Category Archives: Livestock Farm

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.

Do Pigs Eat Anything And Everything?

Do pigs eat anything and everything

Pigs are raised popularly all over the world. They provide valuable products to humans, including pork, lard, leather, glue, fertilizer, and medicines. Do you wonder what pigs eat? Pigs are known to be omnivores. So, do pigs eat anything and everything? Here we will explore some fun facts about pigs and eating habits.

Why are pigs omnivores?

Pigs are classified as omnivores since they eat both plants and animal matter. They eat a variety of food items in the wild, including insects, reptiles, rats, mice, baby rabbits, bird nestling and eggs, carrion, roots, leaves, nuts, fruit, grain, garbage, milk, cheese, etc.

They use their noses, not only for sniffing and locating but also for rooting in the ground to search for food. Their sharp fangs also help them find and consume food.

Do pigs eat anything and everything?

Pigs will eat anything edible. In other words, they will eat whatever is available and appeal to them, including what they can catch.

Wild boar is a species that can survive almost anywhere, eating anything such as roots, fruits, insects, rodents, and small reptiles. Domestic pigs usually eat feed made from corn, wheat, soybeans, barley, or eat poultry. Pigs raised on farms are often fed “haphazard”, consisting of vegetables, fruit peels, and other leftovers.

pigs eat everything

Pigs are indeed omnivores, but in reality, pigs might refuse food that they do not find appealing. Wild pigs eat everything according to their needs. It is very important to understand the food needs of domesticated pigs and provide them with the right diet.

While some pigs eat almost anything, others do not like all foods as people think they do. Pigs are likely to eat nearly everything that comes their way, but that does not mean they should. And, the fact that they can eat everything does not mean they should eat everything.

Do pigs eat people? 

Pigs can theoretically eat humans because they are omnivores and natural scavengers. A hungry pig can eat almost anything they can chew include human flesh.

However, not all pigs are man-eaters. If the pig is big enough that has force in the jaws to crush bigger bones, it could eat a human corpse completely. It is like a horrible game when you eat pork, pigs can eat you too.

But, don’t be so worried. Pigs often act like domesticated animals which are quite friendly and respond well to humans.

What to feed pigs?

Anything a pig eats affects its growth, health, behavior, reproduction, and overall life. Even if pigs are known to have a “steel stomach” (meaning they can eat almost anything), it would be safer to provide them the right foods. The farmer must be knowledgeable about pigs to follow a healthy pig diet.

One to keep in mind is to choose the right food depending on the pig’s age. Growing pigs eat large rations, so they should be fed several times a day with various foods. Sows are fed a limited amount of feed. They finish the amount in the morning and then are left to starve the rest of the day until the next day.

what to feed pigs

Feeding pigs what they want to eat may not be good for their health. Although they eat all, vegetables are important to their diet. Pigs are healthiest on a high-fiber diet.

Farmers feed pigs a diet of high-quality grains such as barley, wheat, and corn to fuel pigs, soybeans, and canola meal that provide protein. It allows higher quality, well-monitored feed, free of by-products. Tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, pumpkin, and some greens are all delicious foods for pigs.

What to avoid feeding pigs?

Avoid feeding them leftovers as this could affect their health. Also, inedible things like paper, wood, and hazardous waste should be out of the pig’s reach.

Do not feed pigs anything moldy, slimy, and spoiled food. Especially, avoid giving fruit to piglets as they can be dangerous if swallowed.

Most pigs instinctively will not eat poisonous food. However, if you happen to feed pigs with some fungi without knowing them well, it is best to avoid wild fungi as they might be poisonous.

In addition, you should avoid feeding pigs with other pets such as dog and cat food. Pigs can still eat those foods and survive, but they can lead to weaker bodies and an unstable immune system.

Final Words

The above article is an overview of the pig’s diet of pigs. I believe that when you are reading this line, you’ve known that pigs do not eat anything and everything. If you want more information on the nutrition requirement of specific breeds of pigs, consult your veterinarian.

