Well with the ever rising feed costs, taking a few min and measuring out weights on critters and checking and double checking what they should be getting daily is a very good idea, you can easily get in the habit of giving a full scoop when a half is only needed, and on the flip side, you can get used to a feeding a certain amount and not take into account slow but steady age growth..
Lets give some real life examples shall we.. So the piglets are getting on average 1 pds of feed per for each month they are alive, so given that they are nine weeks they were requiring 2 pds per piglet but now they are heading into the 3rd month, 3 pds per piglet stage
On the other hand, there mother Miss Piggy who currently is a little on the lean looking side is sitting at 440 pds and was up to a quite high milking daily ration, has been weaned, so she having her feed reduced, not reduced to non-expecting, non-milking ration until she puts on a little of her milked off weight, but a slow steady weekly reduction down to her regular daily ration.
Angelo on the other hand who came in at 400 hundred pds is going up another two pds per day in his rations. and Tootie is overweight and going down in her grain/feed ration and up in her hay ration for roughage, as her breed of pig has a large ability to eat food but she can have ill health effects from being to fat, so the higher calorie grow ration for the piglets or Miss Piggy is a bad idea, she needs a lower protien soaked grain, with more roughage, the roughage not just for health but for feeling full and content.
Girl came in at 1250, she is currently 28 months and half way though her first pregancy and with extra read and careful planning, i have found out that she is currently being overfeed her grain ration as I keep her on her baby rate, instead of reducing her to a heifer rate..
On the flip side Marty who measured out less then I was expecting with the offical tape measure by close to a hundred pds is not getting enough, he will be moving up not on his grain ration but on his sprout ration, I can really! see the difference in growth rates between Girl who was able to graze on a lush rich pasture and Marty who had a very poor dry pasture, the best thing I can come up with is getting him on the fodder and increasing his weight gains that way..
Last but not least is the ewes, ranging between 130 to 170 pds with my ram coming in at 240 pds at the moment, which gives me a good overview of what my girls will need as they get closer to lambing in terms of a protein increase, I had really hoped to be able to do that with the fresh fodder but I have a feeling that its going to end up being a mix of sprouted grains, and fermented soaked grains along with all the good quality hay that they can eat, I also got a new product that is a molases, vit/mineral/fat sheep lick for lambing season, I got two tubs and just let me say this .. OUCH on the cost but if it has the effect on the ewe’s that it promises in health, milk production and overall lambing ease as well as bright active bouncing lambs it will have been worth it, we will see if it is really that big of a improvement over regular old loose minerals and vit, I really like the idea of it, we will see in time if it lives up to what I have read..
Needless to say this allows me to figure out how much per critter per day for feeds, which allows me to figure out the month alotments but it also has to be flexable in terms of extra farm inputs, garden and household scraps and weather dependent increases in calorie needs.
So do you weight out and measure out your animals to help make sure they are being correctly feed?