How to make sweet potato vine silage for pigs

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Many farmers spend huge sums of money to buy feeds for their pigs. However, the feed costs can be drastically reduced if farmers can learn how to make sweet potato vines silage which has been proved to be nutritious and palatable to pigs. If sweet potato vines are well-prepared and preserved they can be a good supplement for pigs.

Below we give you simple steps on how to prepare and store sweet potato silage:

You can listen or download the audio version of this article here : http://theorganicfarmer.org/content/how-make-sweet-potato-vine-silage-pigs

• Cut 60-100kg of sweet potato vines and spread them to wilt in the sun for about 30 minutes.

• Chop the vines into tiny pieces and mix them with 10kg of maize germ or pig growers mash.

• Sprinkle ½ kg of mineral salt and mix thoroughly.

• Put the mixture into an airtight 250-litre plastic tank. Compress the vines firmly to remove any airspace as you do when preparing silage.

• Add some little EM1 solution to improve the quality of the silage.

• Cover the tank airtight. Let it stay for 14 days (two weeks).

• Open the tank to check if the silage is ready. If the silage has a sweet smell and has turned yellow in colour, then it is ready for feeding.

• You can feed the sweet potato silage to pigs from 4 months of age, sows and gilts (young female pigs) and boars (male pigs) at any time before and after their usual daily rations.

Pig farmers who feed sweet potato silage to their pigs regularly can cut their feed costs by 30 percent. In addition, the sweet potato tubers can be eaten or sold in the market. A kilogram of sweet potatoes costs between KSh 60 and KSh 80.

Pig farmers can also feed their pigs with sukumawiki, cabbages, lucerne, amaranth, pawpaws or bananas. Hotel leftovers (sweal) can be given but farmers must ensure that the feed is not contaminated by boiling it to ensure that all disease- causing organisms are destroyed.

>>Share your experiences with TOF and fellow farmers. Send email to admin@theorganicfarmer.org

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