What Do Pigs Really Eat?

We use the word “pig” to describe any creature with a ravenous appetite. They’ve got a reputation in the animal world for being large, hungry, and in charge. There are tons of options for farmers out there from simply allowing the animals to forage to high-quality non-GMO pig feed. So what’s a new backyard farmer to do? Here’s some information on pigs and how they should really eat.

All About Pigs

Pigs are truly fascinating creatures. They have supplied food for humans far, far back into our recorded history. Because of the nature of pig meat, it lasts quite a bit longer than other types when it’s salted or smoked, making it a great thing to have before artificial refrigeration. Furthermore, pig gestation is roughly half that of a cow and each litter can contain anywhere from six to twelve piglets. They grow faster and are ready for slaughter long before a calf would be. The quick gestation and fast maturation are only a part of what makes this animal particularly useful to humans.

Pigs are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals, which made it easy for even the poorest individuals to take good care of them historically. In some religions, pigs are believed to be unclean because of their willingness to eat anything in their way, which is understandable considering they’ll eat human waste products. The wealthy Romans, however, were able to feed their pigs a healthy diet of grain and bore no ill will toward the animal.

What Pigs Should Be Eating

Just like pigs of the Ancient Romans, our pigs today can thrive when given the right diet. Pigs can live comfortably in pens and eat a strict diet of feed or can be allowed to roam in large, fenced in areas where they can forage for grass, roots, nuts, and the like. Even if pigs are given free range to roam and forage, they’ll still typically need a feed supplement to thrive.

In general, pigs should be fed roughly four pounds of a corn-soy diet a day. This will, of course, change a bit depending on the gender, age, and gestation status of the animal. The amount of feed will also be dependent on the season (pigs will need more energy during the colder months) and also whether they are free range or contained. (Roaming pigs need more energy than relaxing pigs!

For healthier pigs and, consequently, healthier people, we suggest that pigs are fed a strictly non-GMO diet. While the pros and cons of non-GMO are constantly being debated, there is a great deal of evidence that suggests non-GMO is the best option for livestock and the people who eat their meat.

A Bit About Non-GMO Pig Feed

Only the best ingredients go into any Hiland Naturals livestock feed, and our non-GMO pig feed is certainly no different. While many many health conscious people flock to organic brands and labels, we are concerned with the fact that organic means that the process is certified, not the product. If drift occurs after the certification or other contaminates are introduced to the food, no one would know. At Hiland Naturals, we test the crops AFTER they’ve been harvested, so we know exactly what is (or rather isn’t) going into our food and yours.

Have you got a question about what pigs should eat? Join our Facebook community and get answers and insight from other backyard farmers like yourself! Our experts are always happy to help out as well.

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