We're feeding our pigs barley (amongst other things), but have noticed that their poo contains a lot of what looks like undigested whole barley seeds. We are currently adding boiling water to the barley and letting it soak for 24 hours. The barley is not rolled or crushed though.
Any thoughts on improving the pigs digestion of the barley.
I soak it for 24 hours then drain it and let it sprout and start growing it a bit before I feed it to them. I use an old can-o-worms worm farm for it. Soak it in the bottom layer, let the bung out to drain it then put it on one of the trays. Its a bit of shifting about but you can have one lot soaking and 3 lots sprouting with ease.
Or you could simply cook it. Over the winter if we have to feed pigs (which we do sometimes when mumma pig decides to have a late litter), we just put a pot on the wood stove overnight and it's done in the morning. Also works well in a slow cooker.
I've fattenned heaps of pigs on barley over the years. I used to cook it in an old copper along with rabbit or possum carcasses or crush it with lucern to prevent them getting too fat.
I would think just soaking it should be fine. Maybe you need to let it soak longer to ensure it breaks down when digested.
Cooking it with heat for 10 minutes or so will make any food, even fruit, more digestible, but if the barley hasn't had the bran/husk removed then that is unlikely to be digested very well even with cooking.
We don't buy whole barley for our pigs anymore. It was a bit of a pain having to soak the barley each night and morning (we would soak for 24 hours) so now buy barley meal. We just add water to it immediately before feeding so that it is a porridge consistency. We add their pig nuts/pellets to this and they love it. Barley meal is a bit harder to get hold of but we've managed to source some locally for a really good price - I think $23 per 40kg bag. We just give the guy a call when we're down to our last couple of bags and he orders us another 10 and even deliver for free. Every other seed/grain supplier we went to needed an order of 1 tonne or more.
hi. where do you get your barley meal from... are you based in Canterbury? getting ready to get a wee kunekune piglet and doing as much research as i can before he arrives in early May.
any other kunekune advise would be very welcomed.... esp around house training them
Hi gabby and welcome to the site
If your piglet is a true Kune it isn't going to need barley. In fact, it is going to need very little of anything at all.
Your comment on "house training" concerns me but if he is living outside (which he should be), pasture, supplemented with vegetable waste from the garden/house and some Multifeed nuts or a specific pig feed, should be more than enough for him.
If it is a "him" and you don't intend to add to your piggery or use him for breeding, I would recommend you seriously look at having him barrowed (castrated).
When he or she is a 200 kg monster, you will not want it lumbering around the house, knocking things off tables and shelves, and sitting on furniture not designed for that weight and shape. And I assure you, you are not going to want to re-train it to live in a new abode outside. Teach it that it's outside home is it's only home right from the beginning .
Never make a pet of any male animal (except perhaps a budgie or a goldfish). Animals are not little humans, even t6hough humans are sometimes animals . You cannot train out their innate characteristics, and males with that hormone called testosterone are much more liable to return to their innate characteristics, and unpredictably .
Pigs are easy to house train but I do agree you won't want him in the house as he gets big. We breed pigs and at xmas had one that wasn't doing well with the sow so bought her inside, fed on milk. She was quite cool, would hold her own & climb up on the dogs bed beside them. After feeding we would take her out same as a puppy & she would do poos & wees before coming back in. She knew the routine & was very clean. She would snuggle up on any blanket she could find in house, go in kids bedroom. She slept in a crate at night. She was quick & would get under our feet & get inside even when not wanted. She became a bit of a pain when she naturally wanted a mud wallow over summer & then would come back in & lay down inside, brush against the furniture etc. She was a great pet, very loving & enjoyed a nice belly rub, great with the little kid. She got moved outside with the mud business at about February & now lives with the other pigs. She still has a great personality & adores Pat's. She will be a breeding sow later on.
My advice would be get a female or else have the boar castrated & detusked. Either start with pig outside or move outside while small. Also I advise two pigs, we never sell singles. Pigs get lonely & dont have very good body temp regulation so snuggle up with a buddy,esp in winter. They can be more troublesome by themselves.
We had a hand raised kune boar as a pet when I was young & he turned into trouble couldn't get near him & he wanted to attack the other livestock. My father always said he should be castrated but mother couldn't imagine her wee darling turning nasty.... bad decision.
I haven't told the story of our "Miss Piggy" for a few years now. She came to us at 350 grams found beside the road on Takaka Hill. I was going to train her as a replacement sheep dog, and for a while all went well. But then we found a lamb with it's back legs eaten off, but it might not have been Miss Piggy ..... So she stayed a while longer. But some pigs, like some humans, get grumpy at that time of the month and she tried to kill the dog. Also, the ploughing was not what and where we wanted it, so she had to go. I cut 40 kg of fat away from the 23 kg of meat .