them. I tend to think it is better to err on the side of caution.




Tagged with:
WordPress SEO
Skip to toolbar