Buying pig food is a modern idea; traditional wisdom tells us that keeping a pig is a side-hustle. Some part of the farm is producing surplus perishable nutrients; pigs are the way to store them.

Fortunately for those of us who love sausage, bacon, ham, and (oh, my!) grilled pork chops, it’s the rare homestead that doesn’t produce plenty of spare calories. You just have to know where to look.

Pasture, garden, orchard; dairy; butchering wastes; winter-stored food culls; bedding from other animals — all of these generate pig-appropriate nutrients. Planting extra of the right crops, and inter-cropping with easy-to-grow, easy-to-store vegetables, lets you feed a pig entirely from the farm. And employing a pig to process materials speeds composting and saves work.

Check out our guidebook, Growing Feed for Farm Animals, or catch us at Homesteaders of America, if you want to know more.