PRESS BULLETIN No. 311
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
By A. P. SPENCER
At the present price of pork there is a satisfactory margin
of profit to the farmer who produces well-bred, growth hogs,
and grows a rotation of pasture crops lasting thru the entire
year, along with sufficient corn, peanuts, cowpeas, and chufas
to supplement the pastures and fatten the hogs for market.
Owing to the high prices of all grains, starchy feeds, such as
sweet potatoes, cassava, and dasheens, and kitchen slop should
supplement grain as far as possible.
PASTURES NOT SUFFICIENT
Stock hogs can be kept thrifty largely on pastures; how-
ever, they will grow slowly without some grain. Hogs should
be supplied with suitable green forage and so managed as to
consume as much of it without waste as possible, since forage
is by far the cheapest feed that can be used. In addition to pas-
ture, one or two pounds of grain daily for every hundred pounds
of live weight is sufficient for young hogs. It is better to feed
the grain twice daily from troughs than to allow the hogs to
gather it from crops in the field, for in the field the hogs will
live entirely off the grain since they prefer it to the pasturage.
By feeding it this way, pork can be produced on Florida farms
at a comparatively low cost.
Corn, peanuts, chufas, and velvet beans are the best Florida
grains for fattening. Sweet potatoes, cassava, and dasheens,
when boiled and mixed with grain, give satisfactory results in
fattening hogs. Corn and sweet potatoes are good finishing
feeds for the production of firm meat and lard.
UNIFORM SUPPLY HELPS MARKETS
The lower prices paid in Florida are partly due to the lack
of sufficient hogs to furnish a uniform supply thruout the year.
In order to have a steady market there must be competition
among buyers and a sufficient number of hogs moving regularly
to the packing houses. While light hogs may sell best in local
trade, the packers demand an average of 175 to 300 pounds live
IMPROVING THE QUALITY
Those who intend to engage in hog raising should procure
purebred or high-grade breeding stock at the start. Where it is
desired to grade up native stock one can cross them with any of
the improved breeds and produce good hogs. However, this is
an expensive method since it takes two years or longer to im-
prove the quality so that it will compare favorably with better
bred hogs. While the breed is largely personal choice, it is to
the advantage of any community to adhere closely to one breed
for the sake of uniformity in marketing.
KEEPING HOGS THRIFTY
The more intelligent use of anti-cholera serum has changed
the attitude of farmers who hesitated to buy good hogs because
of the probable loss from cholera. By using vats and wallows,
hogs are kept free from lice. Medicines and a change of pasture
keep them free from worms.
A still more important consideration is the necessity of
keeping hogs confined to pastures. When allowed free range
they cannot avoid coming in contact with sick animals or grazing
over pastures that are infested with worms. A business as
important as hog raising requires careful management, and if
handled properly can be made profitable under a greater variety
of conditions than most other general farming undertakings..
State papers please copy.