How long can pigs forage for nuts?
Hello, I am interested in finishing hogs on nuts, and letting them do the harvesting for me. My question is: how long do the nuts stay good through the winter if they are left laying on the ground? Do they rot before the spring? Or could I run the hogs on the nuts through most of the winter? Thank you for your help!
Clinton County Michigan
The best experts in the world for feeding swine nuts are in Europe; with Spain being a leader in this practice. The climate there allows for longer grazing seasons. If this individual is in a North American setting, northern state, then the 'cold' will limit the season. Yes, the nuts remain edible onto spring in our climate. They will not rot, only crack open. However, the pig cannot consume enough nuts to stay warm in winter and keep growing, even at a modest rate of growth. They will need and look for other food. Most farmers that are feeding nuts in order to affect pork flavor, are harvesting nuts and feeding to a limited number of pigs, as they have limited amounts of nuts.
Here is a reference that explains more: https://www.splendidtable.org/story/bringing-the-european-tradition-of-acorn-finished-pork-to-the-us