The proper care and feeding of your mini pig is absolutely crucial to their overall health, well being, and growth/size. As in human beings, a proper balanced and formulated diet will result in proper body structure, health, and happiness of your mini pig.
As stated in the research article below by FAREC.org, “The most common nutritional disease in potbellied pigs is obesity.” The same goes for mini pigs, most likely due to their overwhelming demands and passion for food that owners cannot resist. A pig’s growth can be stunted at a young age due to not getting enough proper nutrition, enzymes, and nutrients. On the contrary, pigs can easily be overfed and can cause a pig to grow larger than it should be. Overfeeding your mini pig is a dangerous practice and seen more often than malnutrition or starvation. You do not see obese pigs in the wild, in a few words, pigs are NOT supposed to be fat or obese. Mini pigs should be eating a mini pig pellet specifically made for mini pigs as a staple, and not standard hog/swine pellet, dog food, or an unhealthy diet not conducive to overall health and weight. Overfeeding your mini pig will lead to severe disabling diseases and physical problems, such as coronary artery disease, premature arthritis, joint disease, and diabetes to name a few. Obese mini pigs can have their eyesight and hearing compromised as well due to fat deposits as well as immobility. The obese pig are more prone to heat stress and can become increasingly uncomfortable. It is harder for your veterinarian to make an appropriate diagnosis if you pig is overweight. The pigs vital signs can be distorted, collection of blood and urine can be extremely difficult. Should your pig become ill and need surgery, an ultra sound, radiographic examinations are hindered, anesthesia is a high risk and the obese pig is at a much higher risk for post surgical complications. A regimented routine and strict diet, feeding twice daily morning and night, supplementing vegetables and oats/grains, and only using snacks for training purposes can also result in a less food crazed pig with less demands. Grazing is also a wonderful addition to a pigs diet, it is not only good for them but also very stimulating. Spoiling your mini pig with food can result in a relentlessly seemingly starving pig and can promote obesity and demands for more.
An underfed pig or a pig not fed a proper diet, for example cracked corn, hay pellet, little to no food, junk food, or the like; can result in a piglets growth being stunted. Owners should be aware of how their mini pig breeders are feeding and caring for their pigs, to help insure more accurate sizes of their adults and projection of piglets’ eventual size and overall health. You should never be able to see your pig’s ribs or spine sticking out, but should be able to feel their spine and hip bones. Veterinarians, swine researchers, and scientists employed by companies like Mazuri and Purina that formalize mini pig pellet agree to similar amounts that make up a proper diet for mini pigs is 2% of their body weight on average. Some resources even recommend as low as 1% of a mini pigs body weight, and up to 3% for pregnant or lactating sows. Mini pig pellet is an overall balanced diet to fulfill your mini pig’s daily health requirements. Beside mini pig pellets, pigs do best on a vegetarian diet including grazing on grass, vegetables, oats, as well small amounts of fruits can be used as a source of training and positive reinforcement, but need to be included in the daily feeding ratio. Keep pigs away from fat promoting diets like carbohydrates, meats, sugars, dog food, dairy and fatty foods, etc. At times owners can use sight and disposition to judge adding or taking away feed. Charts and formulas are a standard basis, but if your pig gets no exercise for example and seems to be growing excessive fat jowls and/or rolls over their legs; or on the contrary your pig looks too thin and they appear emaciated or gaunt, then you may need to add or remove food as needed. Metabolism and lifestyle play a part of mini pig’s weight, just as in humans. Below are feeding charts and information on feeding put out by the leaders of the mini pig feed industry and other research put out by reputable sources.
Mazuri and Manna Pro Brand Mini Pig Active Adult Feeding Recommendation