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Feeding a Pot-Bellied Pig

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. January 4, 2017
Feeding a Pot-Bellied Pig

The pot-bellied pig has become an increasingly present pet in our homes: both for its likeable and loving personality and for its intelligence that makes it very receptive to training. Furthermore, the pot-bellied pig is an animal with a special charm and each pot-bellied pig has a well defined personality.

If you have a pot-bellied pig or want to adopt a pig as a pet it is important to know how to give it proper food to keep it happy and healthy.

In this AnimalWised article we will give you explanations and advice about feeding a pot-bellied pig.

You may also be interested in: Pot-Bellied Pigs as Pets: Guidelines and Tips

A balanced and varied diet

Pot-bellied pigs are omnivorous so they can eat almost everything, but this should not mislead you: you should not feed it anything. Besides this, the pot-bellied pig is a glutton and loves to eat. If it were up to it, it would spend the whole day eating. But it tends to easily gain weight and if you want to avoid obesity problems it is important to give it balanced and adequate food.

To avoid it becoming overweight we must provide a diet that is low in calories and high in fibre. Ideally its diet should have approximately the following composition:

  • Dry feed: this should represent 1 to 2% of our pig's weight, we are going to explain below the type of feed to use.
  • Vegetables and fruit: this should represent 1 to 2% of its weight, with 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 fruit. We will preferably give it green vegetables that are low in calories and we will be careful with sugar-rich fruits such as apples and grapes

We accompany this with cut hay or alfalfa to bring it even more fibre and prevent selenium deficiencies. It is important that our pot-bellied pig always has water available and that it is clean and fresh.

The food must be divided into 2 to 3 servings a day with fixed schedules so that it gets used to a routine. We suggest that timing of the three meals be: in the morning, at noon and before going to sleep. If you do not give it food before going to bed it will likely get hungry and will not let you sleep.

In total the pot-bellied pig should eat 1.5-2% of its weight, including treats we may give it.

Feeding a Pot-Bellied Pig - A balanced and varied diet

Proper dry feed

We must not give it dry feed for pigs as these are designed to fatten them and are too caloric for our pot-bellied pig.

We can use feed for horses as it is made from plants, has fibre and not too many calories, making it most suitable. Sometimes dog feed is used but that is not really appropriate.

In any case, the feed you give your pot-bellied pig must have a composition of up to 12 - 13% crude protein, no more than 2-5% fat and should contain at least about 15% fibres.

Feeding a Pot-Bellied Pig - Proper dry feed

Rewards

You can give your pot-bellied pig rewards during training sessions, as they love to eat and are very sensitive to this type of prize. For this purpose you can use:

  • 1 to 2 grains of corn
  • 1 to 2 peas
  • bits of cucumber
  • bits of apple

Great rewards such as chestnuts, acorns, small pieces of bread, small pieces of unsalted cheese will be for very special occasions.

Although the pot-bellied pig will love all these foods we must be careful not to give it too much of it because it fattens easily: not because it likes something it means it is good for it.

Feeding a Pot-Bellied Pig - Rewards

Forbidden foods

We must absolutely avoid giving the following foods:

  • Dog or cat feed that has too much fat and protein and little fibre, which is the case of most feed for dogs and cats. They may also contain trace elements in concentrations that are toxic for pigs.
  • Salt should be banned: it can be very toxic for pigs, so if you give it cheese it is mandatory that this is unsalted.
  • Do not give treats like sweets and cakes, sugar will generally cause obesity and create aggressive behaviour.
  • Chocolate, garlic and onions should also be banned from its diet due to their toxicity for the pot-bellied pig.
Feeding a Pot-Bellied Pig - Forbidden foods

If you want to read similar articles to Feeding a Pot-Bellied Pig, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.

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