Volume 26 Number 4
OCTOBER 1, 1916
W. A. McRAE
COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE
The Value of Pasturage in Pig Raising, Etc.
Home Curing of Meat.
Entered January 81, 1903, at Tallahassee, Florida, as second-class
matter under Act of Congress of June, 1900.
THESE BULLETINS ARE ISSUED FREE TO THOSE REQUESTING THEM
T. J. APPLETARD, STATE PRINTER
COUNTY z i -
MAP OF t P O L K ~
SHOWING SUBDIVISIONS i ST.LUCIE
I DE SOTO
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SHOLME L E
S1 ACKSON I
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A .--1 | DADE
WESTERN DIVI i
THE VALUE OF PASTURAGE IN PIG RAIS-
ING AND AS A MEANS OF REDUCING
THE COST OF THE PRODUCTION
By H. S. Elliot, Chief Clerk Dept. of Agriculture.
Successful pig raising depends upon many things,
chief among which are: the right kind of animals, the
best methods of feeding and management, quality of the
breeds and, at least a fair knowledge of the relative value
of the numerous kinds of feeding stuffs, so that the herd
may be maintained cheaply and efficiently and that the
pork be produced at as low a cost as possible. The pigs
must, of course, be supplied with the nutrients necessary
to a proper development of the carcass. Therefore, the
question of feeding rightly to attain the ends desired, is
a vital one, but one which intelligent management and
careful investigation will solve to the grower's advantage.
Good animals and good rations, however, are not all that
is necessary to successful hog raising. The herd must be
properly managed so as to get the necessary amount of
exercise, be kept healthy and thrifty, free from vermin and
worms, good shelter, etc. These details which are often
overlooked or neglected are important and go very far in
reducing the cost of pork production.
In addition to the above, the principal elements in the
economical production of pork are the combination of
pasturage and feeding of grain and other products, mainly
concentrates, composed of mixed, ground and cracked
cereals, which can be generally produced on the average
farm. The old way of turning the hogs out to run wild on
the open range, taking care of themselves, in a way, feed-
ing on mast, roots, etc., was to a certain extent permiss-
able under existing circumstances, but experience and in-
vestigation have demonstrated that a system of cultivated
crops, which provide grazing throughout the grazing and
fattening seasons with grain near the end of the fattening
period is not only morehdealthful to the stock, but is far-
reaching in the reduction of cost. Probably the best plan,
and the one recommended by this Department and also
practiced quite largely by successful growers, is to graze
the pigs on oats, rye, clovers and grasses of various kinds
and towards spring add to the grazing crops, rape, millet.
barley, etc., and towards summer and throughout this
period into the fall the oat stubble, peas, soy beans, burr
clover, velvet beans, etc. During this time a small amount
of grain should be given about once a day, which will
carry the pigs along well and cheaply and, at the same
time, making good rate of growth. Also in winter the
feeding of leguminous hays, which all hogs like to eat.
should be practiced in addition to the concentrated feeds
which will assist very materially in cheapening the cost
Again the following of cattle by pigs on limited areas,
or where cattle are herded at night and fed on grain or
h;ay, is also an important item in economical feeding. be-
cause of ihe waste they will pick up.
\Whlen silage is used in feeding cattle, it is also in the
line of economy to feed the silage to hogs, which can be
allowed: them in quantity without limit, as they will eat
only \what they want, without danger. This also takes to
a considerable degree, the place of grazing and even with
it, is of great assistance, adding to its efficiency as also
its ecollol ly.
Another way in which the pig economically returns a
profit to the owner not usually considered is, by bringing
much better returns for feed of inferior quality than could
possibly be obtained by selling such feed. In this con-
nection it must not be forgotten that the pig removes only
a minimum quantity of fertilizing material in his carcass,
while he leaves a maximum amount in the form of manure.
These are also important points to be observed in the econ-
omical production of pork.
The fattening period generally begins with the earliest
ripening corn and peas, which are usually in condition to
graze about August 1st to 15th in Florida. Both the fall
and spring pigs can then be turned into the fields, the
young pigs picking up most of the grain which the large
hogs usually waste. This crop will generally carry the
pigs till about October and then the velvet beans, soy
beans and peanuts are ready for grazing. As before
stated, the smaller pigs will pick up the scattered grain
on which they will make rapid gains.
Soy beans and peanuts are low in carbohydrates, but
are very rich in protein. Therefore corn should be fed in
connection with those to balance the ration; the pigs will
graze on this crop until about the first of December-when
the sweet potato crop is thoroughly matured and ready to
fee:i. Then the eight to twelve months old pigs are about
right in condition and size to pen for fattening and finish-
ing on corn and, if advisable or desired, also fed with the
corn, a little cotton seed meal with corn, or better still
allowed to graze on the potatoes within narrow limits so
as not to give them too much exercise.
In this method of feeding the hogs it is demonstrated
that the largest gains per acre are almost invariably made
with sweet potatoes, but this kind of fat is soft and oily
and to offset this so as to obtain better results from the
sweet potatoes, about one pound each of corn and cotton
seed meal per head, daily, should be fed. After grazing
on the potatoes for from three to five weeks as above sug-
gested, the pigs will usually be about ready for market,
the final and finishing feeding being corn or corn and cot-
ton seed meal. What potatoes ar left in the field can be
gathered by the brood sows and young pigs.
