PRESS BULLETIN No. 71.
florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
SWEET POTATOES FOR HOGS.
BY JOHN M: SCOTT.
In all feeding experiments it has been found that rations containing
a high percentage of carbohydrates (fat- and heat-producing material)
do not give good returns in producing meat; but if sufficient protein
(muscle- and bone-producing material) is added, so as to give the
animal a balanced ration (or one nearly balanced), the results are
generally satisfactory. It makes little difference in what feeds the
carbohydrates are furnished so long as the material is digestible. Since
sweet potatoes are a crop easily grown, give good yields, are well
adapted to the soils and climate of Florida, and contain a large percent-
age of carbohydrates, some notice should be taken of them, and they
deserve to be studied in order to find out their value as a feed for pork
Bulletin No. 90 of this Station gives the results 'of a number of
feeding experiments with pigs, in which sweet potatoes were fed in
different proportions. It has been pretty clearly demonstrated that
sweet potatoes when fed alone are a poor feed for pork production.
This is due to the fact that sweet potatoes contain such a large amount
of carbohydrates, and such a small percentage of protein. The results
of these experiments may be summarized as follows:
In a feeding test lasting forty-two days, four pigs were fed on
sweet potatoes only, during which time the pigs lost in weight instead
of making a gain. The pigs in this test were rather small, averaging
only twenty-two pounds. In another experiment with older pigs,
averaging about one hundred pounds, the results were a little more
favorable; yet the gains in weight were not large enough to make it a
paying investment to feed sweet potatoes alone. When some other
feed was used in combination with sweet potatoes, the results were
quite different. In one test lasting for a period of twenty-eight days,
pigs averaging about 150 pounds were fed sweet potatoes and shorts in
November 7, 1907.
the proportion of one part shorts to six parts sweet potatoes by weight.
The pigs made good daily gains, giving the sweet potatoes a value of
about 50 cents per hundred (when pork was worth 5 cents per pound)
for pork production.
This may perhaps seem to be a very small price for the farmer to
receive for his sweet potatoes, but it certainly gives him an idea as to
the feeding value of his potato crop. If the market price of potatoes
should fall as low as 65c or 70c per hundred, it would be a question
whether or not the farmer could best afford to put his crop on the
market, or feed it to his hogs.
State papers please copy.