Alfalfa as a Feed Supplement for Finishing Hogs

Published Feb 1, 1997

We carried out a hog feeding trial to determine whether adding ground alfalfa to the grower and finisher ration would be economical as well as result in leaner hogs. The ration used for the hog feeding trial was:

50-90 lb. pigs …………. 100 lbs. alfalfa/ton

90-150 lb. pigs ……….. 150 lbs./ton

150-finish ……………… 200 lbs./ton

The ration used for the conventional trial was the typical Wayne Feeds ration that we use. Seventy-two head were weighed on April 14, 1996, for each trial. The average weight for the hay ration group was 67 lbs. The average weight for the conventional group was 69 pounds. 69 head were sold from each group.

Based on the results (Table 9), we made the following observations:

  • The hay ration hogs took longer to get to market by an average of 6 days more than the conventional group.
  • The hay ration hogs were leaner
  • The economics on the two comparisons were nearly identical, down to the penny.

The hay ration cost less but the hogs consumed more feed and took longer to go to market. The feed efficiency for both groups could be improved. Feed waste was a negative factor for both groups, indicating the need for better feeder adjustments. The good news is that, even putting a cost on the pig at the start of the trial, both groups made a good profit