Pigs are very conscious animals when it comes to food. They eat selectively and specifically. But yet, you can see overweight pigs anywhere, then this is not bad of pigs rather their owners who have overfed them. It’s true that pigs relish food — in fact, pigs are food-possessed.
An Unmanaged Domestic Pig will overeat and put on extra fat if it is allowed to eat as much as it likes. It will continue to eat and put on weight. Pigs also are not able to lose weight by exercise, so their tendency to become obese when overfed. They can become so large that it will endanger its health and ability to move around, and also see, as the case with Fat Blindness. A Healthy Pig is a lean Pig
This is most prevalent in domestic pigs that are fed by farmers. In Nature the diet of wild pigs
These Food Delicacies for the wild include
- Any Green Plants
- Small animals
- Young animals newborns that they can catch
In the Wild, Pigs forage and will eat just about anything they can find. Because the Diet they eat on their own pigs in the wild can become very large but generally, it is not fat, but they are lean and trim.
They expend a lot of energy in finding and consuming the food they love to eat.
Domestic farming of pigs to produce Meat, Bacon and Hams, has its goals of producing good meat as fast as they can to market. This is the most cost-effective way.
When Pigs are sold they are sold by weight so it is advantageous to farmers to help them gain weight as fast as possible. Coupling that with the pig’s voracious desire to eat. Balancing that growing process is what’s important.
In Feeding your pigs feed s that are scraps or food sources that you have available which can supplement the feed you are giving your pigs, if not watched can allow your pigs to overeat.
Pigs given unlimited feed will become Obese.
many a pig will find himself with an undiscovered bag of grain will finish it off. Eating until he falls asleep.
Diet of a Domestic Pig
Pigs are omnivores, they will eat plants, vegetables, fruits, meats. Most things a human will eat, they will also.
- Commercial Pig Feeds
- Creep Feeds
- Starter Rations
- Growing Rations
- Finisher Rations
- Silage – beets,broccoli, barley, turnips, carrots, grapes, apples, artichokes, pears, oranges, pitted cherries
- Green Vegetables – Cabbage Carrots
- Pecans. Hickory, and Acorns
What Not to Feed Pigs
- Table and catering scraps were banned from feeding in the 1990’s
- Plastic – can cause intestinal blockages.
- Dog Food
- Cat Food
Some Countries it is illegal to feed Pigs
- Kitchen Scraps
- Food Processors and manufacturers
- Food Retailers Grocery and Bakeries
- Trash Dumps
- Any Food Service companies
- Used Cooking Oils
- Blood, Bones, carcasses, from animals – Disease spread has been found to be amplified. ( Swill Feeding )
In farming scenarios, it is wise to keep feed restricted to what you feed him. That way you are controlling the amount they consume.
A Lean Pig Is a Healthy Pig – Pigs Do Not Have to Be Fat
From a cost standpoint, this taking advantage of turning food sources that you might have access to is smart. But that needs to be balanced with the actual food requirements of the pig.
Even though pigs eat a lot, they are also picky eaters. They will avoid foods that are spoiled. But foods that are good, that are sweet. Will be consumed as much as they can handle.
Today’s food options are designed to be sweet, so when using these types of feeds to supplement with can put on less nutritious weight on your pigs.
A pig would not be a pig if she didn’t have such an obsession for chow. It is, however, the pig owner’s duty to see whether his pig receives a well-balanced, proper diet in the correct quantity. They will not do it on their own. So what you make available to your pigs is what will determine whether they become obese.
Here we will discuss a few things how you can overfeed your pigs in detail.
How Can I Tell if My Pig is Underweight
- If their Body size in Unporportionate in size – Head appears too large in comparison with rest of their body
- Low Energy
- Bowed Legs
- Hair is not Normal – Coat and hair is not normal
- Backbone is obvious
- Eyes look sunken and glazed
- Bones and skeletal are prominent.