Reference:

How Long Can A Pig Live?

How Long Can A Pig Live

Pigs are known as one of the most intelligent and social animals in the world. So, how long can a pig live? How long can this animal be your companion? Are there any ways to increase their lifespan? Well, you have the answers in this article.

How long can a pig live?

A well-cared pig can have an average life expectancy of 15 to 18 years, estimates range to more than 20 years whereas the lifespan of a wild pig is only 4 to 8 years on average.

Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs

They were the first domesticated pets in Southeast Asia and have gained popularity in the U.S for a long time. If it receives proper nutrition and medical care, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig can live for 20 years or beyond.

Oscar was crown by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest pig. He died in 2010 when he was 21 years and 13 days old.

Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs

Wild pigs

Wild pigs originated in Eurasia and were brought across the Atlantic to North America by Spanish explorers more than 400 years ago. Wild pigs that have bred and hybridized with domestic pigs are termed “feral.”

A wild pig can expect to live up to 20 years. Due to high mortality rates from predation, their average life expectancy ranges only from 4 to 8 years.

Farmed pigs

If a pig is intended as food animal, it is raised from 6 to 7 months to reach the market weight of 250 pounds. If for breeding, pigs will stay on the farm around 1.5 years longer.

If you release farmed pigs, they can have a tendency to live to their full lifespan of 20 years.

Furthermore, they will likely double or triple in size over the next several years. Most full-grown sows reach a weight of over 500 pounds while mature boars may easily weigh in excess of 1,000.

Caring pigs for longer life

Below are some essential ways to help you taking care of your pigs effectively.

Pigpen

There is no need to raise pigs indoor. An environmentally controlled area with heat, cooling, and adequate air exchange hourly is the perfect environment to raise them.

Remember to provide your pigs with a shelter system that can give them shade in the summer and protect them from rain or snow.

The space requirement depends on the number and the age of pigs. A pregnant sow should have a farrowing crate to avoid lying on her newborn pigs. For growing pigs, provide them with a minimum space of 3 square feet per 30-40 pounds piglets while it is recommended that the pigpen should increase to 4 square feet for those weight 40-100 pounds. Pigs of over 150 pounds weight should have at least 6 square feet of space.

Feed intake

optimal feed take

Source: https://www.pig333.com/

Nutrition feeding and rations also vary with the stages of growth. The dietary vitamin level for starter, grower, finisher and gestation or lactation is 20%, 16%, 14%, and 12-15% respectively. If constipation happens during lactation, add magnesium sulfate or potassium chloride to the sow’s diet.

According to some studies, in feeding growing pigs, a ration with pellets or a coarsely ground diet will have a better gain and fewer stomach ulcers compared to a finely ground feed.

Portable water must always be available to your pigs. If the water runs out, slowly add small amounts of water every 30 minutes until the pigs fulfill their needs. It normally takes 4 to 6 hours for them to rehydrates but regular testing of the water helps to minimize diseases and health-related issues.

Sanitation

It is suggested to clip the needle (canine) and give them an iron injection at 1 – 3 days of age. When the piglets are 2 weeks old, they can be fed a pre-starter diet containing milk products before weaning.

In general, pigs are castrated at about one week old. Castration should be done at an early age, preferably at a week before weaning and no later than 1 month of age. Moreover, ear notching and tail docking should be done before 1 week old in order to prevent cannibalism.

Vaccinations for pigs

Vaccinations for pigs

It is advised that vaccinations of the piglets can start at 4-6 weeks old. Vaccines commonly used on pig farms include actinobacillus, circovirus, histophilus, erysipelas, parvovirus, mycoplasma, salmonella, pseudorabies, and clostridial diseases. Several weeks before farrowing, the mother needs to be given TGE, escherichia coli, clostridium perfringens.

Always be mindful that each herd can have individual vaccination requirements. Read the label carefully and seek advice from the vet before medicating any pig.

