what do pigs eat | choosing the right diet ,The health of pigs and their production performance depend mainly on proper nutrition. Many inexperienced breeders think that pigs eat everything, which means that keeping them is not difficult at all. This is a wrong view, because if you do not adhere to certain diet and feeding techniques, you will not have the opportunity to produce high-quality meat and lard. Like any pet, the pig’s diet must be careful and responsible.
what do pigs eat
In the wild, pigs eat just about any food they can get their hands on. The basis of their daily menu is made up of insects, small animals, birds or their young, fish and other aquatic inhabitants. Excellent swimming skills allow them to feast on algae, but in most cases they find food in the forest or meadows. Wild pigs have a special love for forest mushrooms.
All kinds of plant foods are also not avoided: fruits, berries, seeds, roots and nuts. If human settlements are located nearby, then animals decide to look for food in these surroundings – in gardens, vegetable gardens and fields. The barren terrain is not a reason to despair, because wild boars can even feed on ordinary leaves.
Choosing the right diet For Pig
On the farm, domestic pigs are fed a wide variety of feeds, but unlike cows, they need more concentrated food and less succulent and rough.
All food directly or indirectly affects the quality of meat and lard, therefore, for fattening pigs, food is divided into three categories:
- Feed that accelerates the growth of the animal, increases the density and graininess of the fat, as well as the taste of meat. These include root vegetables and succulent vegetables (beets, pumpkin, potatoes, carrots), dairy products, cereals (millet, barley, peas), greens (clover, alfalfa, nettle), roughage (alfalfa and clover flour) and waste meat.
- Feed, which should not exceed 50% of the animal’s diet. These are corn, rye and wheat bran, buckwheat.
- Feed that negatively affects the quality of meat and greasy products: soybeans, oats, cake. Such food contributes to the friability and flabbiness of meat, the yellowness of the fat, as well as a short shelf life.
Domestic pigs willingly eat the waste of various garden plantings: beet tops, cabbage leaves, or fruit scraps. Kitchen waste is also suitable for feeding: the remains of vegetables, meat, fish, eggshells, cereals, rabbit or poultry trimmings.
It is extremely important to monitor the quality of the feed, because the health of the animal depends on it. Products covered with mold, parasites or fungi must be disposed of immediately. It is strictly forbidden to feed pigs black nightshade, euphorbia, caustic buttercup and hemlock – these herbs contain toxic substances. When feeding with sprouted potatoes, it is imperative to remove the shoots from it.
Proper feeding of piglets
Newborn piglets feed exclusively on mother’s milk, and so on for two, three, or even seven days. From about the fifth day, the cubs stop eating enough, and the growing body requires additional calories. As a rule, on the sixth day, special nutritional supplements are introduced into the diet of piglets.
For feeding suckers, they are actively used:
- Cereals: wheat, barley, peas and corn. For better absorption of nutrients, cereals must be fried well.
- Vitamin and mineral compositions: bone meal, yogurt, chalk and charcoal. They will help to strengthen the weakened immunity of babies and increase resistance to many diseases.
- Mixtures of calcium, iron, potassium and sodium.
After reaching ten days of age, the piglets experience an increasing lack of nutrients. Some feed additives and milk are not enough for them, therefore, more essential products are introduced into the diet.
On the 11th day from birth, the cubs begin to feed:
- grated carrots;
- boiled potatoes.
This step-by-step feeding will allow piglets to gain weight rapidly and get sick as little as possible.
From the first month of life, piglets are given complementary foods in the form of whole and skim milk, hay dust and vegetable purees. In winter, piglets eat succulent feed, hay or hay meal, and many farmers provide their pets with silage mixes. A young individual consumes about 2 kg of the mixture per day.
How much does a pig eat
The best food for pigs is considered to be a combination feed containing many useful substances. Usually, there are about 3 feed units per 1 kg of live weight. For good assimilation of food, the animal must have constant access to clean water. For 1 kg of feed consumed, about 2.5 liters of water are required.
The daily feed rate is calculated based on the weight of the animal: the larger the pig, the more feed it will eat. With a competent pig diet, the daily feed consumption is about 12 kg per head. This amount of food will allow you to grow a high-quality individual that will delight you with delicious meat and lard. In order for the animal to gain weight correctly and quickly, the feed rate per day must be divided into three doses.
At home, one adult annually consumes 350 kg of compound feed. When feeding with bio-feed, its amount increases to one ton.
How much feed does it take to raise a pig
In order for an individual to gain weight up to 100 kg, about 350 kg of feed will be required. Often, animals reach such a mass in six months. If you feed the pigs with one potato, then the amount of feed will increase to 1200 kg. The process of gaining weight will also significantly increase, because the animal can reach 100 kg only by 11 months.
To accelerate growth, various additives may be required, of which, on average, three feed units are consumed at one meal. During the period of active growth, about 2% of animal protein is introduced daily into food, contributing to weight gain in weaners.
Upon reaching a weight of 40 kg, individuals are transferred to a more accessible type of feed – bran, vegetables and plant foods. If you feed the animals only with bran and roughage, the rearing process can be delayed up to slaughter.
It is much easier to choose a diet for suckling pigs than for adults. For example, it is recommended that brood boars are fed food that will help maintain their male function. Heavy feeds that stimulate weight gain are completely excluded from their daily diet and are replaced by easily digestible food.
Sows are fattened depending on their age and position – single or pregnant. The daily diet of females should consist of nutritious food, with the addition of hay, potatoes and a vitamin-mineral complex (premix) .
