We keep a few pigs each year in our orchard to use up windfall fruit. We also have a lot of Oak trees ( White Oaks) around the farm and I have been collecting acorns this year to feed the pigs. They love them. Next year I am planning to collect the acorns using less labour intensive methods (Ground sheeting) and where collection is not practical I intend to take the pigs to the trees and let them forage them.
Does anyone have any experience of using Acorns as a substantial component of a feeding regime? I understand they contain Tannin which is toxic to many animals. Are there limits to how much a pig should be allowed take in? Are they safe for young animals?
From what I can gather they are high in Protein, Carbohydrate and several vitamins and minerals. What kind of substitution rate would be sensible using them instead of pig feed? Will they impact on the meat taste?
I assume there is no problem storing the acorns in dry conditions.
We keep rare breed weaners. So far we have used GOS, OS&B's and Saddleback X, buying them as weaners. All very successfully .
More land is coming available (bits the dairy cows don't use much) + some stables so our Next step in the next few weeks is to get some gilt weaners to take through and breed from. currently we are thinking MiddleWhite, Lop and Berkshire's.
Lots of questions!
Many thanks to anyone who can offer some advice. We are based in Dorset between Sherborne and Dorchester