Welcome Pork Producers!
We are happy to meet you!
In the pork production system, feed costs account for 60-70% of the total costs of production. Just a 1% improvement in feed efficiency would save American producers alone an estimated $9.9 million annually! We at Sun Roads Farmory have an answer to this costly dilemma that will save you money and give you & your customers peace of mind!
The systems that we manufacture here at Sun Roads Farmory are designed with you and your hog operation in mind. We are from Montana and were born and raised in the agricultural industry. We are all too familiar with the rising feed costs, the increased land prices, as well as the decreased nutrition in our soil. We also understand the effects of weather not only on your herds, but your pastures as well!
Cutting Cost While Increasing Nutrition
When feed ingredient prices are high, the natural reaction among pork producers is to explore ways to reduce feed costs – especially in the grower/finisher phase. But simply incorporating lower-cost feed alternatives into diets – without fully weighing their impact on performance – could have expensive consequences.
Therefore, overall profitability must be considered. We urge producers to look at things more holistically, and evaluate their feeding program not only on cost per unit of gain, but also on the basis of net return per pig. That means looking at reducing feed costs, but also considering the efficiency of your overall nutrition program so that you are maximizing the percentage of pigs sold at their optimum target market weight. This results in maximum revenue per pig.
To achieve this goal, we must know the nutritional content and quality of the ingredients that are going into the pigs’ diets.
Knowing the nutritional value – especially the digestible amino acids and nutrients– in feed ingredients is critical.
Another very important key in optimizing feed costs and pig performance in the grow/finish stage is maintaining gut health, which is also a critical component of overall herd health. There is a wealth of information on this subject on our .
Pigs with a healthy gut (digestive system) will maintain a higher overall level of health that leads to better gain, feed conversion, and performance in the grow/finish stage. This is important in maintaining feed intake and enhancing your pigs’ ability to absorb and fully utilize the nutrients supplied in their diets. Nothing is less economical than seeing your expensive ”nutrient-enriched” feed going out the hind end of your pig without it being utilized to nourish that animal!
* Faster * Better * Stronger *
Pork is not meant to be the “other white meat”. It is meant to be darker in color with a very light, mild tasting marbling of fat throughout. When your pigs are fed
sprouted grass, you will see their meat change to a darker pink and your
customers will love the flavor!
Let’s look at the nutritional aspects of that fresh, green sprouted barley grass.
Sprouting grain converts its existing protein and some of its starch into amino acids in the green blades of the sprouted grass. Amino acids are the best form of proteins. They are actually the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are the major constituent of every cell and body fluid (except urine and bile) and are necessary for the continual cell building, regeneration, and energy production that pigs need for a healthy life.
An added benefit of the proteins found in sprouted barley grass is that they are polypeptides— smaller proteins that can be directly absorbed by the blood, where they promote cell metabolism (the chemical changes that animals need to live and grow) as well as neutralize substances that are bad for the health of your herd. Barley Grass contains 18 amino acids—including the 8 essential amino acids - that is, the amino acids that animals must get from their diets; the body cannot produce them by itself.
Say that again, please?
If that sounds like a bunch of science / nutrition mumbo-jumbo, let’s just say this: When we are feeding our pigs the right amount of the right kind of protein, not only are they healthier and require less attention from the vet down the road, but they gain weight faster, have a lower stress-load on their bodies, and produce a far better product! Whether you’re looking for your sows to produce higher quality milk at a higher quantity or looking to increase the feed /gain ratio on your feeder pigs, starting with this higher form of nutrition is the best way to go!
What We’ve Learned About Feeding Your Pigs
The “rule of thumb” is to feed 2-3% of the pig’s body weight in sprouts per day. This sounds neat and tidy, but not very “user-friendly” when it comes to actually raising up a herd of pigs.
We have learned quite a bit from our customers who are pork producers and would love to pass that on to you!
Here’s what we’ve learned:
Weaner Pigs 1/8 of a grass mat per day (or, 1 mat feeds 8 weaner pigs)
Rearing Pigs 1/4 of a grass mat per day
Finishing Pigs 1/2 of a grass mat per day
Sow out of season 1/2 of a grass mat per day
Sow in season 1 grass mat per day
**Most of our customers add milk or a dairy supplement to the feed daily.
Pigs prefer their feed wet; therefore, sprouts are a great feed source for them. Not only is it sweet to their palate, it is an excellent source of hydration.
Benefits of Feeding Pigs Sprouts
1. Sows come into heat faster & milk longer with a milk that has more fat, causing piglets to gain healthy weight faster!
2. Feeding sows sprouted grasses increases litter size.
3. The meat from feeder pigs changes from light pink to dark pink with a mild flavored marbling throughout. Customers absolutely prefer the taste!
4. Increased weight gain in feeder pigs— Farmers feeding their feeder pigs sprouts rather than grain report that their animals are finishing and heading to market an average of 2 weeks sooner!
Tests and Trials
A recent trial on a pig farm showed favorable results when testing farrow sows. The sows had 2 kg of concentrated feed made specifically for pigs replaced with 2 kg of sprouted barley. In 28 days, the piglet weight was 12% higher than those piglets whose sow was on concentrated feed alone! The study concluded that the increase in healthy weight gain was due to the fact that the sow had a higher quality, higher fat milk- and more of it -because of the introduction of sprouts in her diet! This same farmer reported that after the pigs were on the sprouted grain for a consistent amount of time, his vet bills decreased by 95% and his feed costs dropped by 50%!
A California Hobby farmer feeding sprouts to two penned hogs reports:
“The first thing that we noticed is that feeding sprouts helped heal severe foot problems. Next, the hogs at our farm weighted 20% more than their siblings from a another farm who did not use sprouts. This was the BEST pork that I have ever eaten!”
The Bottom Dollar
Let’s begin by taking a look at “traditional” pig farm practices:
A 50# bag of standard hog grower retails at about $10. For one feeder pig, that is about a week’s worth of feed. That puts us at $40 per month, or $1.43 per day. If you’ve weaned your piglets at 30d, you’ll most likely feed them 5 months before they go to market. That’s half a ton of standard hog grower. So, for our example, let’s just keep it general and say that you are into each feeder pig $200 in feed alone before it sells.
Next, let’s look at how much you can save sprouting fresh feed daily for the same pig:
A 50# bag of barley seed will cost you anywhere from $14-$18. Let’s make it $14 for our example.
First, let’s look at what it takes to get a ton of sprouts. 242 pounds of barley seed will grow a ton of sprouts. That is just less than 5 bags of barley. You’re right at $70.
Let’s break that down even further. For our example, we’ll say you have 50 feeder pigs and you’re feeding them each 1/2 a grass mat daily. (That’s on the high side for the younger pigs, but we’ll go with it.)
Our AFS 99 grows grass mats in multiples of 6 (6, 12, 18, 24, 30, or 36 mats daily) so you’ll have feed for the other animals on your farm as well! You grow 30 grass mats a day. This requires 60# of barley seed per day for a cost of $16.80. Add $2 for electricity and you’re around $19 a day to feed 50 feeder pigs (plus a few others). This figures out to be about $0.38 a day per pig!
You’ve saved $1.05 per pig x 50 pigs = $52.50 per day. That is $1575 saved in a month (30d)! For the 5 months you’re feeding these pigs sprouts vs. feed-store feed, you’ll save $7875!
So, on this end of the example, you are into each feeder pig $57 in feed alone before it sells.
Don’t forget the health of your herd will increase significantly, and will be ready for market an average 2 weeks sooner than usual!