In the summertime, animals are more often released for free range, where they feast on juicy grasses and pasture. During this period, their diet is replete with fresh vegetables and fruits, root vegetable tops and all kinds of cleanings. In winter, the situation changes and fresh feed is replaced by dry feed, which must be diluted with nutritious feed additives.
Feeding Mode For Pigs
Not only the rate of weight gain, but also the state of health in general depends on a properly designed feeding regimen.
The number of feedings depends on the group of pigs:
- pregnant sows – once a day;
- suckling and idle sows – 2 times a day;
- fattening pigs – 3 times a day (2 times – regular food, 1 time – coarse);
- rearing piglets – 3 times a day.
Feed classification For Pigs
Despite the omnivorousness of pigs, certain rules should be adhered to when fattening in order to achieve a decent increase in live weight. The feeds have different compositions, which, to one degree or another, affect the quality of lard and meat. In total, four groups of feed can be distinguished: dry compound feed for pigs , bio feed, feed additives and yeast.
This is an ideal option for those pig breeders who are trying to save money on feeding pigs or are unable to pamper their animals with food waste in the required amount. As a rule, dry food should consist of compound feed, cereals, bran, hay and cake, supplemented with a special complex of food additives.
This type of natural food is able to compensate for the lack of vitamins in the body of animals. Organic feeds are represented by fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits, vegetable peelings and tops of root crops. In winter, fresh organic feed can be replaced with ready-made balanced mixtures.
They are not a complete food, but without them the pigs ’ration would be incomplete. The purpose of introducing feed additives into animal nutrition is to accelerate the growth of live weight, as well as to improve the quality of fat and meat.
The following can be used as useful feed additives:
- meat waste and milk supplements;
- mineral springs (eggshells, table salt, chalk, flour, coal).
By adding feed yeast to the pig’s menu, growth and development can be noticeably accelerated. This product contains a whole spectrum of vitamins, minerals and proteins, which, when properly dosed, allow better absorption of nutrients from food. For adults, instead of yeast feeding, you can periodically use bread.
Do pigs eat meat
Domestic pigs, like their wild relatives, are capable of eating meat. None of the livestock breeders give it on purpose, but sometimes meat scraps come across among the kitchen waste. Pigs have very strong teeth that can gnaw even large bones.
It is noteworthy that a hungry sow can easily eat her piglets, so it is extremely important to monitor the increase in the amount of feed for her during pregnancy.
Poor Appetite Causes
If pigs lose their appetite and eat little, this may be due to several factors:
- infectious, parasitic and colds;
- deficiency of vitamin D in the body;
- abrupt change of feed;
- lack of fresh and clean water in the drinking bowl;
- postpartum period.
Foods prohibited for pigs
Due to the fact that the pig is not a popular animal as a pet, it is difficult to find kibble formulated especially for them to have long, healthy lives. In fact, the most common is to find kibbles designed for the intensive breeding of pigs, the purpose of which is to quickly make the animal fat so that it is killed and eaten.
This means that you should never give feed for farm pigs , as they will be completely unbalanced and they will cause obesity in your pet, nor should you give food formulated for others. animals to your pig because, for example, a dog and a pig do not have the same dietary needs.
It is also not recommended to give him foods containing caffeine, processed products or “junk food”, because of the excess of sugars and saturated fats that these products contain.
So, there are also other foods that are not recommended for your pig to eat , as some are indigestible, cause long term health problems and others can end up poisoning him. These foods that are not recommended for your pig to eat are:
- Meat and / or derivatives
- Avocado, especially the shell and stone
- Salt or salty foods (for example, crisps)
- Raw potato, yucca and sweet potato
- Avoid leafy vegetables and fruits
How much water does a pig need every day?
Access to clean water is critical to raising healthy pigs. More than 50% of the pig’s weight is water.
On average, pigs drink two to three kilograms of water for every kilogram of dry feed eaten, and this amount increases in lactating sows.
Water quality is important. It shouldn’t contain a lot of minerals or sulfates.
You can water your pig by making sure you have access and space around the drinker. Provide one drinker for every 10 pigs. These can be automatic nipple drinkers or large drinkers.
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What do pigs eat naturally?
Pigs are omnivorous and eat plants and animals. When pigs are allowed to forage and scavenge, they eat grasses, leaves, roots, and flowers. They also eat small animals and fish.
Do pigs actually eat anything?
They will eat anything edible. Pigs eat vegetables, table scraps, meat, bread, fruits, pork pellets and more. However, just because they will eat something does not mean that you have to feed them something. Don’t feed them rotting compost or garbage. Pigs can eat meat.
What is the best feed for pigs?
It is important for most pig breeders to feed pigs a diet rich in carbohydrates for energy and protein so that they gain weight quickly. Corn-based feeds are popular. Domestic and backyard pigs often receive bounty in the form of table scraps, fruits and vegetables.
Can pigs be fed with slop?
Many pig breeders add slop to the pig’s diet.
What should pigs not eat?
When feeding pigs, it is tempting to toss food leftovers and leftover food onto them. However, pigs should not eat bones, avocado skins, nightshades such as eggplant, chocolate, raw meat, raw eggs or cabbage.
Is it bad to feed pigs with meat?
Cooked meat in moderation is suitable for pigs. They should not eat it raw due to the risk of disease.
What do pigs eat? In most cases, meat pigs eat fast weight gain food with added corn, soy and grain. When they are young, they will eat breeder feed.
If you are raising meat pigs and not domestic pigs, you must fatten them to prepare for slaughter. Grains such as barley, oats, wheat and corn are ideal as they provide energy.
If you are looking for feed for raising farm pigs, keep in mind that it is important to consider the goals of growth and meat production, as well as whether they will harvest leaves, roots, stems, flowers.
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