Thursday, January 26, 2017

Fruits and Veggies For Your Pet Pig

First and foremost, your pigs pig chow should be the mainstay of their diet. It has all the protein and nutrients that our pigs need. Everything else is a bonus and moderation is key as with most foods. 

Though our pigs can eat most of the same foods that we do it doesn't mean that they should. Just like us some pigs also prefer to eat their veggies cooked rather than raw.  

In addition to their diet of pig chow, most pigs will enjoy a daily salad of fresh vegetables. Dark leafy greens are best as they provide ample amounts of vitamins. They also make delicious snacks.

Fruits are an especially delicious treat for pigs, but one that should be given only occasionally. Because of the sugar content found in fruit, pigs should only be fed one or two small portions of fruit a day as a treat. Small pieces of fruit can also be used as a reward if you're attempting to train your pig; they'll love the sweet prize. Pigs can eat a wide range of fruits, so long as it's in moderation. Give your pig opportunities to try a variety of fruits - from bananas and apples to strawberries and pineapple - to see which they like best.

There is nothing cuter than watching your pig’s face as they try something new. If they don't like it or want it they will spit it out.

As for fruits, most seem to like apples, melons, grapes and berries. We have found here over the years that most don’t care for oranges or grapefruit. There have only been 2 pigs that would eat them and it was always fun watching them peel the orange. We watched as Oshay would go around the orange trees searching for good oranges knowing to avoid the rotten ones. 

When feeding fruits with seeds or pits; we do not worry about the seeds as the pigs either eat them or spit them out. If it is a food with a pit we do cut it out. And depending where you live you might end up with new plants growing in your yard. 

Foods with rinds like melons can be fed, but beware as they can choke on them as well as banana peels. Know your pig and what he can handle. We do feed melon rinds here, but try to leave some meat on them and slices are of a size that we know they can handle. 

We have found that our pigs are pickier with veggies than fruits. And like us will eat those certain vegetables if they have been cooked first. We have one picky eater here and he will not eat any kind of lettuce, squash or zucchini, he prefers soft fruits. Our senior pigs also do not like pumpkins.
Again, moderation is key with most foods. Remember that most fruits and some vegetables contain natural sugars that turn into fat if not burned off.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Winter and Your Pig

Depending on where you live temperatures are already well below freezing and the pigs have come down with a severe case of the winter “grouchies”. House pigs are appalled that they are forced to go outside to potty.

The girls will attempt the fake squat and run back to the house, but a seasoned pee watcher can easily recognize her theatrics and block her path to the house and force her to return to her favorite spot until there is observable production. The boys on the other hand will look you right in the eye while peeing as you pet them in the house.

It is not necessary to put coats on our pigs or keep them completely indoors during the cold months no matter what part of the country you live in. They will do quite well as long as they are put outside for a short period of time.

House pigs really hate going out in the cold. They complain and moan and groan all the way to the door, but it is important that they go out so that the systems stay working well. Most pigs learn to potty in a hurry and get back inside to their blankets.

It may be necessary for you to shovel snow from the walk to the potty area and the areas itself as most pigs do not do snow.  Make sure that footing is as good as you can get it to prevent falls and injury. If necessary you can place throw rugs over slick surfaces.

This is the time also to watch for constipation problems since house pigs are prone to holding it rather than staying out long enough to get the job done. You can increase fiber in the cold months or on older pigs we have given stool softeners if needed to keep things moving. 

Older house pigs and grown pigs would rather not go out in cold weather but it is important that they move around some and going out to the bathroom will not hurt them.

It is well to remember also that your pig’s temperament may not be the same during the cold months. They tend to be more cranky and irritable during the winter months.