the world contains up to fourteen breeds of mini pigs. We must know that the mini pigs are very different animals than the pets we are used to and therefore they have unique care and a series of special guidelines and considerations different from other pets: they are not a dog nor they are a cat. It is an animal with its own features, needs and characteristics. So, if you are thinking of getting one, you should inform yourself about them and not decide to have one without knowing anything about them.
What you should know
The mini pigs’ classifications depend on many factors like adult size, physical features and country of origin, It is very important to keep in mind that it is not possible to estimate a specific size and weight in this type of pigs since each breed adopts a size and a particular weight, but what must know is that they do not stay as small as you may think, so adorable and tiny like we usually see in videos and photos. So “mini”, exactly “mini” is not for a lifetime, only in one phase of their life.
Not having a breed standard, it is difficult to make a pattern of its size according to its type. In any case, pigs are considered a mini pig when in adulthood, they have not exceeded 65 kg (considering that a common pig can exceed 200 kg). The animal is usually a piglet when acquired whose development phase has not concluded and logically will increase its size considerably. Therefore, their diet is not the same as that of other domestic animals to which we are used to.
These animals must have a very controlled and measured diet since one of their major problems that can lead to more diseases in the future is the propensity to gain weight. Since their way of eating is very impulsive and they are almost impossible to satisfy. For this reason, you have to get used to certain foods. Like all species, feeding will depend a lot on their age, sex and physical activity but, however, we must provide a diet that suits the animal.
Here are all the considerations you should know about the mini pigs’ diet:
Type of diet
The feeding of mini pigs is omnivorous, that is, they can eat almost everything, but this does not mean that they do not have specific preferences and nutritional characteristics like foods that are necessary for them and foods that we should avoid.
Propensity to gain weight
It is very important to regulate their quantity and quality of food since they have an overly impulsive way of eating and if these animals have an unbalanced and excessive diet, they can lead to problems arising from being overweight.
Should they eat feed?
We must clarify that it is not highly recommended to give it feed or dog pellets. In recent times it has begun to produce a special feed for this type of animal that under no circumstances is the same feed for farm pigs, dog or cat feed.
What characteristics should your feed have?
The characteristics that we must look for in the feed for the mini pigs are that the percentage of protein does not exceed 13%, nor does it exceed 5% of the total fat and that the fiber composition is greater than 15%.
It is advised that these animals eat their food in small portions with some water since one of the most common problems among pigs is that they are very anxious with the food. When putting the food they want to finish it as soon as possible and this generates constant choking.
Seeds and nuts
Whenever they are used as specific foods (sweets), seeds and nuts are good for the animal, and they love them, especially chestnuts and acorns.
Basic and necessary. however, should not exceed 1% of the weight of the animal, that is if a pig weighs 20 kg we can never provide an intake of more than 200 g of fruits. We can give: apples (without seeds), grapes, blueberries, raisins, oranges, watermelon and melon (in small quantities) and pineapple. That is, those fruits that do not have a high starch content.
Vegetables, the greener the better
The vegetables that best adapt to your diet are those that are lower in calories, that is, those that have green leaves as they help satisfy your appetite without increasing your weight. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and hay are essential for the proper functioning of the pig metabolism.
Water, essential for digestion
It is very important that for the animal to be healthy, it has a considerable daily water intake. The amount of water that the animal should have varies depending on the specimen. Overall, the average is that it consumes between one and one and a half gallon per 2lb of food it consumes.
Eggs, meat, fish?
We should never give them raw or in large quantities. But, it is positive that they have a small weekly intake so that the animal has an ideal source of protein.
Natural juices are ok, avoiding processed as they carry large amounts of added sugars. Also, We can opt for applesauce without sugar.
what about the candy?
Almost forbidden. The buns or cakes make pigs adopt a very aggressive behaviors since they become quite in addition to remarkably damaging their internal functioning.
Food control does not mean small amount
Keeping a track of the rations and the proteins and vitamins that the animal takes does not mean that you should put small portions and the animal should live on a constant diet, but a control means measuring that each serving should not exceed 2% of its weight.
What should you avoid?
Foods that can cause serious problems to mini pigs are: chocolate, salt, garlic, avocado, tomato leaves, untreated almonds, mustard, peach, broccoli, cashew nuts and nectarines. Totally prohibited.