Complete Pig Feeding Guide: Feeding Your Pig the Perfect Diet

Pigs require negligible maintenance. They keep themselves engages in one activity or another all day long. But before bringing a pig home, it is crucial to have complete knowledge about what all food is prominent to them? Which foods to avoid feeding pigs with? What all things you need to keep in mind while feeding pigs at different stages.

In this article, we are about to discuss what all feeding requirements do your pig has.

Whether you are raising a pg for commercial purposes or as a pet, keeping them healthy and fat is very important. And that is possible only with a nutrient-rich diet.

Not just commercial pig feed, you also need to provide the essential vitamins and minerals, which they will get with fruits and other natural products only.

Thus, to plan a perfect feed chart for your pigs, all this information is very crucial. Don’t forget to include pig treats on your list.

Regardless of all the facts, the most essential and necessary need of any pig is a well-nourished, balanced diet.

Stages of Pig Feeding

We can differentiate the food requirement of pigs, depending on their size. As pigs gain half the weight, they are consuming each day. Thus, they might have different food requirements depending on their size as well.

Piglets (Weighing Less Than 40 Pounds)

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Pigs are faster-growing animals when they are babies; they mostly depend on their mother’s milk for feeding. Thus, a piglet doesn’t require solid food much. Although you can feed them some solid food, their consumption will be barely low.

When they are at least three weeks old, the farmer can castrate the male pigs and feed them with solid food. The feed you give to a piglet should contain the right amount of protein, essential vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals.

Thus, when finding a pellet for the piglets, look for a feed full of nutrition for their overall development.

Growing Pigs (Weighing 40+ Pounds)

Growing Pigs
Yftach Herzog, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is one of the most important stages that will determine whether your pig will become a porker, Baconers, sow, etc. Thus, proper pig feeding is the demand of growing pigs.

As they start to eat solid food only at this time and start gaining weight, make sure you are feeding them with all the essential nutrients and minerals. As soon as they become six weeks old, their average daily food requirement is 900 gm per day, at least. Keep their feed to 200gm initially and then keep adding 50 gm of food until they become full.

As soon as they become 14 weeks older, pigs start needing 1.4 kg of feed a day. Start giving them 300gm of food and add 50 gm of food each day till the time they get full.

When they get 22 weak old, their food requirement increases, and they require at least 2.5 to 2.75 kgs of food per day.

At this period, the feed they consume will help them achieve their most of the weight. Thus, make sure you are providing them nutrition-rich food and that too in adequate quantity.

Mature Pigs (Weighing 125+ Pounds)

Mature Pigs
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For mature pigs, as they become old enough to digest whole grain, you can feed them with carbohydrate-rich grains as well. Carbohydrates will help them gaining weight and make them fat. It will help to then to have strong muscles and suitable for your pig’s muscle.

Foods rich in protein like soya bean and alfalfa is also needed to be included in their pig feed. You can also have soaked, cracked, or rolled food in the feed of your mature pigs.

Typically, a pig can gain up to 600 to 800 gm of weight per day until they gain 50 kgs of weight, after which they can gain up to 1 kg of weight a day, depending on the diet you are providing them.

Each day, an adult pig needs food equal to 4% of its actual weight from proper growth and development.

Pig Treats

Pigs love to have fruit and vegetable in their meal. You can add thin strips of fruits and animals in their meal. You can also feed them with vegetable scrap, but it is not suitable for adult pigs because of its low nutrient.

Fruits and Vegetables

You can cook a wide range of fruits and vegetables like carrot, sweet potato, or even apple. Slice them in thin pieces and cook them for 20 to 30 minutes, then you can serve it to your pigs after cooling them.

Peanut Butter and Popcorn

Peanut butter and popcorn are another treats for pigs. They love chewing, and the popcorn and peanut butter, sticking together, will be their favorite homemade food you can feed them with.

Dog Biscuits

Dog biscuit is another favorite pig food. They love eating crispy, sweet, and tasty dog biscuits a lot. Keeping an eye on the amount of dog food they are eating an excess of sugar is not suitable for their health.

Raw Pasta

Uncooked pasta is another grain item with which you can feed your fluffy little pig. It loves eating raw or boiled pasta. A tiny amount of pasta is not going to hurt.

Also Read: Male vs. Female Pigs: Which Should You keep?

Foods You Should Avoid Giving A Pig

Some foods are toxic for pigs by toxic, we don’t want meat fatal, but your pig can suffer various health issues ranging from skin infections and even death.

I agree pigs have a similar digestive system as humans have, but that doesn’t mean you can give him anything to eat that you are eating. Animals have some restrictions of their own, like too much spicy or too much sugary food is not suitable for their health, and thus, you should avoid giving extra spicy or sugary food.

