potato pileMangalitsa pigs love potatoes.  Not as much as acorns, but more than turnips.  These are the young group of Mangalitsas.  They made a miraculously easy move (when they race ahead to go exactly where you want them, it is nothing short of a miracle!) through the yard from the original pasture to the turnip pasture.  Here is where they will winter.  Since we want them to grow slower, they are getting very little grain and have mostly vegetables to eat.  They are growing well and we’ve seen many advantages to this feeding system.  This particular field was planted in turnips and radishes in August.  The turnips aren’t sweet until they’ve frozen a couple of times, so about November or December they become tasty.  (Last year the goats really liked them in March as the snow melted.)  These guys love potatoes, though.  Northern Michigan has several potato producers and, since the pigs don’t mind dents and bruises, these potatoes provide a good food source.  One of the big advantages of potatoes is their water content.  The turnips alone can provide a good share of an animal’s water requirement.  Potatoes can nearly stand alone as a water source.  As we watch the mercury drop and the snow float down, anything to making watering the animals easier is welcome.