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Pet Pig Care Guide

Updated on July 23, 2015

“Don’t be such a pig” is something you might hear if you pile food onto your plate at a dinner buffet with your family. This phrase didn’t come about “just because;” pigs eat an abundance of food and a wide variety! Before we really go into what they eat, let’s learn a bit about the animal itself.

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What Do Pigs Look Like?

Pigs are typically pink or black in color and have a rather wiry fur coat. Their ears usually come to a point and can flop over, stick up, or stick out to the sides.

If you have ever heard someone refer to another’s nose as a “pig nose,” then they likely meant this as an insult because the pig has quite the snout! It sticks out pretty far with a flat front containing large nostrils.

If you’ve ever seen those pickled pig’s feet in those jars at a butcher shop, you know, those ones that make you question who would even buy them, then you likely know that pigs feet contain cloven hooves comprised of four toes: Two main toes and two smaller toes.

Oh! And we can’t forget to mention those adorable, curly tails on their behinds; it’s one of the pig’s most distinctive features!

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What Types of Pigs are There?

With more than 70 different breeds of pigs, it’s no surprise that they are native to many places around the world!

But in America, the most common breeds for slaughter and market are American Landrace, American Yorkshire, Berkshire, Chester White, Duroc, Hampshire, Poland China and Spots.

Yes, slaughter. Though pigs can be found in the wild, they are often raised as livestock so that you can eat your bacon in the morning and have a nice plump ham on Christmas Day.

Not all of them get killed though as many people raise pigs as family pets, commonly pot-bellied pigs; these are the ones that are cute and normally clean.

The lifespan of a domesticated pig can range from nine to 15 years, whereas pigs only survive in the wild for about six to eight years.

If you’ve ever been forced to clean your room because it “looks like a pigsty in there” (eyeroll), then it’s probably a good thing because pigs are not afraid to get down and dirty! As a matter of fact, some pigs that appear to be black or grey may actually be pink under all of that dirt!

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What Do Pigs Eat?

When asking ‘what do pigs eat?’ a good, short answer might be: Pigs are truly nature’s garbage disposals, period.

Pigs are omnivores which means that they eat both animals and plants.

Along with plenty of water, pigs consume large amounts of plant material in any given day. Water is extremely essential to a pig’s diet as the pig is one-half to two-thirds water. In other words, if you ever own a pig or ten, make sure that they always have clean water to drink.

They don’t have that snout for no reason, either! This snout serves a very important function; it not only helps them to smell things, but to dig for food!

Because of their nose, they are excellent foragers both in the wild and domesticated, and require enough space and available plant material to do so. If you give a pig a bath, their nose might just be the first part of them to get dirty, with the rest soon to follow, of course.

If pigs can’t find plants to eat, that’s okay because they might just decide to snack on worms, bugs, or a rotting carcass of some sort that they found in their foraging ventures.

Corn is a very tasty treat for pigs and is often given to them in their feed, but it must be treated as more of a snack as corn alone does not contain essential nutrients for a pig’s diet. They would, however, eat corn all day long for the rest of their lives, given the opportunity, as pigs are by no means picky eaters. With a pig, anything is fair game as long as it’s edible.

Hopefully if you were Googling ‘What do pigs eat?’ you were given a good enough answer. Keep reading for a few fun pig facts!

Pet Pigs

Fun Facts About Pigs

  • The world record for the heaviest pig was a pig out of Tennessee in 1933, Big Bill. Big Bill truly earned his name, weighing in at a whopping 2,552 lbs!

  • Pigs are actually very intelligent animals!

  • Though pigs can get really dirty, they know to keep their bathroom areas away from their food!

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