Usually, don’t feed your pig with a very high amount of carbohydrate and sodium in their food.

Some other food items are not suitable for a pig to eat.

1. Apple and pear seeds

Apple and pear seeds
Augustus Binu, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These fruits contain a naturally occurring substance called amygdalin. Amygdalin has cyanogenic glucose, which is terrible for pigs, as it releases hydrogen cyanide, making them ill or uncomfortable.

2. Cassava

Renatosjoao, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It also contains a similar substance as amygdalin that releases cyanide. If it is cooked before eating, the fear of toxic item decreases as heating destroy the toxicity. But long-time cooking can moreover increase its toxicity. Thus, be attentive while feeding your pigs with a Cassava.

3. Wild Mushrooms

Wild Mushrooms
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These are also known as commercially grown mushrooms. One wild mushroom has the potential to kill an adult. By pealing and cooking, you may not notice any effect.

The symptoms occur after 6-24 hours. Its symptoms include vomiting, stomach pain, and nausea. The symptoms can last up to 1-2 days and giving a negative impression of recovery, but at this time, the toxin is severely damaging the liver of your pigs. It might take time to kill pigs, but not too much.

So, when you know your pig has eaten a Wild mushroom, rush to a veteran as soon as possible.

4. Potato

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It also contains a toxic substance called glycoalkaloids. Although this substance in potato is negligible yet, sprouted potato can be a potential risk.

5. Other Food Items

Apart from the above-mentioned food items, avoid feeding you pigs with foods like Kidney beans, Rhubarb, and food items rich in Vitamin A.

Also Read: How Much Does A Pig Cost to Raise?

Amount of Food Your Pigs Need

Pigs in their childhood require comparatively lesser feed as they need in when they grow and mature. You can feed a piglet weight around 13 kgs with food around 3 kgs.

The proper feed is the essential requirement of pigs to become very fat and bulky, making them perfect for meat production.

When the pig matures, it requires at least 9 kgs of food a day.

You can divide the feed of your pigs so that you can feed them thrice a day. You need to provide them thrice a day. Once in the morning, as their breakfast.

Do remember to give them their breakfast with water.

Then, at lunchtime, provide them a complete dry feed. That means don’t give it water in its afternoon feed.

And in the night again, give them their dinner along with water.

In this way, you can design the feed time table for your pigs you can even decide the quantity of food you need to give them depending on the stage they belong to.

How To Feed Your Pig

There are a few steps you might need to follow while feeding a pig, which includes:

1. Start the piglet feeding with proper pig pellet

Pig pellet is the perfect and well-balanced formula containing the right amount of protein, vitamin, and minerals. As the pellet has relatively small and digestible food particles, it becomes pretty easy for piglets to chew them.

2. For mature pigs, you can use a wholesome grain feeding

As soon as your pigs grow up, you can start feeding them with something more substantial. And what will healthier than wholesome grain?

You can give them a proper blend of rice, wheat, and barley. It will help them to gain sturdy and lean muscles.

3. Feed them green vegetables in fruits

Fruits are a great source of vitamins. Like humans require food for their all-round development. Similarly, pigs have their requirement of fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, sweet potato, and fruits like banana, pear, melons are essential for them, feeding them required minerals and nutrients.

4. Pig feeding with distilled residual

If you have liquor brewery on your own, or if someone has that around you, then instead of throwing its mesh in the garbage, it is better to use that for pig feeding. Being easy to chew and digest, your pigs will love to eat it.

Feeding Them with Rich Table Scrap

As the table scrap is of no use, it is better to feed you pigs with that rich supplement.

You can feed them with leftover veggies or fruits. It will be like a treat for them at the end of the day. But avoid providing them cheese or extra sugary food, as no doubt they are going to love, but it will ultimately affect their health.

Common Mistakes One Should Avoid While Pig Feeding

  • Hungry pigs can be in a very hurry to eat their food. They, pushing each, others can knock down the food itself. That is why it is very crucial to fix the feeder in the ground or in-wall so that even after hustling and bustling, pigs will not end up knocking the food down.
  • To avoid vomiting them in your truck, it is better not to feed pigs the day you have planned to transport them from one place to another.
  • Even before taking your pigs to the butcherer, avoid feeding them from 12 to 18 hours before. Pigs take time to digest their food.

Final Thoughts

If you love keeping the care of pigs, you will enjoy feeding them as well. These tiny cute creatures are not aggressive, yet they will entertain you all day running here and there foraging.

For running the whole day long, energy is the core. To get energy, a proper feed is a need. Thus, it is crucial to prepare your pig’s meal to give them the ultimate strength for the whole day.

If you are raising them for meat, feed is the most important thing you should look for. The more the meal, the more the gain in weight. And the more the weight, the more the profit. Right?

Thus, keep track of all the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins they need daily.