Are Pigs Ruminants?

are pigs ruminant

“Are pigs ruminants” might be a question that many people care about before adopting a pig. More people tend to get a pig as a pet nowadays. Pigs are known as intelligent and capable of emotional awareness. However, owning a pig is not easy. Pigs need special handling during the time.

So, we bring to you below the grasp of this animal and other relevant information. Keep reading and explore new things.

What are ruminant animals?

ruminal animals

Source: Wikipedia

Ruminant animals have stomachs divided into four compartments. More specifically, there are three pre-stomach chambers devoted to the fermentation of feedstuffs and an enzymatic rumen. Therefore, ruminants are also herbivores.

Because of the complicated tract, the food digestion process of ruminants occurs through two phases. They begin to digest immediately after eating food like other animals at first. The microorganisms that stay in some of the compartments will ferment the cellulose vegetables into the cud.

For the rest phase, ruminant animals regurgitate the cud and swallow one again. Some examples of ruminants are sheep, deer, buffalo, goats…

Are pigs ruminants?

Pigs are not ruminants because they have only one stomach compartment and a digestive process by enzymes. They are monogastric because pigs neither chew the cud nor digest the plant materials such as cellulose through fermentation.

Besides, pigs can eat and digest a variety of food. Contrary to the staple food of ruminants is grass and plants. To be considered highly social and intelligent animals, pigs are similar to humans in biological extent and often used for human medical research.

Pigs have little ability to ferment and digest fiber because they eliminate cellulose as an undigested material. They will be eager to forage on plants, but too much fiber causes your pigs to lose weight.

pig stomach

Consequently, pasture is a great playground for them, not the core source of nutrition. A pig can improve the ability to digest fiber overages and depend on plant maturity. Legumes would be better than grasses for pig’s digestion.

The kind of feedstuffs are essential for growth, body maintenance, and can be self-made by pig farmers for less cost. The crucial nutrients pigs needed are water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. But the amount of food supplied depends on the swine age. For example, an 8-week-pig should be supplied with 17-18% protein and older pigs should be fed around 15% protein in a day.

Pigs don’t sweat, so they tend to keep the body cool. Make sure that your pigs can access fresh and clean water. If they survive without water for around 2 or 3 days, pigs can suffer brain damage or die.

What is the difference between pigs and ruminant animals?

There are many factors explaining why pigs are non-ruminant animals.

1. Type of diet

Ruminant animals are herbivores, which means that they consume plant material as the main nutritions. Besides, pigs are omnivore  animals, enabling them to consume a wide range of food types like plant and animal materials.

2. Stomach

As we mentioned above, ruminant animals have a complicated stomach with four compartments contrasted to pigs have a one-compartment stomach.

Moreover, the digestive system of ruminants is long compared to the short pig’s digestive system.

3. Enzymes to digest proteins

Pigs produce enzymes for protein digestion, while ruminant animals are not capable of doing that. Ruminant animals ferment cellulose in their fiber food by microorganisms.

4. Chewing system

Due to the variety in diets such as plants and animals, pigs own four sharp canines. In contrast with ruminants that eat grass and plants, they have two blunt.

Ruminant animals have premolars and molars move in the lateral direction, while pigs have their teeth move vertically.

5. Saliva

Because ruminant animals have the digestive process more than once, they produce more saliva with no carbohydrate digestive enzymes during this period. With a single stomach, the digestion occurs once, pigs produce less saliva with carbohydrate digestive enzymes.

6. Regurgitation

The intricate gastrointestinal tract makes ruminant animals undergo regurgitation, while pigs do not experience regurgitation. If any regurgitation phenomenon occurs in pigs, these animals may be getting sick .

7. Liver

The liver of the ruminant animals is larger than the liver of pigs.

8. Time to digest food

It takes a longer time for ruminant animals to digest plant material. While pigs take comparatively less time for their digestion. Furthermore, ruminant animals digest all plant carbohydrates including cellulose while pigs do not digest cellulose.

Bottom Lines

Hopefully, this article provided you with better knowledge about pigs, and you will no more wonder whether pigs are ruminants or not. Having a good understanding of pigs will help you considerably during the foster care process. Know what nutrients pigs need, avoid threats to their safety, and maintain healthy animals to create successful goals as you expected.