It will be noticed that, in the above methods, the hogs
are required to gather practically all of their food. This
not only saves a great deal of labor but, by actual expe-
rience, has proved to be an economical practice, the pigs
making under this treatment from one-fourth to one-third
greater gain per acre when allowed to gather the crops
themselves, than if confined and the food carried to them.
This is due in great part to the fact that they will eat a
large proportion of the stems and leaves of the pea vines,
velvet beans, soy beans and peanuts, all of which, es-
pecially when the peas and grain are included, are rich
If the above methods are carefully and intelligently
observed and followed out, it is reasonably certain that
pork can be produced in this State within the limits of
three cents per pound. In fact, there are many instances
and many localities where this is regularly accomplished,
and the methods herein described are common practice.
HOME CURING OF MEAT.
(By H. S. ELLIo..
At this season of the year a greal many inquiries are
received asking for information as lo best methods :n)(
processes for the Home Curing of Meat in Florida. The
following methods have been proven entirely reliable
in all parts of the State, and we can recommend them
as sure and safe.
Curing meats with brine is a good method for farm use.
It is less trouble to pack the meat in a barrel and pour
brine over it than to go over it three or four times and
rub in salt, as in the dry-curing method. The brine also
protects tle meat from insects and vermin. Brine made
of pure water and according to the direction in the fol-
lowing recipes should keep a reasonable length of time.
During warm weather, however, brine should be watched
closely, and if it becomes "ropy" like sirup, it should be
boiled or new brine made. A cool, moist sellar is the
best place for brine curing.
Pure water, salt, sugar or molasses, and saltpeter are
al the ingredients needed for the ordinary curing of
meat. The meat may be packed in large earthen jars
or a clean hardwood barrel. The barrel or jar may be
used repeatedly unles meat has spoiled in it. It should
be scalded thoroughly, however, each time before fresh
meat is packed.
Curing should begin as soon as the meat is cooled and
while it is still fresh. Ordinarily 24 to 36 hours after
slaughter are sufficient for cooling. Frozen meat should
not be salted, as the frost prevents proper penetration
of the salt and uneven curing results.
SUGAR-CURED HAMS AND BACON.
When the meat is cooled, rub each piece with salt and
allow it to drain over night. Then pack it in the barrels
with the hams and shoulders in the bottom, using the
strips of bacon to fill in between or to put on top. Weigh
out for each one hundred pounds of meat, eight pounds
of salt, two pounds of brown sugar, and two ounces of
saltpeter. Two ounces of finely ground black pepper may
be added with benefit. Dissolve all in four gallons of
water, and cover the meat with the brine. For summer
use it will be safest to boil the brine before using. In that
case it should be cooled thoroughly before it is used. For
winter curing it is not necessary to boil the brine. Bacon
strips should remain in this brine four to six weeks;
hams six to eight weeks. This is a standard recipe and
has given the best of satisfaction. Hains and bacon cured
in the spring will keep right through ihe summer after
they are smoked. The meat will le sweet and palatable
if smoked properly, and the flavor will be good.
PLAIN SALT PoRK.
IRub each piece of meat with fine common salt and
pack closely in a barrel. Let stand over night. The
next day weigh out ten pounds of salt and two ounces
of saltpeter to each 100 pounds of meat and dissolve in
four (4) gallons of boiling water. Pour this brine over
the meat when cold, cover and weight down to keep it
under the brine. Meat will pack best if cut into pieces
about 6 inches square. The pork should be kept in the
brine till used.
How TO SMOKE MEAT.
Pickled and cured meats are smoked to aid in their
preservation and to give flavor and palatability. The
creosote formed by the combustion of the wood closes the
pores to some extent, excluding the air. and is objection-
Iable to insects.
HlIrS]E AND FrEL.
The smnokehouse should be eight or ten feel high to
give ihe best results, and of a size suited to the amount
of meat likely to be smoked, six by eight feet being large
enough for ordinary farm use. Ample ventilation should
be provided to carry oil the warm air in order to prevent
over heating the meal. Small openings under the eaves
or a chimney in the roof will be sufficient if arranged so
as to be easily controlled. A fire pot outside of the house
proper with a (Ine through which the smoke may be con-
ducted to the meat chamber gives the best conditions for
smoking. When this cannot be well arranged a fire may
be built on the floor of the house and the meat shielded
by a sheet of mctal. Where the meat can be hung 6 to 7
feet above tie fire Ihis precaution need not be taken. The
construction should be such as to alow the smoke to pass
up freely over the meat and out of the house, though rapid
circulation is ai the expense of fuel.
FILING THE -HOUSE.
Meat that is to be smoked should be removed from the
brine two or three days before being put in the smoke-
house. If it has been cured in a strong brine, it will be
best to soak the pieces in cold water overnight to prevent
a crust of salt from forming on the outside when drained.
Washing the meat in tepid water and scrubbing clean
with a brush is a good practice. The pieces should then
be hung up to drain for a day or two. When drained
they may be hung in the house. All should be suspended
below the ventilators and should hang so that no two
pieces come in contact, as this would prevent uniform