Diet Re-visited, why? Because it's so important!!!
THEE (yes THEE) number one question I am asked the most, is how big do your mini pigs get? That is a very good and important question. My answer to them is very simple; DO YOU PLAN ON FOLLOWING THEIR PROPER DIET? The genetics of our pigs is among the smallest in the country. So we have the genetic part covered; now it’s up to you to take care of the diet part. THEE (Here we go again with the THEE word) most important aspect in keeping your piggy healthy and at the correct weight is? Drum Roll Please……….DIET, DIET, DIET.
Can I ask you a question?
Now, here is a question I have for you; can you tell me with 100% certainty, how tall will your daughter be? How about your son? How much will they weigh when they are all grown up? You’ve seen the family that are all short but have a 6 foot son. I am sure proper diet will influence his final stature at maturity. Are you a family with overweight dogs and cats? Then unfortunately your mini pig will grow up to be overweight as well. You are one that confuses treats with love.
But your website states your mini pigs stay small. How many times have you seen a big fat dog or cat?
Another assumption always taken for granted is that mini pig breeders purposely starve their pigs to keep them small. What a great way of raising sickly pigs and short changing one’s breeding career.
But you then say “I see and read all the horror stories on the internet, those mini pigs grow to be 300 pounds”. I am sure those mini pigs DID NOT grow to that size eating the proper food that was formulated for them. I am sure they DID NOT grow to be 300 pounds by eating a lot of fresh low calorie vegetables did they? A good friend of ours was raising a Yorkshire for his family’s freezer. He fed that pig everything and anything he would eat. Even with all that food he couldn’t get that pig to reach 300 pounds. So see a 300 pound mini pig did not get that way by being fed right.
Now you are asking me “so you think you are some hotshot pig nutritionist or something? Nope I never said that, but I know some companies that are. Take the Ralston Purina Company for instance; this is THE largest pet food manufacturer in THE world. They make feed for every known breed of animal and spend millions of dollars every year making sure that their product has every known nutrient needed for that particular breed of animal.
Purina was so impressed on how well a mid-sized company named Mazuri operated and the science behind their feed, that they bought them. Mazuri is the largest maker of feed for exotic animals and is now part of the Purina family.
OK so what’s the big deal you are asking? Well, these two companies combined, employ the largest group of animal feed nutritionists in the world. Well, well, well, now we are getting somewhere.
So what all this means is that Purina and its affiliate Mazuri know exactly how much food a particular breed of animal needs a day to stay healthy. Staying with me so far?
So the next box of info I want you to digest (good one huh?) is taken right off of their website which you can find at http://www.mazuri.com/mazuriminipigactiveadult.aspx
This info is taken directly off of the Mazuri Website.
•Feed Mazuri® Mini Pig Active Adult to pigs previously fed Mazuri® Mini Pig Youth diet or to other pigs being maintained. Mix this product with equal amounts of prior product for at least 3-5 days to help adjust animals to new feed.
•The level of feed intake depends on many factors of which include: environmental temperature, other foods available, level of activity, and social hierarchy.
•For maintenance of more active, young adult animals (up to 1 1/2 years of age), regulate feed to a level which maintains body weight (BW) without putting on excess fat. A level of 1-2% current BW works well for many owners.
Measuring of food by weight is recommended; however the average weight of a level 1/2 cup of product = 85g (0.187 lb.). A level 1 cup measure weighs 172g (0.38 lb.).
•Change to Mazuri® Youth diet as desired to regulate growth in these scenarios:
•Gestating or lactating females, feed a mixture of 50% Active Adult diet and 50% Youth diet for optimal energy.
•For high energy, as in the case of large litter size or multiple breedings, increase Youth diet to 60% of daily intake.
•When using a self-feeder, make sure it is adjusted for minimize feed wastage. Feeders should be managed to provide adequate feeding space and to prevent moisture condensation, mold and insect development.
•Always provide animal with plenty of fresh, clean water.
Feeding rates available on the product sheet.
For best results, store contents of open bag in container with sealing lids. Store in a cool (75°F or colder), dry (approximately 50% RH) location. Use within 1 year of bag manufacturing.
Now the only thing I did was highlight the feeding rate sentence in red for you to see. Did you notice the feeding rate? It states right there on the Mazuri website A level of 1-2% current BW (body weight) works well for many owners. I e-mailed Mazuri to make sure I was correct, that is 1-2 % of their body weight a day in feed, not in each meal. Don’t believe me? I provided the link live for you to check.
Now we are getting somewhere, did you catch the amount? 1-2% of their body weight, not in hamburgers, candy corn or Oreo’s but in a food that is specifically made for miniature pigs.
How much is that in real world terms? A normal, healthy miniature pig will be approximately 30 pounds at maturity. What does 1-2% of feed come out to be? Let’s do some math; 30 pounds equals out to be 480 ounces (30 times 16). 1-2 % comes out to be 4.8-9.6 ounces of food per day. Holy small amounts of food Batman, did you happen to catch the amount of food to feed a mini pig per day? 4.8-9.6 ounces PER DAY. At most this comes out to be 1.50 cups of food per day. Just in case you missed it this comes out to be 4.8-9.6 ounces of food per day. Notice not 4-9 cups per day but 1.50 cups per day.
That is 1.50 cups of food a day divided into two meals. Not in cheeseburgers or Italian wedding cake but in food that is specifically formulated for them. So see, breeders aren’t starving their pigs, we just follow the directions on the bag of one of the largest manufacturers of animal feed in the world. If it was up to them they would tell you to feed them all they could eat in order to drive their sales through the roof, but they know better. Like I said they spend millions of dollars a year making sure all species get the precise amount of nutrients and calories they need to live a long, happy and healthy life.
I believe that GOD created the earth perfect for us humans. There are specific animals he created for our consumption. Unfortunately, pigs are one of them; and that is why He coupled two excellent traits in an animal we are supposed to consume; 1) pigs gain weight so easily and with lighting speed. 2) That is also why they have a never ending appetite constantly searching for food. With these 2 traits a pig will get big and fat super fast, Why? Because they are meant to be eaten, not the mini ones but they have the same metabolisms as the larger varieties that are raised to be eaten.
Now can you honestly say you feed your piggy the exact amount of food it needs per day? Are you weighing out its food? Do you measure out the food every time? Are you giving piggy little snacks that are meant for humans? Maybe some potato chips or a Hershey’s Kiss once too often? Are you giving into their never ending search for food? Are you letting piggy train you? Once they get a taste of different foods that you offered, they will expect it every time.
So see, breeders don’t starve their pigs to purposely keep them small, we feed them the correct amount. Pigs have super slow metabolisms and that is why you must feed them the right type and amount of food per day to keep them mini and healthy. So how big do your pigs get? I will let you answer that question.