Notes on Hog Raising from the 2010 Georgia Organics Conference

During February 2010, Karla and I attended the Georgia Organics conference in Athens.  Again, I attended every topic related to Hog raising, and went on a tour of Nature’s Harmony Farm of Elberton, GA who has some great practices for raising pigs.  Here are my marginally coherent notes related to raising Hogs:

  • The Swancy Family of Riverview Farms in Ranger, GA had a discussion of their CSA and Hogs.  Riverview has a 75 person Meat CSA (same size as Nature’s Harmony).  They also sell to restaurants, but describe it as a difficult experience.  Grows Barley to mix with the Soybeans for the pig feed.  Has on farm Soybean roaster, and cleans the soybeans prior to roasting to limit the smell.  Has done field peas in the past, but quit using them due to taking twice the acreage for 1/2 the feed.  Riverview gets their processing done 12 miles up the road and does 12 pigs per week, does paperwrap meat and finishes pigs at 190-240 pounds.  Doesn’t have a worm problem, reports that pigs don’t like summer squash, but do like tomatoes and melons.  Uses permanent hog wire with hot wire along bottom.  Runs about 50 Sows, All Berkshires, and averages 8 piglets.
  • Jason Mann of Full Moon Farms and Moonshine Meats uses two wires 6″ and 18″ to confine pigs, and spends alot of time training the pigs to the wire.  They finish 75-100 hogs/year.  Uses a circular paddock system with 2 acre paddocks and concrete under water and feed.  Uses Berkshire and Tamwork.  Berkshire is great eating hog with good temperaments, and teh Tamworths are sturdy, red, leaner, and have great bacon. 
  • Nature’s Harmony has a 75 person Meat CSA with a waitlist of 150.  Ossabaws take 15 months to market, Berkshires 7-8 months.  Uses Stafix x3 Battery Chargers.  Sows Turnips on the ground that the pigs left.  Feeds less than a gallon per day of whey/hog…also supplements with peanuts.  Was raising the Ossabaws and Berkshires in the woods, but had Large Black out on pasture (and they were eating the pasture as opposed to rooting the pasture).

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