PRBSS R8ULLBIN 160
January 7, 1911
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
HOG RAISING IN FLORIDA
By A. P. Spencer
The average valuation of the Florida hog is $4.80; while, for the entire
United States, the average valuation of a hog is $9.14. The value of the
hogs in Florida approximates two and a quarter million dollars. These
facts suggest possibilities for improvement in the raising of hogs in Florida.
It has been said that hogs have been the mortgage-lifters on the farms of
the Western United States, but it has been only well-bred and properly fed
hogs that have done this work. The native hog grows too slowly, requires
too many days to mature, and eats too much feed for each pound of pork
it produces. The percentage of dressed meat to live weight is about 65;
whereas with improved breeds, when well fed and carefully handled, this
percentage reaches 80. The average litter of native pigs is small, and the
native sow rarely, if ever, produces more than one litter in a year.
The increased values of land, labor, and feeds demand that the quality
of Florida hogs shall be improved, otherwise the future Florida hog
will be produced at a vanishing profit. Florida can produce a
great variety of forage crops during all seasons of the year, as well
as corn for fattening, and expensive hog houses are also unnecessary. Nearly
all the improved breeds of hogs are represented in various sections of
Florida; and any of these when crossed with the native pigs will make a
wonderful improvement in the first cross, a still greater in the second cross,
while the third cross will reach a point of excellence that will make it
difficult to distinguish from the pure breed, providing that good feeding has
accompanied the breeding-up process. Furthermore, Florida hogs can now
be protected against hog cholera.
Any farmer who attempts to improve his hogs without a systematic plan
for providing cheap feeds is going to be disappointed. Better blobd, and better
blood alone, will not give the desired results without good feed. 'he hog'does
well on green forage crops. A variety of crops in each season is desirable.
A single crop may fail, and a variety of feeds is always economical from
the standpoint of thrift and growth of the hogs. The following crops are
available and are recommended:
Winter Crops.-Rape, Japanese cane, barley, velvet beans.
Spring Crops.-Millet, sorghum, oats, barley.
Summer Crops.-Sorghum, cowpeas, corn, Mexican clover, Bermuda grass.
Fall Crops.:-Peanuts, sweet potatoes, velvet beans, rape, Japanese cane.
To promote rapid growth with the above-named feeds a small allowance
of equal parts of corn and middlings is desirable in addition. About one
pound daily for each 100 pounds of live weight has proven satisfactory for
growing hogs. Very young pigs, and brood sows suckling pigs, need about
Iwo pounds for each 100 pounds of live weight, excepting during the season
when peanuts are available. Regular feeding twice a day, together with a
liberal supply of fresh water, are also important.
The native hogs cross well with the Berkshire, Poland China, Duroc
Jersey, or other improved breeds. Several hog raisers in Florida are al-
ready using pure-bred males on their native sows and getting good, thrifty,
strong litters, that mature early. In general, it is better to secure the pure-
bred stock in Florida if possible. A list of the breeders can be obtained
by writing to the Director of the Experiment Station, Gainesville, Fla. The
breed to use for grading-up is largely a matter of personal choice, although
the average hog raiser in the State will profit best by using those breeds
that have already proven satisfactory in his locality or county. With good
care, proper feeding, and improved blood, there is no reason why the average
hogs of Florida should not weigh at least 125 pounds at 6 or 8 months of age.
State papers please copy.