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 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.
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.
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.