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To compare several pasture crops for growing and fattening spring pigs for market.

Pig pasture trials have been conducted for three successive summers at the Dickinson Experiment Station. Eight crops have been tested in this experiment, but only the most promising six crops were used in the 1953 trials. A total of 210 feeder pigs have been used during the three years, and the duration of the pasturing period has ranged from 65 days in 1951 to 107 days in 1953.

Ten pigs were fed in each one acre pasture lot from June 1 to September 15, 1953. All lots were self-fed a ground grain mixture of three parts barley to one part oats, and all pasture lots received the same amount of protein and mineral supplement mixed into the ration. A dry lot used as a check on the pasture lots received the same ration except that the amount of protein supplement was increased.

An additional study which was made a part of the 1953 summer pasture experiment was the comparison of pelleted vs ground ration self-fed and ground ration hand-fed. The rations and pastures were identical; only the form and method of feeding were changed.

Table VI summarizes the pasture trials of 1953, and for three years.

Table VII summarizes the pelleted vs ground ration trial.

Results obtained in the 1953 swine pasture trials were the best we have obtained in the three years the trials have been conducted. Incidentally, this was the first year we fed the pigs we raised without having to buy any. Alfalfa is the most satisfactory pasture crop we have used, for both speed and economy of gains. In this year's trials, there is no

Table VI - Performance of Feeder Pigs on Eight Pasture Crops and in Dry Lot. 1953 and Three Year Average.
Pasture Crop Av. Initial
Wt. Lbs
Av. Final
Wt. Lbs.
Av. Daily
Gain Lbs.
Fed per 100
Lb. Gain
1953 Feed Cost - 100 Lb. Gain
1953 3 yr. Av. 1953 3 yr. Av. 1953 3 yr. Av. 1953 3 yr. Av.
Alfalfa 53 40 209 151 1.45 1.24 405 344 $9.56
Winter Wheat 53 40 200 149 1.37 1.21 424 381 10.01
Rape and Oats 53 39 198 145 1.35 1.17 422 377 9.96
Winter Rye 53 39 187 143 1.25 1.16 446 381 10.53
Winter Barley - 2 years 53 43 200 172 1.37 1.30 414 403 9.77
Winter Oats - 2 years 53 43 194 171 1.30 1.29 434 386 10.24
Sudan Grass - 2 years --- 33 --- 122 --- 1.12 --- 359 ---
Spring Rye - 2 years --- 34 --- 118 --- 1.06 --- 371 ---
Dry Lot 53 39 194 142 1.32 1.15 440 374



Table VII - Three Methods of Feeding Pigs Like Rations on Like Pasture
  No. Pigs Per Lot Days on Trial Av. Initial Wt. Av. Final Wt. Av. Daily Gain Feed per 100 Lb. Gain Feed Cost 100 Lb. Gain
Pelleted Ration Self-Fed 10 107 53 225 1.60 401 $10.25
Ground Ration Self-Fed 10 107 53 198 1.35 422 9.96
Ground Ration Hand-Fed 10 107 53 189 1.27 415 9.79
Ration used in all pasture lots, 1953, first 30 days, and during entire feeding period in dry lot: barley 66 pounds, oats 22 pounds, soybean oil meal 6 pounds, blood meal 3 pounds, and minerals* 3 pounds.
Ration used in all pasture lots after 30 days: barley 69 pounds, oats 23 pounds, soybean oil meal 5 pounds, minerals* 3 pounds.
* Mineral mixture was equal parts steamed bone meal, limestone and iodized salt.
In computing feed costs for the swine feeding trials, the following values were used: barley $1.00 bushel; Oats $.75; soybean oil meal $5.00 cwt.; bloodmeal $9.00 cwt.; Minerals $3.00 cwt. Pelleting cost $4.00 per ton.

significant difference between winter barley, winter wheat, oats and rape in rate of gain. Winter oats and dry lot were also about equal in rate of gain, but he cost of gains was considerably higher in the dry lot than in any pasture lot. Winter rye made the poorest showing in both rate and economy of gains. Spring rye and sudan grass were tried in 1951 and 1952, but showed no particular promise, so they were eliminated in 1953 because there were not enough pigs to make up more lots.

Pelleting our ration of 3:1 barley and oats proved very profitable this year in spite of the fact that the feed cost per 100 pound gain was slightly higher on the pellets than on ground feed. The one-fourth pound per day additional gains on the pellet-fed hogs placed them on an earlier and stronger market.

All spring pigs that had not been marketed or reserved as breeders on September 29 were divided into two lots for a test of hogging-off corn vs self-feeding in dry lot. That 30 day finishing test is summarized in Table VIII.

Table VIII
  No. Hogs Av. I Wt. Av. Final Wt. Av. Daily Gain Feed per 100# gain Feed cost per 100# gain
Hogging-off corn 23 173 194 .70 1320 $23.57
Self-fed barley and oats 3:1 in dry lot 10 173 212 1.33 529 $11.85

The hogs in the five acre corn field apparently ran short of corn before the 30 days period was over. At any rate, their gains were disappointing. Corn was valued at $1.00 bushel and the self-fed ration at $2.24 cwt.

Spring pigs were self-fed a barley and oats ration while grazing one of six one-acre pastures from June 1 to September 15. Alfalfa pasture was the most efficient crop tried in both rate and economy of gains produced. Winter wheat, oats and rape and winter barley were about equal as pig pastures. Winter oats was less satisfactory than the above mentioned crops and winter rye was the poorest crop tested. A group of pigs in dry lot made gains about equal to those on winter oats pasture but the cost of gains in dry lot was higher than for any pasture lot.

Pelleting a ration of barley and oats 3:1 resulted in 1/4 pound per day greater gains than grinding the same ration. Hand feeding the same ground barley and oats ration gave somewhat cheaper gains than self-feeding but gains were significantly slower.

Hogging-off corn offered little to recommend it as compared to self-feeding a barley and oats ration in dry lot.

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