Alternative Swine Rations
Grass- or forage-finished meat is gaining in popularity for perceived environmental and health benefits. Cooperator John Arbuckle designed a trial to test whether hogs could be finished solely with forage and other non-concentrate feeds. The experimental group received a widely-varied diet of forages, household leftovers, overripe vegetables, weeds and dairy. Experimental hog carcasses were lighter than control carcasses, but meat quality did not differ. Concentration of three individual saturated fatty acids were greater in experimental than control diets. Experimental hogs, despite lighter carcass weights, were cheaper to raise to that weight.