Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What to feed?

Every once in a while a conversation about feed comes into play. I have addressed the issue on my website and it really needs to be updated. The topic makes me crazy and on my website i have basically said:

"Pigs are just that, pigs. You would not feed cat food to your dog nor should you feed dog food to your pig. People way smarter then us have scientifically developed feed which contain the correct nutritional value , minerals and vitamins they need.
Over feeding or feeding the wrong food can cause so many medical problems I can't begin to address them all here.
Pigs who develop too much fat around the head causes blindness as the fat closes in over their eyes. They will also go deaf as the fat smothers everything.

Too little feed or the incorrect one will not keep your pig small, it will just cause development problems and you will have a starving pig in varied stages of malnutrition. "

Sadly many still think they are doing right as they have followed advise from the feed stores and they may be the biggest problem here. Some people take there jobs seriously and educated themselves so they can represent the product they merchandise on behalf of the animals they stock food for, some do not. I think some merchandisers will sell you anything to make the sale for various reasons. Maybe they don't bring the correct feed in, they can't be bothered too or they make more money selling you a bag of cheap rabbit pellets then they would on a bag of specialized feed.

The base for many of the grazing farm animal feeds is the same, for example it maybe hay based or alfalfa based. It will have added selenium,vitamins and minerals for example to support the species it is being milled for. What i am saying here is that you may see many of the same things listed on your feed bags from one animal to the next. However the ratios for different species is totally different , these feeds are NOT the same or good enough.

I can't get my head around how people can buy hog grower , horse pellets , rabbit pellets or chicken feed for there pigs. The key clue here is what it is being milled for and states that right on the bag. It is being formulated for that specific species ONLY.

Your pigs need the correct nutritional value and the ratio of food , vitamin and mineral content to keep your animal healthy. Everything you eat or you feed your animal should be about optimum health for long life. This equals good skeleton growth to organs and what the feed is formulated to do.

A low protein diet formulated for rabbits for example is the wrong feed ratio requirements for a pig.

Hog Grower is milled to
increase speed growth
for these doomed pigs to ready for slaughter. Do not ever feed your pet pot bellied pigs this formula.

Rabbit food is high protein do not be fooled that thinking a 12% protein designed for rabbits is a low protein diet for pigs because it is only 12%. Same as horse, chicken or big pig feed. These percentages are calculated ratios for the specific breed. Rabbit feed is too high of a protein no matter what percentage it is as that percentage is calculated by what is required for rabbits not pigs. Not only will this add fat it will cause liver and kidneys to work harder to filter /process incorrect feed ratios.

Also i will point out here that pot bellied pigs are prone to kidney stones and the feed has additives to help alleviate the probability of your pigs getting them. Male pigs die from blocked urinary tracts every day , it is why feeding the correct food and protein levels for the correct species is so important.

Please buy your pot bellied pig feed that is being milled for pot bellied pigs. It took years for scientists, professors , nutritionists , behaviorists and veterinarians to come up with the right formula to keep your pot bellied pigs at optimum health.


Hunde Haus said...

Great post Janice.

As an aside....Herman is super happy in the barn! He's a great eater, he'll eat anything I give him. His favorite foods are bananas ( I swear he can hear me peel them! ) and any type of greens, like spinach/kale/romaine. And Tunie is doing great. Nicer weather and longer days have forced her out of her self induced sleeping routine. She strolls out in the fields with all the other barn guys every now and again. And if not in the fields she toddles around the outside of the barn for an hour or so. They've both lost a nice amount of weight...Tunie's eyes are visible! She is soooo cute when she is looking straight at a person with her head cocked, eyes blinking. :))

The Rattie Crew said...

Very interesting post! I passed this along to a friend who has just adopted a pig.

Jean said...

When I was fostering the SuperWees, I became irate with a local feed supply person who told me (when I asked for Mazuri Exotic Pig feed and was told they were out) "Oh, you can just feed hog grower - that's what all the potbelly pig people around here feed." I let her know what I thought of that!
Hunde Haus, it is SOOOOO good to hear that Tunie is out and about and finally loosing weight! Thanks for making my day!

Jo said...

Help, I have a 7 week old Mini pig and he will not touch any potbellied pig food he is starving so I have resorted to letting him eat the dogs food. I know this is wrong and I am at a loss. I have given him apples, greens, berries, and a variety of vegetables still nothing. he only eats things he shouldn't I am starving him if I don't give him something to tie him over till I can get a solution. PLEASE HELP ME AND MY LITTLE PIGGY.

Thank you,
Jo and Tibby

Janice Gillett said...

this is a BABY that should still be with the mother pig ... did you buy from a breeder ?" any how baby food , pablum with iron ... this pig has BABY teeth .. this baby needs to be fed about 6-8 times a day

Josette Mehren said...

Thank you so much for getting back with me so quick. I purchased a food for 0 to 4 months on mini pigs he still does not like it....By meaning baby food should I give him human baby food? I think he was taken away from his mom way to young also. It was just your local "Yahoo" in the area I purchased him from they didn't even want these pigs and knew nothing about them. I am willing to do anything for this baby to keep him healthy. What is safe to feed him till he moves into his pig pellets?

Janice Gillett said...

please use my email

Mary Sereyka said...

I hate that Mazura sp? Pig food starts w ground corn and soy? Isn't there a better food?

Janice Gillett said...

Mazuri is milled specially for pot bellied pigs by people way smarter then you or me . ,, who is eating it you or the pig ?

Unknown said...

I need help. My sister purchased a potbelly pig. She is not very responsible. He is now living at my mothers and eating dog food, grass and hay. I noticed this week that he was unable to open his right eye because of the amount of fat on his face. I am buying pig pallets and taking away the dog feeder, but is there any way to reverse this? He lives outside and roams the farm free range so on occasion he even gets horsefeed.

Janice Gillett said...

please contact me ta and send a picture of this pig

Anonymous said...

I know pigs are not suppose to eat rabbit pellets. However i caught my piggy getting into some. Is it going to hurt her?

Janice Gillett said...

Rabbit pellets is very high in protein , depending on how much she ate she may get very constipated. Watch her of the next 24 hours and make sure has plenty of water to drink.

Shelley Modaff said...

What is the best and healthiest brand for my potbelly? I want to keep him healthy and happy

Shelley Modaff said...

I am wanting my potbelly pig to be healthy and would like to know the best brand to feed him

Janice Gillett said...

Food manufactured or milled specifically for pot bellied pigs. Co O p has there own pot bellied pig feed and Purina ships in Mazuri a pot bellied pig food. Dare Country Feed also brings in a pot bellied pig from Alberta ..always check expiration dates and NEVER feed farm pig food , dog food or any other kind but what is made for our little pigs.