- Pigs that are underweight could have more health Issues
- Poorly fed pigs can have shorter lifespans. In severe cases, it can cut a pig’s life in half. Pigs can live between 12 – 15 Years
Signs my Pig is overweight
- Pig has a difficult time walking – lack of mobility
- Rolls and layers of fat obvious on pig
- Fatface, Fat Body Out of Proportion
- Fat Elbows
- Fat Blindness – Fat Folds, covering the eyes, forcing them to squint. causes the Pig to be unable to see
- Ears Pushed Forward by excess fat
- Belly Drags on Ground
- Tails are sunken deep into their bottoms – by the depth of fat
- Fat Cheeks – Bulging, Hanging, Sagging
- Fat Pockets on Pig are Bulging
Under domestication, our pigs ingest a high protein pig ration that most certainly provides more than enough nutrition when fed even in very small amounts. These are designed and formulated to meet the exact nutritional requirements that pigs need.
This helps the farmer to be able to see what his cost in raising pigs is compared to what he is able to sell them.
When you feed your pig a lot in a day without bothering the nutritional requirement of your pig. This can lead to overfeeding and weight issues in them.
How Can I help Pigs to Loose Weight
- Limit the Pigs grazing – Unlimited Grazing They will keep gaining weight.
- Measure Out Pigs Food
- Exercise Daily – 10 Minutes a Day
- Put a pig in contained pin to limit grazing
Foods that can Cause Pigs to get Overweight
- Cakes, cookies, sweets
- Dairy Products – Milk
- Foods and cereals that contain sugar
- Unlimited access to Grains
- Unlimited grazing
What Problems are Caused from Over Feeding your Pigs
As it is clear that, pigs require a specified amount of nutrients according to their physiological need, stage of growth and development, gestation, and other factors. But in case, as an owner, you don’t know the exact nutritional requirement or you may knowingly or unknowingly overfeed them.
From a farmers Standpoint – When you overfeed pigs you are exchanging feed for fat – which is not cost-efficient
This overfeeding leads to many health complications in pigs including obesity, vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive problems, which in turn can reduce their performance and can become life-threatening if they get worse.
Overweight can cause a variety of problems for your pigs
- Mobility Problems – Have trouble because of excessive weight
- Arthritis Onset
- Heart Disease
- Clogged Arteries
How Can You Manage Pig Diet
Being a pig owner, you must evaluate the proper ratio and amount to feed your pig by following recommended guidelines and paying attention to your pig’s condition and health status. A grown pig generally can sustain herself quite nicely on two cups of pig food per day.
Don’t allow your pig to trick you into feeding her more than her recommended ration. You can make your pig think she is getting more than the usual amount of food by applying some of the following suggestions.
This is ideal to feed small portions of meals to your pig in a day. Indeed, this will depend upon your working schedule; but, if possible, split her daily food allotment into three equal portions and spread the feeding over the course of the day.
A good routine would be to feed one-half of the pellets in the morning, a fresh vegetable salad for lunch, and the other half of the pig chow at supper time. If two meals suit your schedule better, then feed half of the pellets before work and the other half at your usual dining time. A before-bed snack seems to make piggies the most content.
How Automated Feed Dispenser is Helpful on Controlling Overfeeding
It is a nice idea to use automated feed dispensers to partition the pig’s meal into small portions. In this way, you can offer them specified feed portions after specified intervals. This is very helpful in controlling overfeeding and subsequently, managing weight.
This allows you to feed pigs exactly what they need, eliminate waste, and control your cost.
How Treat Rewards Can Stop Overfeeding in Pigs
This is another brilliant idea, to reward your pigs with treats after every feeding. This can be very beneficial in training them to eat normal and setting a feeding routine.
Moreover, If your pig whines around constantly hoping for food treats, don’t succumb. The credo is: ‘No Free Food’ What does this mean? It means that your pig is required to complete a task or in some way cooperate with you before a food reward is earned.
This is especially indicated at the toddler stage (3 to 5 months of age) when a pig forms the behaviors that will remain with her for her entire life. Use food to train your pig to do either tricks, such as “circle” and “sit” – or obey commands, such as “come” and “stay.”
Your pig will be highly motivated and eager to please know there is a reward attached to the behavior.
It is absolutely acceptable for you to feed your pig her complete portion at the designated meal times, but for treats and extras, abide by the no free food rule. For families who have the tendency to feed their pets too many extras, set aside the complete day’s ration of treats in a bowl, away from the pig.
As the day progresses, family members may use this food to train their pig. When the tidbits are gone — that’s it. Be prudent.
don’t let your pig train you
After all, you are not a human vending machine, much to your pig’s dismay. You are, however, the one who makes the rules, you know – not the pig-a-rooter.
