When feeding a market hog make sure that you
choose a high quality feed source. In the Verde valley the feed of choice is Purina
Show Chow. At the start of your project it is recommended to feed one bag of Purina Medicated
Hog Grower. This ensures that during transport you decrease stress and keep any coccidiosis
or any other disentery or diarrhea caused symptoms from your market hog. While feeding
you feed Purina Show Chow Hog Foundation which is their starter at a rate of three pounds
per feeding. So on average you’re feeding six pounds per day. A market hog gains very
efficiently at one pound of gain per three pounds of feed. The grower is at a higher
protein which allows for heavier muscle development. Foundation is at 21% protein intake. At the
last month of show, preparing for show, you switch to Purina Final Push. The Final Push
has a lower protein content at 19.5% and a higher fat content. The finisher allows for
the back fat covering which is called finish and marbling in your hog carcass. Pelleted
feed tends to be a little more wasty. Hogs that smash this feed will not eat the crumbles.
Other showmen choose to use a hog feed that is not in the pelleted form at a higher protein
content which some claim allows for a higher rate gain. For show hogs it is not recommended
to feed slop. Slop tends to contain many organisms that may cause illness in your market hog.
It also doesn’t allow for proper muscle development and marbling. Some showmen tend to believe
that free feeding your hog allows for a higher rate of gain, but in my personal experience
I realized that feeding a hog twice a day allows for maximum daily gain. I believe this
to be true because when a hog is allowed to feed freely throughout the day they are never
hungry so the body never feels that it needs to store energy.