TIM ARKANSAS STATION reports an ex periment in which hogs weighing 124 pounds at the beginning of the test were pastured 132 days on peanuts and made an average gain of 73.5 pounds each. A similar lot of pigs pastured for the same time on soy beans made an aver age gain of 22.75 pounds, and another lot on chufas, 39.33 pounds. Hogs the same size gained 76.75 pounds when shut up and fed dry corn in a pen dur ing the same period. On the basis of this work it is estimated that 313 pounds of pork was produced on one-fourth acre of peanuts. The yield of peanuts with 87 per cent of a good stand was 90 bushels per acre.
Peanuts in this experiment made soft pork and oily fat, hut the meat was of good flavor. Other experiments at tht,• same station have shown that when pigs were raised on peanuts and chufas, either alone or combined, and fed corn in addition, as good a quality of porx and lard was produced as when the pigs were fed exclusively on corn. By feed ing pasture-fed pigs corn exclusively for a month, the pork was made much firmer and the melting point of the lard was raised a few degrees.
In these experiments the melting point of the fat in hogs pastured on peanuts was 87.6° F., while on corn it was 114° F.
Peas for pasture Canada field peas make an excellent pasture for hogs. They may be used green, that is, just as the vines are coming into blossom, or pasturing may be deferred until the pods are filled and the peas begin to harden. In the latter case, the grain itself fur nishes an excellent fattening ration.
AT THE MONTANA STATION, an acre of peas produced at the rate of 35 bushels per acre. Pigs turned onto pea pasture when the peas were beginning to harden consumed all the peas and a portion of the vines as well, furnishing a fattening ration for ten 150 to 200 pound hogs for from 40 to 45 days.
In Montana, and a number of western states, climatic conditions permit of pea harvesting by pigs even as late as December. This is one of the easiest fattening methods now practiced. In order to make the best use of forage in this condition, the station holds that winter litters of pigs must be raised. "Pigs from spring litters do not reach a large consuming capacity soon enough to take advantage of the early forage. Both late fall and early spring litters should be raised in order to get the most out of the food and the market condi tions." In one experiment at the sta tion 10 pigs pastured on an acre of nearly ripe peas gained 277 pounds in 47 days.
AT THE OREGON STATION, when pork was selling at $6 per hundredweight, pea pasture had a value for pork production of $59.56 per acre. With the peas, it required 2.2 pounds of grain and 4.4 pounds of skim milk to produce a pound of gain. In these experiments, Black eyed Marrow-fat were found superior to the Canada field peas.
Peas and oats when mixed in the proportion of three parts peas to one part oats and seeded at the rate of 21,.'4 bushels per acre, make an excellent for age crop for hogs.
At the Michigan experiment sta tion, such pasture when the crop had nearly reached maturity, and the peas were just past cooking stage, maintained 2,340 pounds of live hogs and produced 210 pounds of pork in 27 days. The following year, 1 acre maintained 3,963 pounds of live hogs for 13 days and produced 1661/2 pounds of gain. The vines in these experiments were heavy in proportion to the grain.
Purslane Prof. Plumb fed purslane to sows confined in pens. They were fed 21 days and given a part grain ra tion in addition. The pigs made fairly good gains on this material at a cost of 2.2 cents per pound. The pigs did not appear to relish the purslane.
Rape for pasture The Wisconsin station was one of the first to point out the value of rape for hogs. It has long been used in England and Canada as a soiling crop for both sheep and swine. Good results have also been reported for this crop when cut and fed green. It is greatly relished by hogs as soon as they learn to eat it. Hogs at the Wis consin station, four to 10 months old, fed grain and hurdled on rape, have made more rapid and cheaper gains than hogs fed grain alone. An acre of rape fed in connection with grain showed a feed ing value equivalent to about 40 bushels of grain, estimating grain at about 60 pounds to the bushel.
In another test at the same station, an acre of rape proved equal in feeding value to 3,318 pounds of corn and shorts mixed, and in still another test, it proved equivalent to 2,767 pounds of grain.
On rape alone, without any grain whatever, hogs did not make satisfactory gains in one experiment reported alone this line; 36 pigs averaging 6.5 months old lost a total of 60 pounds when fed for two weeks on rape alone.
