Weight control instead of weight gain is the focus when feeding pet pigs. Because they love to eat, they are prone to becoming overweight. It is our job as pet pig owners to control our pig’s food intake providing the correct diet as well as amount fed. Food consumption must be limited, not free fed. Remember, appetite is NOT a reason to feed your pig. Pigs enjoying eating even when they are not hungry.
It is recommended that your miniature pet pig eat a ration made specifically to meet a mini pig’s nutritional needs. A maintenance ration for a pig over 5 months old should be no more than 12% to 14% protein. Store feed in an air-tight container to keep it fresh, away from moisture and other contaminates. Always keep the food out of piggy’s reach!
Feed your pig according to her own need. Increase or decrease to control the weight of your pig. Always offer fresh, clean water before feeding. Several factors that determine the correct amount to feed are:
- the pig’s age
- the pig’s individual metabolic rate
- the pig’s level of activity and exercise
- the pig’s current body condition
Supplements should be added based on individual needs and recommendations from your veterinarian, animal nutrition specialist, or potbellied pig professional. The only acceptable foods for your pig are in the grain, vegetable, or fruit categories, preferred fed fresh.
Do Not Feed: Salt, sugar, cat/dog food, meat/poultry/fish products, milk products, cooked left-overs, or canned foods. Never feed your pig chocolate and be aware of the plants that are poisonous to your pig.
A well-balanced diet will promote a happy, healthy long life for your pig. Treats are not necessary for a well balance diet. A pet pig who “gets her way” with food is more likely to misbehave, so remember… NO FREE FOOD! Treats should be used only occasionally to reinforce good behavior or when trick training, and never given when behavior is inappropriate.
This article was written by our Susan Magidson and is published in the book “Potbellied Pig Parenting” by Nancy Shepherd. It is the book we give new pig parents who adopt pigs at Ross Mill Farm through Pig Placement Network. It is a wonderful guide that answers many questions and addresses many of the issues concerning pig owners, both brand new parents as well as those who have had pigs for years.
It is available for purchase in our online store: https://rossmillfarmstore.com/collections/miscellaneous/products/potbellied-pig-parenting