I hear this question a lot. Your pigs are on pasture? Do they eat grass? Suprisingly enough farmers ask this more than anyone. If I explain a little to them many times they dismiss it and go on.
I can see them thinking to themselves and some have even said 'you can't get a hog to eat enough grass to make any difference.'
I just smile. I know mine do! My feed consumption and weight gain records don't lie.
It's a practice that was common years ago.
Here's one account from 1910:
Pasture plays an important role in the common practice of swine feeding. Besides getting fresh and palatable feed the pig in such cases harvest the crop which saves considerable expense.
He also gets a greater variety of feed as well as different mineral substances that may be gathered from the soil in different places.
While the feed gathered from the pasture in the form of grass, plants of various kinds, etc., is of the nature of roughage, still the pig can use a considerable quantity of this even though he is primarily adapted to concentrated feeds.
In fact, he will do better with some roughages in his ration than he will to be confined entirely to concentrates, especially if the former are gathered from from the pasture. The pasture exercises a considerable influence besides the feed it supplies. - William Dietrich - 1910
Hogs on grass fell into obscurity for quite some time, thank goodness it's making a come back!
Until next time...