• Ethan Walker

Crunching the Numbers__Hogs:

After 194 days we are done with pigs for this year. We had 2 batches about a month apart and we found out we couldn't run them together until the last 2 months or so. The bigger pigs wouldn't let the little pigs in the second batch eat. We used electric netting to rotate them through the pasture and I think the space was just to small for the 2 groups to run together. We formed an agreement with Altoona's elementary school to take home kitchen scraps and left over milk which we used to supplement the pigs diet.

I kept track of all the feed and came up with some final numbers. Below is the summarized data.

1.) 9 pigs consumed a total of 4,500 lbs of feed over 194 days for an an average intake of 4.65 lbs/day/pig.

2.) We had 3 butcher dates and 2 pigs were butchered early. One wasn't castrated and the other had a broken back.

3.) The Average Daily Gain (ADG) was 1.45 lbs/day.

4.) The Feed to Gain ratio (F:G) averaged out to 2.83 which I calculated by taking how much they ate each time I feed them and dividing it by the ADG. The F:G was very erratic for each time I refilled the feeder. When I took the average intake of 4.65 lbs/day/pig and divide it by the ADG it comes out to 3.2 lbs of feed/lb of gain. I'm not sure which one is more accurate, so I looked online and found some references of 3:1 as an average for pastured pork. So we hit that almost perfect!

Why is F:G important?

The Feed to Gain ratio (F:G) is basically an efficiency calculation. It tells you how good the pig is at turning feed into weight. The lower the ratio the more efficient the pig is. This number could be looked at for breeding operations when considering performance of the offspring. It tells helps us determine our margins when figuring our cash flow.

Below is a screenshot of the excel sheet that kept track of every time we feed the pigs.

And the totals at the bottom. The numbers aren't perfect since not all of them were finished to 306 lbs. 4 of the pigs were finished to 250-280 lbs, 3 did end up finishing around the 300 lbs mark and 2 of them were butchered early.

I really liked how the numbers worked out this year. Next year we will hopefully just do one big batch of pigs and the numbers should be more reliable since we won't have multiple groups going at the same time.

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