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Starve your pig

 

Boy, I sure got your attention didn’t I? No I don’t want you to ever starve your pet piggy, and at the same time I don’t ever want you to over feed the little bundle of joy either. I run across this subject more than any other and is constantly floating around on the internet, Facebook. But what can you expect from an uneducated audience.

Miniature pig breeders are constantly being accused of telling their customers to starve their piggy in order to keep it small. That is nothing but pure MALARKEY (for lack of a better term). Like I said, I don’t want you to ever starve your piggy BUT I sure don’t want you to over feed it either. I want to educate you and the world on making sure your piggy receives the 100% nutrition he or she needs to live a long, healthy and happy life. I want the little monster to receive the proper amount of food, no more and no less.

 

No wonder the pig stays so small; they tell you to starve it in order to keep it that tiny. How many times have you read that online? Let’s see if we can find out exactly what the heck is the right amount of food to feed a miniature pig and also to find out what food is best to feed the little rascal. Let’s start out with a discussion on the pet food industry and what they believe is best for your pet.

 

I would like to draw your attention to a massive multi-billion dollar (12 billion in worldwide sales for 2013)corporation that would love to see you feed your mini pig 100 pounds of feed a day and make millions more per year. Who…who…who? Drum roll please……. THE NESTLE PURINA PETCARE COMPANY (aka American Ralston Purina Company but merged in 2001).

 

 

 I know this is exaggeration but I am trying to prove a point to you. So in reality let’s think about this for just one minute. Purina would just pray for you to feed your piggy as much food as it could possibly hold and then some. Heck they would hope you fed mini pig food with milk to your children for breakfast maybe even make muffins out of it for a snack. Are you with me so far, the more they sell the more money they make. In turn the more profit they make the happier the stock holders and the world would be great for them. Am I telling you the truth so far? Money is what drives massive corporations; it’s all about the bottom line. Period end of story. Every Monday there is a boardroom full of people in suits, ties and pant suits just wondering how much feed they could push on consumers to even make more money. Just stick with me on this, soon it will make sense. If it sounds like I am bashing Purina, I am not. Quite the opposite, we own goats, a cow, rabbits, dogs, cats, a Yorkshire pig and our miniature pigs. Every one of those animals are fed a Purina product. Why, because in my eyes Purina is THEE (yes two E’s) Grand Master, Top Dog when it comes to feed. THAT IS A PERIOD, END OF STORY, FOR ME.

 

 

 

OK, now let’s change channels; Purina also has the utmost ethical responsibility to every person that purchases their product and to all the animals that eat their products. Purina is the largest employer of multi-species nutritionists with PhD’s in the industry. That’s right, doctors of nutrition. Why? They sell feed for just about every animal on earth. Purina spends millions upon millions of dollars annually to find out exactly what are the nutritional needs of hundreds of different species of animals.

 

 

So wouldn’t you agree with me that Purina is THEE (here we go again with the thee) AUTHORITY when it comes to the nutritional needs of different animals? Let’s take a look at the food that was specifically formulated for a miniature pig. There are three types of miniature pig food for different stages of their lives. Youth, Adult and Elder.

Mazuri Youth Formula is fed to piggy from 7 days old to 8-16 weeks old. The proper amount to feed is 1.5-3.0% of its current body weight. This formula contains dairy whey which is a high quality milk protein in its dried form to help transition a piglet from Mother’s milk to a grain based diet.

Mazuri Active Adult is fed to piggy from 16 weeks to 1.5 years of age. The proper amount to feed is 1-2% of its current bodyweight. This formula is higher in fiber and is used to help support moderate growth but at the same time to satisfy hunger.

Mazuri Elder is fed to piggy from 1.5 years old and on. The proper amount to feed is 1-2% of its current body weight. This formula has a hair more fiber and was formulated to restrain growth rate but at the same time to satisfy hunger.

 

These feeding directions are from the Youth Formula. This comes exactly word for word from the Mazuri website. The writing in red is my commentary.

Feeding Directions

 Feed Mazuri® Mini Pig Youth on a free-choice basis as creep feed from 7 days post-weaning until 8 weeks of age or older. Continue feeding free-choice if rapid growth is desired. You won’t get piggy until it is at least 8 weeks old, so the all you can eat buffet is now over. Trust me on this one; pigs don’t have a shut off valve when it comes to food, sort of like my husband (his words not mine)

 To regulate growth rate, after 8 weeks of age feed at a rate of 1.5 - 3.0% of current body weight. Do not underfeed. Measuring food by weight is recommended; see Feeding Rate table. To regulate piggy’s growth after 8 weeks then you must cut down on their food that will equal out to be 1.5-3.0% of your pigs current bodyweight daily.

 The level of feed intake depends on many factors some of which include: environmental temperature, other foods available, level of activity and social hierarchy.

 Change to Mazuri® Mini Pig Active Adult as desired to regulate growth rate at 16 weeks of age or older.

 For gestating or lactating females, feed a mixture of 50% Mazuri® Mini Pig Active Adult and 50% Mazuri® Mini Pig Youth for increased energy.

