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Potbellied Pig Health Care Articles and Information

The Importance of Your Pig Chow
by Phyllis Battoe (November 2004)

Once again we are receiving a great number of e-mail's about what veggies to give your pig(s). This veggie Vs, that veggie. So once again we thought it might be time to reiterate that these pigs are Omnivore not Herbivore. While vegetables and fruits make great treats they are not nutritionally sound for complete diet or even half a diet.

Vegetables and fruits do not contain the protein that your pig needs nor do they contain all the other things incorporated into a well-made pig chow that keeps your pig healthy.

Part of this idea of feeding veggies and fruits seems to be based on what we would like to think they eat on their own. Left to fend for themselves they would be eating worms, small animals and even dead animals along with the grass and seeds and nuts that they find.

In this manner they adjust their own protein needs with the roughage and fiber that they know is important to them.

Well, great news folks! That's why we have good pig chows? Many years of development, millions of dollars in research facilities, many years of testing have gone in to what it takes to keep a pig happy and healthy.

There is NO substitute for a well-made pig chow in your pigs diet. This is what the chow was developed for...as a complete diet for the pig!

Here at the Sanctuary when a pig is getting too heavy we cut back on his feed, but we NEVER completely cut out the pig chow. That pig chow is and should always be the foremost and most important part of the pigs diet.

We have over eighty pigs here now at the sanctuary and they have never had anything but a well balanced pig chow for their main diet. One would have to think that if veggies and fruits were necessary to keep them healthy that we wouldn't have half the herd that are now geriatric and very healthy in their old age. Some are fifteen and sixteen years old.

Another humorous thought is how long would it take us to cut up enough veggies and fruits to feed eighty pigs daily? We would have to start the day before and even if we felt like digging up a bunch of grub worms to throw in, it still wouldn't be a balanced diet like the pig chow.

While my opinion on using veggies as a food source is a negative thing there isn't any reason that it can't be used for a treat or when it's available and you want to give them a bite.

Our house pets may see veggies when we are cleaning them for us, but it is in moderation. What we are saying is that a pig that is on a well-balanced, well made pig chow can live it's whole life without ever having a veggie or fruit an still be a healthy happy animal. With that in mind it would stand to reason that the veggies and fruits should be considered as a treat and not as a food.

We receive lots of e-mail's on what veggies and fruits are good for pigs. Not that you are aware of how we feel about feeding veggies and fruits it will come as no surprise that as far as we can tell, it makes no difference.

Some veggies cause more gas than others like broccoli tends to do. You are the one that has to live in the house with your pig so if that doesn't concern you than no problem.

Personally we feel that too much gas is not good for the pig so we don't feed it at all. Cucumbers are another one that we stay away from for that reason.

There is much discussion over types of lettuce fed to the pigs. Who cares if one is deemed more nutritious than the other? If our pig is on a good complete pig chow than it really doesn't matter what type lettuce you give them in moderation as a treat.

It is our opinion that we can not second guess all the years of research and testing done by professionals and scientists that go into making a well balanced complete pig chow. They did the work and we reap the benefits. That's as it should be.

Copyrighted by Phyllis Battoe - All Rights Reserved
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