Raising, feeding and fattening hogs on potale, a business pursued and
highly spoken of, but from my experience I have discovered that few good
pigs can be raised entirely on potale--as it has a tendency to gripe and
scour too much; but after they are weaned and a little used with slop,
they will thrive well.
If a hog in a cold morning comes running to a trough full of slop, that
is almost boiling, and is
ery hungry--their nature is so gluttonous &
voracious, that it will take several mouthfuls before it feels the
effects of the heat, and endangers the scalding of the mouth, throat and
entrails--and which may be followed by mortification and
death;--moreover, hot feeding is the cause of so many deaths, and
ill-looking unhealthy pigs, about some distilleries--which inconvenience
might be avoided by taking care to feed or fill the troughs before the
boiling slop is let out from the still.
A distiller cannot be too careful of his hogs--as with care, they will
be found the most productive stock he can raise--and without care
The offals of distilleries and mills cannot be more advantageously
appropriated than in raising of hogs--they are prolific, arrive at
maturity in a short period, always in demand. Pork generally sells for
more than beef, and the lard commands a higher price than tallow; of the
value of pork and every part of this animal, it is unnecessary for me to
enter into detail; of their great value and utility, almost every person
is well acquainted.
The hog pens and troughs ought to be kept clean and in good order, the
still slop salted two or three times a week; when fattening, hogs should
be kept in a close pen, and in the summer a place provided to wallow in
Hogs that are fed on potale, ought not to lie out at night, as dew, rain
and snow injures them--indeed such is their aversion to bad weather,
that when it comes on, or only a heavy shower of rain, away they run,
full speed, each endeavoring to be foremost, all continually crying out,
until they reach their stye or place of shelter.
At the age of nine months, this animal copulates first, and frequently
earlier, but it is better engendering should be prevented, till the age
of eighteen months--for at an earlier age, the litter is uniformly
small, and weakly, and frequently do not survive, besides the growth is
injured. It is therefore better not to turn a sow to breeding, till from
18 to 24 months old.
The sow goes four months with pig, and yields her litter at the
commencement of the fifth; soon after encourages and receives the boar,
and thus produces two litters in the year. I have known an instance of
three litters having been produced in the year from one female.
A sow ought not to be permitted to suckle her pigs more than two or
three weeks, after which eight or nine only should be left with her, the
rest sold, or sent to market, or killed for use--at the age of three
weeks they are fit for eating, if the sow is well fed. A few sows will
serve, and those kept for breeding, well selected from the litter, the
residue, cut and splayed. Care and pains is due in the choice of the
breed of hogs--the breeder had then better procure good ones, and of a
good race at once, tho' the expense and trouble may seem material in the
outset, yet the keeping will be the same, and the produce perhaps fifty
per cent more.
After the pigs are weaned, they ought to be fed for the first two weeks
on milk, water and bran, after which potale may be used in the room of
milk. I would recommend a little mixed potale from an early period, and
increase it, so as to render them accustomed to the slop gradually.