As a pasture crop, rape at the Wiscon sin station proved a little better than good clover pasture for hogs. It re quired on an average of two trials, 33.5 pounds less grain to make 100 pounds of gain on rape than on clover. On this basis, the rape pasture was about 7 per cent more valuable than clover. That station recommends Dwarf Essex rape, planted in drills 30 inches apart, pasturing to begin when the plants are from 4 to 12 inches high. The crop does not cause scouring or bloating when properly fed.
At the Ontario agricultural college, rape was fed to hogs in pens to deter mine its value in hog rations. In one instance it was fed with corn and in another with peas, barley and shorts. In both oases it constituted about one-third of the ration. The tests show that 7 pounds of rape had a feeding value of 1 pound of grain. The average daily gain when rape constituted a part of the ra tion was 1.4 pounds. On grain alone it was 1.8 pounds.
The Oregon station reports an experi ment in which 10 pigs, between four and five months old, were pastured on rape, without any other feed from August 2 to October 1, and gained 164 pounds in weight. During all this time they kept in a thriving, healthy condi tion.
At the South Dakota station, rape had a value of $7.04 per acre for swine fed barley in addition.
Professor Duggar of the Alabama sta tion, reports a gain of 452 pounds per acre for hogs consuming at the same time 2.7 pounds of grain per pound of gain. In two tests it proved more valu able per acre than chufas, cowpeas or peanuts by 25 to 50 per cent.
These experiments show rape to have a very high feeding value as a pasture for swine, scarcely being equaled by any other plant for this purpose, except al falfa. (See Alfalfa.) Sorghum and kafir corn Both these crops are exceedingly valuable pasture crops for hogs and have been used ex tensively for this purpose throughout the West and South. Kafir corn is es pecially valuable for the drier south western states. Sorghum is available throughout most of the southern states from July to November. When fed with grain at the Alabama station hogs gained 174 pounds per acre, con suming 3.7 pounds of grain per pound of gain. This was, however, only 12 per cent less grain than was required by hogs fed entirely on grain. The sor ghum was fed when partly headed out. When the sorghum was out and carried to hogs, using it as a soiling crop, there was much less waste of food, and an acre went much farther. Sorghum should be grazed any time between early bloom and late maturity, for best results. Grazing may, however, be begun as soon as the plants have reached 10 to 12 inches in height and continued until late fall. Kafir corn, on the other hand. is of greater value after it is headed out.
Stubble field After the harvesting of wheat, oats, barley, peas, rye, etc, is over, hogs should be turned in the ble field to pick up the scattered grain.
At the Oregon station, young pigs were turned on barley, wheat and pea stubble fields without other grain, ex cept a limited amount on stormy days. In one month they made an average gain of 22.8 pounds, 17.5 pounds of which was credited to the grain picked up in stubble, and which would have otherwise gone to waste.
The percentage increase secured at the Montana station when 24 pigs, 230 lambs and 11 steers had the run of a 212 acre field of oats, wheat, peas and barley stubble, was 32.1 per cent for hogs, 19.2 for lambs, and 5.2 per cent for steers. These results show considerable value for stubble field from the standpoint of hog feeding.
It will be noted in the experiments above, that hogs made better gains than either sheep or steers on this kind of pasturage.
Soy bean pasturage Soy beans were pastured at the Arkansas station when the pods were filled and some were changing color. On this pasture, hogs weighing 124 pounds each, at the begin ning of the experiment, gained but 22.75 pounds in 32 days; while on Spanish peanuts, during the same test, the gains were 73.5, and on chufas, 89.3 pounds. The soy beans were clearly not equal to either peanuts or chafes in this ex periment for pork production. The yield of soy beans was about 27.2 bushels per acre. The melting point of the fat of hogs pastured on soy beans was 103.3°F., while on corn it was 114° F. This is not a very satisfactory pasture crop for hogs, because the leaves soon drop after maturing, leaving only woody stems.
Vetches This crop has been found an excellent green food for hogs at the Oregon station. Hogs seem very fond of vetches and frequently leave their grain to eat them. Less waste occurs when the vetches are cut and fed to the hog. The hogs were also successfully hurdled on small portions of the vetch field at a time. Vetches are strongly recom mended at that station, where clover is unavailable for pasturage. This crop succeeds throughout the eastern states from June on and in the southern states from March to May. It is usually ad visable to plant some grain, like oats, with the crop, to hold up the vetches.