Free Pig Food

One of the best parts of our piggie co-ownership is that our friends have land that the pigs are using to root and forage in.  This clears and fertilizes the land for their garden expansion next year.  This helps to minimize the amount of feed that we need to purchase for the pigs.

But, pigs being omAnother Hatchett Job blog, creative commons attribution, kale, healthy foods, superfood, recipenivores creates a great situation for feedings.  Frugal families can feed many things to their pigs safely, thus reducing the monthly food bill.  The following are just a few ideas of things that pigs can eat and grow on.

  1.  Kitchen and table scraps.  If you are not keeping onion peels, celery tops, and carrot nubs for making stock, they can be tossed into the pig pen.  My friends have advised me that large amounts of fruits at one time (particularly fruits with pits) can be a problem, but if given in modest amounts over time they are fine.
  2. Garden leftovers.  Any produce that you have grown that was damaged beyond the point of human consumption will be great for your pigs!  Even things like corn stalks, shucks, and cobs can be added.
  3. Co-op leftovers.  I have a cousin who gifts me anything in her weekly co-op purchase that she feels can’t be used up quickly enough by her family to prevent spoilage.  Sometimes this isn’t much, but occasionally it can be buckets full of large cucumbers on the verge of spoiling, leaf lettuce that has seen better days, or questionable bags of kale.  She is pleased that these items don’t go to waste and end up in a landfill and I am grateful that it reduces our feed bill.

I am sure that the homesteader that is determined could find all sorts of ways to provide save moneyfree and low cost foods to their pigs to keep the feed bills lower.  As for now, we are finding enough for our growing piglets.  I will likely be exploring more ways in the future as they grow and require more food.

For more of our adventures in raising pigs, click here.

Are you raising livestock this year?  What are your feeding tips?

Till next time,

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How I Became an Accidental Pig Farmer

Another Hatchett Job, photo by Ethan Hatchett, pigs, accidental pig farmer, homesteadingHubby and I have always loved the idea of being more self-sufficient and saving money where we can. We have occasionally considered livestock animals, but only recently have we lived somewhere that it was feasible to have them.

Unfortunately, the land has covenants that prevent having any sort of large livestock animals (other than horses). Chickens and other birds have not been viable options because my father (we live together with my parents) absolutely loathes them.

So, that has pretty much put a damper on our desire to have more control (and better prices) for the meat that we eat. That is, until recently!

Friends of ours live on property that is partially covered by an incredibly thick mass of

Another Hatchett Job, homesteading, pigs, accidental pig farmer, pig shelter, photo by Ethan Hatchett
Setting up the pig shelter.

blackberry canes. Last year, they raised a piglet for the freezer in a movable pen. The pig feasted on blackberry leaves and rooted up the canes, leaving clear, fertilized land that can be utilized for garden space. This year, they sought to double their clearings by raising two piglets.

But, they didn’t really need two sows worth of meat in their freezer, so they were putting the word out that they wanted someone to split the responsibility, the work, the expense, and the meat.

Long story short, we jumped at the chance and became kinda, sorta pig farmers. We have the benefit of someone else’s land and forage for them, as well as expertise in knowing how to successfully raise them. This greatly increases our chances for success by shortening our learning curve!

Another Hatchett Job, pigs, livestock, accidental pig farmer, homesteading, photo by Ethan HatchettWe chip in for food (which can include kitchen scraps as well as commercial feed), help with labor, and watch over them when the other family wants to travel. Plus, we are learning a new skill set that we enjoy dabbling in. It’s completely a win-win for us (we hope it proves worthwhile to the other family as well!).

Have you ever cared for livestock animals?

Till next time,

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Log Cabin Lessons

Another Hatchett Job blog, log cabin, log cabins, log homes, homestead, dovetail corners
The Purdy Cabin, circa 1984. Photo by Eddie Hatchett

Summer of 1984 was a busy time for our family.  My parents, John and Judy Purdy, had purchased land about an hour outside of Atlanta, and were breaking ground on their dream home.  I had just finished my Junior year in high school and we were making our big transition over the summer.

Visit Molly Green Magazine to discover more of our family adventure.

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett