Tips For Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way

Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way
Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way

Pigs can eat anything and everything including their own babies. Feeding pigs based on this conception even though its true affects their overall health even when they appear big likewise, the flesh becomes unhealthy for human consumption.

Let’s see how feeding pigs the healthy way can benefit both the animals and their farmers.

Pigs can consume a large varieties of feed including dry sows, gilts, creep pellets etc. The age of pigs also have an influence on what they are fed, quantity and the quality as well as how often they should be fed. A weaner’s diet is different from a boar’s diet.

Pigs can eat very many human meals including left over such as bread, vegetables, and fruit. Feeding pigs pellet is the best diet they can get. This doesn’t mean other food items are not good, variety is the spice of life, however, the nutritional value should be considered when feeding pigs.

Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way
Variety In Pig Diet

Locally made and formulated feeds can be given to pigs as long as the nutritional value is met. Feeding pigs need not be expensive with the right nutrition; alternative can be found even the left over from the farmer’s kitchen.

What then are the nutritional requirements for a healthy pig?

Nutritional Requirement Of Pigs

Just like other living things, food is essential and the best food is the one that has all the classes of food present in the right proportion. Feeding pigs requires that all the nutritional values are met for the total development of the animal.

Pigs need all six classes of food in their diet; carbohydrates, proteins, fat and oil, mineral salt, vitamins and water.
It is important to note that when feeding pigs, the basic requirement is energy and protein.

Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way
Cabbage And Melon In Pig Diet

The term lysine requirement is the protein which is an amino acid important in the quality of protein need of the pigs.


This is the major source of energy for the pigs. Carbohydrates are organic compounds; carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They can be classified according to monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, disaccharides or polysaccharide. Pigs derive glucose from carbohydrate rich food such as corn, wheat, oats and barley.


Proteins are body building foods needed for growth and muscle tissue development. They are needed in the right amount to avoid amino acids depressing the pig’s performance. Protein sources for pigs include fish meal, canola meal, soybean etc.

Fats And Oil

Fat is available in most pig feeds and it plays an important role in absorption of soluble vitamins and reducing powdery effect of feeds. Sources of fats and oil in pig diet include coconut oil, tallow, canola oil etc added to feed meals.

Mineral Salt

Grains and plant protein supplement are low in the needed sodium and chloride. They therefore do need to add these salts in their meals directly. Inadequate amount of salt in pig’s diet cause depressed performance that can be evident in less than a month.

Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way
Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way


A necessary requirement for healthy physiological functions, body development and reproduction, vitamins are essential in pig’s diet. Vitamins needed by pigs include but are not limited to vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C etc.

Deficiencies in vitamins give symptoms which include splayed hind legs, severe necrosis, etc.


This is the most important to all living things with pigs not being an exception. Other nutrients may be essential but the pig cannot survive without water. Not just any water but quality water is needed for the overall health of the pig.

Importance of water in pig diet includes aiding digestion, regulation of body temperature, removal of toxins etc.

Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way

Having learnt about the classes of food needed by pigs, feeding them right is the next step. Feeds can be formulated pellets or left over meals even fruits and vegetables from grocery stores.

Feeding Pigs With Commercial Diet

Pigs can eat vegetables and fruits from the market if they are clean. Pigs may be dirty in nature but they deserve clean and healthy diet. They can also be fed with properly cooked animal products to avoid infections or food poisoning.

Left over household meals or from restaurants can be used to feed pigs provided they are well cooked and not spoilt. They can include rice, millet, corn etc.

Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way
Ipil In Pig Diet

Banana, yam, forage grasses, cassia etc are all wild food items that pigs can take so far they are cooked well enough.

Feeding Pigs With Formulated Feeds

Formulated feeds have specific quantity and amount of nutrients for pigs depending on their ages. Similar to poultry where each age has specific needs, piglets meal is different from other pigs.

Feeding pigs with creep feed in the first couple of weeks after birth is important for their health. Creep feed comprising of 20 percent protein fortified with milk by products and available in pellets is piglets most important diet.

It is the best diet for piglets to give them a boost in growth and development. Creep feed ahould be combined with vitamins, protein sources and amino acids.

Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way
Pelletize Formula For Pigs

Homemade creep feed can include milled maize grains, soybean, oil seeds, vegetable protein, feed phosphate, pig vitamins and barley.

Food Items In The Right Quantity

Rice Bran: feeding pigs with a concentrate of about 40 percent rice bran is ideal. Rice bran contains 11 percent protein and should last for about 3 weeks; anytime more, can produce moulds.

Broken Rice: This contains about 8 percent protein and can be mixed in the proportion of 15 percent of an ideal pig diet.

Maize: containing about 65 percent carbohydrates and 9 percent protein, it should not be more than 40 percent present when feeding pigs.

Soybeans: a major source of protein in pig diet, it is made up of 38 percent protein which should be cooked in combination with maize, rice bran etc.

Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way
Nutritional Deficiency In Pigs

Wheat Bran: a dietary fibre with a little amount of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is used as a major ingredient in feed having crude fibre of 10 percent, fat of 8 percent, protein 16 percent and carbohydrates 25 percent.

Ipils: used to feed pigs in the traditional pig farms, ipils are rich in protein. They are dried and mixed with other pig feeds.

Root Crops: including cassava, cocoyam and yam can be peeled, washed, dried and ground before use. They should not be given to pigs raw due to toxic substances but properly cooked.

Fruits: pigs can eat fruits after boiling in case of damage through transportation or given raw if they’re fresh without issues. This class include pawpaw, apple, pear, banana and watermelon.

Vegetables: They should be treated the same way as fruits. Examples include cabbage, pumpkins, spinach, lettuce etc.

Dangerous Meals In Feeding Pigs

Knowing that pigs can eat almost everything, it is important to state that there are some food items that are poisonous causing great harm to the animal and ultimately, reducing ROI on investment. They include:

Meat products such as pies, salami, bacon etc that are not properly cooked are harmful to pigs.

Carcass or dead animals especially uncooked and raw are extremely dangerous to pig health due to the high risk of diseases contagious even to human. It includes offals, hide, feathers, etc.

Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way
Wild Pig Feeding On Carcass

The excreta or droppings of any animal. Contaminated items in any form are harmful to pigs including dirty plates and water containers.


Pigs can eat anything but this is no reason to feed them with anything but the best diet for the overall health of pigs and the safety of the investment. Kitchen and restaurants waste when properly cooked can reduce the money spent on getting formulated feeds.

Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way
Tips To Feeding Pigs The Healthy Way

Feeding pigs the healthy way requires cooking many of these food items. Food waste should still be edible not spoilt to avoid diarrhea and other diseases in pigs.

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