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The Oklahoma Station


THE OKLAHOMA STATION pastured four pigs averaging about 62 pounds each on a field of alfalfa. They were turned in to the pasture April 27 and given no other feed. In five weeks they had gained about 5 pounds each. During the next three weeks they gained a little less than 2 pounds each. The season was favorable and there was a good stand of alfalfa. It was kept well eaten down, however, by these four pigs. During the same time these pigs were being fed, four others averaging about 6S pounds each, were turned into a field of alfalfa and were given at the same time full feed of kafir corn meal or shelled corn. The first five weeks they gained on an average 50 pounds each and for the next three weeks about 31 pounds each.

They required but 2.2 pounds of grain with the alfalfa to produce a pound of gain. The alfalfa lot used to pasture the pigs fed grain, carried at the same time a half more stock than the other lot and the alfalfa remained green and fresh.

AT THE UTAH and Mississippi sta tions, alfalfa proved simply a main tenance ration for hogs. Flogs on this pasture produced large, coarse frames and large stomachs.

AT THE KANSAS STATION, hogs without pasture required 371 pounds of gram per 100 pounds of gain. On rape pas ture, 301 pounds of grain and on alfalfa pasture 300 pounds. The area of rape required was about twice as great as in the case of alfalfa. In this experi ment we see, therefore, that alfalfa was fully as valuable as rape and supplied twice as much food on the same area. In another experiment at the Kansas station, 1 acre of alfalfa pasture pro duced 776 pounds of pork.

In general, it may be stated that in the corn belt, wherever alfalfa can be grown, the combination of alfalfa pas ture with corn produces about as cheap pork as it is possible to produce in America. And so far as experiments have shown alfalfa is the equal of any crop grown in the country as a hog pas ture.

Brome grass has been used as a pas ture for pigs, with satisfactory results. It was greatly relished by hogs at the Ottawa station and gave good returns.

Clover pasture Common red clover, white clover, alsike and mammoth clover are all available throughout the North for hog pasturage. In some of the east ern states, crimson clover is also success fully grown and used as a pasture for hogs. In speaking of clover pasture, common red clover is usually meant.

At the Oregon station, 12 hogs, three months old, were fed for three months hurdled on clover pasture and given shorts and skim milk in addition. Dur ing this period they gained 253 pounds, from which it is calculated that 1 acre of good clover pasture has a feeding value of $44.36 for growing pigs, valu ing the gains made at cents per pound. Generally speaking clover may be regarded as the equal of alfalfa for hog pasture.

Cowpeas for pasture Cowpeas are available for pasturing throughout the South from July to November, and in the North from July 20 to September 20.

At the Alabama station, hogs gained at the rate of 229 pounds per acre, on con-peas, consuming at the same time 3 pounds of gain, while on corn alone 586 On a field in which cowpeas were about half matured and yielded at the rate of 13.2 bushels per acre, pigs required but 307 pounds of corn to produce 100 pounds of gain, while on corn alone 586 pounds were required. On this basis it is calculated an acre of cowpeas would replace 1662 pounds of corn. The qual ity of the pork made on cowpeas and corn was equally as good as that made on clear corn, and the lard of about equal firmness.

In another test at the same station, pigs averaging about 57 pounds in the beginning of the experiment were grazed for 35 days on ripe cowpea vines of the Whippoorwill variety. They were given no grain during this time and made a total gain of 51 pounds, or an aver age of 0.48 pound per day per pig. There was considerable loss in grazing the ripe cowpeas, as many of the peas fell to the ground and sprouted. These results and others show that much better results will be secured if cowpeas are pas tured a little before they are ripe, and a small amount of grain fed in addition.

Experiments in pasturing cowpeas at the Maryland station also show that this crop is well suited to young and growing hogs. The ground is put in fine condition by pasturing off with hogs as it is worked over, matured, and the vines well trampled down.

At the Mississippi station, 14 young pigs made an average daily gain of 1 pound per day on 1.7 acres of cowpeas for 23 days without grain.

Peanuts for pasture As a result of investigations at the various southern experiment stations, the use of peanuts as a grazing crop for hogs is becoming more general throughout the South. Ex periments have shown that this crop is satisfactory during the early stages of feeding, but that the pork produced on peanuts is softer than that produced ou corn and for this reason it is usual to take the pigs off the peanuts a month before marketing and harden them up on corn. Peanuts are available for pas turage from about August to December.

In seven tests at the Alabama station, hogs raised on Spanish peanuts and fed one-fourth to one-half the usual grain ration gained on the average 333 pounds per acre. In two tests when young pigs were pastured on peanuts and given no other food in addition the gains were 281 pounds per acre. In the cases where grain was fed with peanuts, it required pounds to produce a pound of gain. The crop was much more profitable when fed with grain.

Peanuts tend to produce an oily pork and soft lard. Cowpea meal was found a little more effective in raising the melting point of the lard from pigs grown on peanuts than corn meal.

In experiments at the station when pigs were hurdled on peanuts not quite come to full maturity, and fed corn in addition, they made an increased growth sufficient to give a value of $13.34 per acre for the peanuts, valuing pork at 3 cents per pound.

pounds, alfalfa, pasture, corn, pigs, peanuts and clover