Conclusion

I hope that you will no longer wonder how long a pig can live after reading the article. As you can see, the potential maximum life span of pigs is much longer than their production age. In addition, some beneficial information above can help to raise and manage them better to achieve your production goals.

What Do Baby Pigs Eat?

what can baby pigs eat

A nutritious diet with a balanced ration for any pig is a must to achieve its potential growth and optimize your profitability. So, what do baby pigs eat? This question must be seriously taken care of as a baby pig’s health will lay a foundation for its development later. Let’s find out the answer in the following post.

What do baby pigs eat?

Newborn piglets need colostrum from the sow. As piglets are born without any immune protection, colostrum is the only way to protect them in this critical phase. Colostrum contains a rich source of highly digestible nutrients and natural growth factors for the normal development of vital life-sustaining organs.

If newborn piglets do not receive enough colostrum from the sow, the chance of survival is not high.

If porcine colostrum is unavailable, goat milk can be the substitute. Milk replacer needs to be in good condition and remember to discard any milk replacer that you do not use within 12 hours. Make sure to warm the milk to above human body temperature, like a baby human’s bottle.

You can feed baby pigs with an eyedropper while they receive colostrum. When newborn piglets start drinking replacer, you can switch to a bottle or put the liquid in a flat dish.

According to the Oregon State University Extension Service website, newborn piglets nurse about 15 times in their first day of life, and each nursing episode lasts roughly five minutes.

During the first 7 days, piglets need feeding every 3 to 4 hours. When they are 2 weeks old, you can feed them four times a day. At 3 weeks, start them on solid pig chow. Continue nursing them at least 3 times daily until they wean, after 1 or 2 months.

Taking care of baby pigs

Caring for piglets requires a higher degree of care and knowledge than other baby animals because they are born in large litters and very reliant on one another for warmth and friendship.

baby pig care

The first few weeks are important in laying the groundwork for pigs to have a healthy life. Below are some useful tips to help you ensure baby pigs’ health and wellbeing, aiming at decreasing early piglet mortality and increasing weaning weights.

Temperature control

Newborn pigs’ bodies contain little fat reserve and almost no hair. Therefore, they are extremely sensitive to cold weather and drafts, which can cause diarrhea, lymphadenitis, higher mortality, and even an increase in tail biting.

The ideal temperature for newborn pigs is at 95°F. You can reduce the temperature by 5° weekly until the pig is weaned. Gas or electric heaters, heat lamps, or heated floor mats are common heat devices in farrowing houses.

Don’t forget to check the sow’s temperature immediately after birth and every 12 hours of the first two or three days.

Nutrition intake

Receiving adequate colostrum and milk from the sow is crucial for piglets’ survival and long-term health. During the first 24 hours, they should nurse 15 times and receive his nutrition solely from the sow for his first 2 to 3 weeks. They should be nursed until 6 to 8 weeks old.

A newborn pig should eat a half-ounce of milk per feeding while a week-old piglet should consume 1 ounce at each feeding. Remember to feed them every four hours.

Sanitation

Provide adequate bedding from hay, straw, wood shavings, or shredded paper to keep your piglets stay healthy and comfortable.

Sanitation is also important. In addition to scrub the farrowing quarters with 2% of chlorine solution to eliminate dirt and bacteria, scrub the sow with soap and water to prevent her from spreading bacteria to her piglets.

Supplemental Iron

supplying iron to baby pig

Supplying iron to baby pig

After birth, dose the navel in iodine antiseptic to prevent infection and anemia. Newborn pigs require a great deal of this mineral since they are deficient in iron and do not receive enough this mineral from the sow milk.

Supplying uncontaminated soil in the pig area or a box of dirt for them to play in is another method of supplying iron. This is an easy way to help them receive adequate iron naturally in lieu of through an injection which has been known to cause diarrhea.

Conclusion

So, I guess you have already known what baby pigs eat as well as the importance of colostrum in surviving them. Taking care of baby pigs may require you more time and energy but I’m sure the result will deserve what you paid. Hope you all enjoy your time with your tiny yet cute piglets!