 For higher energy needs, as in the case of large litter size or multiple breedings, increase Mazuri® Mini Pig Youth to 60% of daily intake.

 When using a self-feeder, make sure it is adjusted for minimize feed wastage.

 Always provide animal with plenty of fresh, clean water.

 

This chart is for piggy when he is 8 weeks to 16 weeks old.

    Pig Weight   

    1.5% of Body Weight   

    3.0% of Body Weight   

Lbs.

grams

Tbsp*

grams

Tbsp*

2 (Micro)

14

1, heaping

27

2 ⅓

5 (Micro)

34

3

68

6

Lbs.

grams

Cups*

grams

Cups*

10

68

½

136

1

20

136

1

272

1 ⅔

30

204

1 ¼

408

2 ½

40

272

1 ⅔

544

3 ⅓

50

340

2

680

4

60

408

2 ½

816

5

70

476

3

953

5 ⅔

80

544

3 ¼

1,089

6 ½

90

612

3 ¾

1,225

7 ¼

100

680

4

1,361

8

 

 

You will receive your piggy from us in the 2-5 pound range. Geez, I wonder how much would I feed a piglet that size? Look at the chart above. It would range anywhere from 1-6 tablespoons of feed per day, split up into 2 different feedings. THAT IS IT. ONE MORE TIME, THAT WOULD BE FROM 1-6 TABLESPOONS DAILY. 

 

Not 1 cup and them some but only 1-6 tablespoons per day, period.

 Is this information coming from some backyard, flea market selling breeder? NO, remember this is coming from a multi-billion dollar multi-species pet food manufacturer. Remember the one that employs the most PhD holding animal nutritionists. Remember the one that spends millions of dollars a year in research. But why do they say 1-6 tablespoons? Because that is exactly what your piggy needs at that age and size. How about when it gets older and a little bigger? Well, well, look at the chart below.

 

 

This chart is for when piggy is 16 weeks old to 1.5 years old.

    Pig Weight          1.0% of Body Weight                      2.0% of Body Weight   

Lbs.                  grams             Tbsp*            grams     Tbsp*

2 (Micro)              9             1  heaping           18           1 2/3

5 (Micro)              23           2 heaping            45           4

Lbs.        grams    Cups*   grams    Cups*

10           45          1/4           91          1/2

20          90             1/2         181         1

30           136         3/4        272         1 2/3

40           181           1            363         2 1/4

50           227         1 1/3     454         2 2/3

60           272         1 2/3     544         3 1/4

70           318         2             635         3 3/4

80           363         2 1/4     726        4 1/4

90           408         2 1/3     816        4 3/4

100         454         2 2/3     907        5 1/3

 

 

Now I want you to notice that this schedule is directly from their site but is now for their Adult formula. This is the feed you give them when they are 16 weeks old. Now look at how much you feed Mr. Piggy. The Youth formula states 1.5-3.0 percent of their bodyweight, the Adult formula now states 1-2 percent of their bodyweight. So even if piggy weighed 40 pounds, it would only need 1- 2.25 cups of adult formula daily. That would be approximately 1/2 to 1 cup in the morning and ½ to 1 cup in the evening. That is it!!!!! I e-mailed the nutritionists at Mazuri and Beverly states that Mazuri mini pig feed is complete, nothing else is required. But I like to supplement their diet with what I call free food. You guessed it, food we eat when we are on a diet. Such as; cucumbers, celery, carrots, basically salad veggies that are free calories. Not mushrooms because if they get used to smelling and eating mushrooms they might mistake a poisonous mushroom growing outside in your yard for a delicious mushroom and eat it. That my friend can then spell death for your little pet. That is it. I don’t see anywhere on the Mazuri website where you are to supplement their diet with potato chips, skittles, powered donuts or cheese cake. I don’t give our pet pigs, Pearl and Grimmy any fruit. Too much sugar and calories. The Mazuri feed is complete!

 

Now when piggy gets to be a little older, you would follow this chart which is for the Elder Formula

    Pig Weight          1.0% of Body Weight                      2.0% of Body Weight   

Lbs.                  grams             Tbsp*            grams     Tbsp*

2 (Micro)              9             1  heaping           18           1 2/3

5 (Micro)              23           2 heaping            45           4

Lbs.        grams    Cups*   grams    Cups*

10           45          1/4           91          1/2

20          90             1/2         181         1

30           136         3/4        272         1 2/3

40           181           1            363         2 1/4

50           227         1 1/3     454         2 2/3

60           272         1 2/3     544         3 1/4

70           318         2             635         3 3/4

80           363         2 1/4     726        4 1/4

90           408         2 1/3     816        4 3/4

100         454         2 2/3     907        5 1/3

 

 

Now do you see how a reputable breeder might be mistaken in wanting someone to starve their pig? It doesn’t take much food for a miniature pig to be healthy and happy. Also on the other hand, you must re-evaluate your pet piggy’s growth every 2-3 months. Check to see if piggy got any bigger and then up his feed accordingly.

 

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