When a pet pig gets obese it is a very sad occurrence. Pigs
already have a thick layer of fat that is completely natural for
them and that can make it somewhat difficult for them to get
around. When a pig gets overweight it can lose all mobility and
become depressed and very sick. Pigs need to eat a lot of food,
but if your pig is not overweight you probably should feed it
only twice a day. If you feed a pig too little it will get sick
and its skin will become very dry and scaly. If you feed it too
much it will get obese and sick and probably die if the problem
is not corrected.
Most experts recommend that a healthy pig should be fed twice
daily, once in the morning and once at night. You will usually
see your pig dancing for joy at feeding time. Pigs love to eat.
There are specialty brands of pig feed like Heartland, Mazuri or
Purina Agri Feed that provide plenty of the proper nutrients for
swine. If you have a limited choice of commercial feeds where you
live, then buy some other commercial feed for pigs or Hog
Finisher. Never use medicated feed, this can cause more problems
than it fixes. For example, at feeding time you might give an
average sized pig one to two cups of feed plus the regular
grazing and vegetable greens.
During the winter when everything is dried up you should add some
alfalfa hay to help fill your pig's grazing needs. This provides
them with the fiber they need. You can also use alfalfa cubes
that are usually available at your local feed store but they do
not provide nearly as much roughage as some good hay would.
If you have a large pig like a Royal White or Mixed Royal White
it will take a lot more food to keep the pig in good health -
about three to four times more food. The same is true for any
large pig. A White pig needs about six cups of feed a day and one
pound of leafy green vegetables and fruit. A pound of leafy green
vegetables and fruit is common for every pig to have during the
Do Not Mix Your Own Pig Feed! By mixing your own feed you can
miss some essential vitamins and minerals that are all present in
commercial feed and it may lead to your pig's becoming very ill
for want of missing vitamins and minerals. You can even cut short
its lifespan. Also, do not feed your pig human food such as
potato chips and candy, and only give fruits and vegetables as a
snack during the day, not as its main source of food. A healthy
pig's main food source should be a combination of grazing and
commercial pig food.
If your pig is starting to become noticeably overweight then you
should cut out some of its commercial feed and replace with more
vegetables, and take fruit out of its diet altogether. Also give
it a lot more exercise. If you cut a cup of pig feed from your
pig's diet then add three cups of vegetables.
Feed a cup of commercial pig feed (two for bigger piggies) every
day regardless of weight. And always feed your piggy some kind of
leafy green vegetable other than iceberg lettuce, which has very
little nutritional value even to humans. Feed your pig spinach,
kale, lambsquarters, carrots, turnips, broccoli, etc. Do not
underfeed your pig this can make them very sick especially if
they are old or young.
Two cups of commercial pig feed, vegetables and grazing is good
for a one hundred to a one hundred sixty pound pig. The large
White Pigs need far more food; they need six cups daily to remain
in good health. It is really easy to underfeed your pig and just
because you piggy looks fat doesn't mean it really is. If it can
get up and down easily and is happy you are probably doing the
right amount of feeding, providing the pig doesn't get bigger or
Thin pigs are not healthy and even though thinness is in style
among Americans now it is probably the most dangerous thing you
can do to the health of your pig. It not only lower their immune
systems and makes their health bad so they are sick all the time,
but makes them depressed and cuts their life expectancy in half.
If you want a thin animal then you should get a Greyhound dog,
not any breed of pig.
If you pig's belly starts dragging on the ground, it has labored
breathing, it has trouble getting up and down, the shoulder width
exceeds the hip width, and it needs to rest for long periods
because any form of exercise tires it out too much, then your pig
is overweight and you should take measures to correct the
problem, beginning with taking it to the veterinarian. If you pig
become excessively overweight it can cause all manner of health
problems including blindness and hearing loss.
Never let anyone feed chocolate to your pig, it can cause
allergies. Never feed anything with mold (check the hay often).
Don't feed it bones, they can cause choking and intestinal
damage, and raw potato peelings can poison a pig. Be careful with
your pig's diet and watch your pig's shape for changes. Your
piggy should always look fluffy. This is healthy for a pig. Any
changes in your pig's mood or activity will be a clue to you that
something is wrong. Keep watch of your pig's health and it will
reward you with a long life of love and companionship.
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