Nutritional Guidelines for Pig Feeding
BALANCED DIET / BALANCED HEALTH
According to pig nutrition experts, nutritional requirements for pigs vary from age to age.
Piglets – 6 Weeks – 3 Months
For piglets Nursing to 6 weeks Free feed a starter ration 6 weeks to 3 months Gradually decrease from free-feeding until each piglet receives 1 to 1 1/2 Cup of grower per day.
Breeding Stock 3 Months – Adults
For piglets and breeding stock from 3 months to adult approximately
2 Cups of maintenance ration per day.
Lactating Gilts – Sows
Lactating Gilts and Sows raising females can be fed free-choice or give2 Cups/day plus 1 C per suckling piglet. For instance, Sow with 5 piglets would receive 7 Cups/day.
Generally for Nursing Sows approximately 2 Cups of feed a day. Keep a close eye on her and increase that if she needs – a quick way to gauge this is this. Give her unlimited access to clean fresh water. Keep a close eye on Piglets to make sure they continue to grow.
They will be weaned from 3 -4 Weeks
|Sows / 2 Cups for Mom||Pigletts / 1 Cup / Each|
|2 Cups of Feed||2 Cups|
|1 – Piglet||3 Cups|
|2 – Piglets||4 Cups|
|3 – Piglets||5 Cups|
|4 – Piglets||6 Cups|
|5 – Piglets||7 Cups|
|10 – Piglets||12 Cups|
As far as boars are concerned, feed them according to need, Generally from 2 Cup to 8 Cups/day Formulated Pig Feed, depending on the level of activity and size of your Boar. You want to keep him healthy and strong for breeding. If You see him starting to gain a little fat, then you can trim him back.
An Obese Boar, extremely obese, will have difficulties in Breeding.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These are general guidelines that may vary from one individual pig to another individual and individual Breeds different. Pet Pigs and Pot-Bellied Pigs will have different needs compared to the large breeds. Similarly, metabolisms vary, and feed levels need to be adjusted accordingly.
It is necessary to seek your veterinarian’s suggestion in determining the appropriate amount of feed for your pig specifically. They will definitely help you in formulating a diet schedule for your pig,
It is noteworthy that, once pigs gain weight, it is extremely difficult for pigs to lose that. They even don’t lose weight by exercise, they’re not physically able to do exercise workouts, so you must balance activity with diet and adjust accordingly as your pig matures.
The best way to help a pig loose weight is by calorie reduction.
Feed management is the main key to the successful rearing of pigs. As a Pig Owner or farmer, this is your responsibility to keep an eye on the feeding behavior of your pigs, especially piglets whose digestive system is immature and they start complaining of scours/diarrhea if overfed.
So, it must be on the top priority to ensure balance feeding in pigs to avoid further health complications in them.
Scientists have done exhaustive studies on pig obesity because there are many similarities between People struggling with obesity. It is a very challenging problem. From the Pigs perspective they are completely dependent on the feed brought to them. So Be Wise
Auffray, P., and Marcilloux, J. C. 1983. [An analysis of feeding pattern in the adult pig.] Reproduction Nutrition Development 23: 517–524.
Bigelow, J. A., and Houpt, R. T. 1988. Feeding and drinking patterns in young pigs. Physiology and Behaviour 43: 99–109.
Haer, L. C. M. de, and Merks, J. W. M. 1992. Patterns of daily food intake in growing pigs. Animal Production 54: 95–104
Jensen, P. 1982. An analysis of agonistic interaction patterns in group-housed dry sows — aggression regulation through an avoidance order. Applied Animal Ethology 9: 47–61.
KEYWORDS ( PIG FEEDING) (OVERFED PIGS) (PIG BEHAVIOR)
(PIG DIARRHEA) (PIG SCOURS)
World Pig Breeder Associations
|National Swine Registry||United States||NSR|
|Livestock Conservancy||North Carolina||LC|
|American Mini Pig Association||United States||AMPA|
|Southern California Association of Pot Bellied Pigs||California||SCAPBP|
|British Pig Association||UK||BPA|
|National Pig Association||UK||NPA|
|Canadian Swine Breeders Associations||Canada||CSBA|
|Australian Pig Breeders Associations||Australia||APBA|