Feeding your Hogs, Pigs, and Boars
Any person who keeps pigs, either as pets or is a breeder, knows you can never overestimate how much they can eat. But, while pigs are omnivores, you shouldn’t feed them purely with scraps, and whatever else you find lying around your home. That’s why we have taken the liberty of writing this short little guide on how exactly you should feed your hogs, pigs, and boars.
Do note that, while these three animals are technically different species of the Suidae family, they are essentially biologically very similar. All of the aspects regarding diet and dietary habits in the text below will apply to all of them unless stated otherwise.
Feeding Hogs, Pigs and Boars
Now, domesticated pigs, while omnivores, still need a balanced diet. For example, wild hogs will eat flowers, leaves, mushrooms, tree bark, but will also eat carcasses, insects, worms…. The point is, they subsist on both animal and plant matter, and do so with relative ease. As they are nonruminant animals (have a single stomach, unlike cows), the food they eat must be very rich in energy. In the wild, these animals will find whatever they can, but there are still some things you should know if you plan to feed them yourself.
Now, the amount. A sow should get 2.5 kg of feed per day, while one that is lactating should get an extra quarter kilo of food per piglet. Boars should get around 2 kg of feed per day, while piglets should get between 0.5 to 1.0 kg of supplemental food during their nursing period.
What Hogs, Pigs, and Boars like to eat
Now, that being said, pigs are the happiest and healthiest when you give them a concentrated grain diet. Now, this diet should be low in fiber, but have some kind of protein supplementation in it, so the pigs can actually grow some muscle. Corn is a great choice since it doesn’t have a lot of fiber, as are oats, barley, and hay. You can also give them carrots and other vegetables as a treat. Giving meat to a domesticated pig may not be the best idea, which is why fortifying their feed with protein is a good choice (more on supplements later in the text). Also, don’t put too much protein, as giving them a diet that is more than 15 percent protein can result in serious and unhealthy weight gain.
As far as treats are concerned, you can also give them whole grain cereal, unsalted and un-buttered popcorn, and even cheese (in small amounts). Also, keep in mind that while it is good that you feed them fruits and vegetables, keep in mind that there is a limit and that more is not always better. At a certain point, they get all the vitamins they need and get too much sugar in their system.
Best time to feed Hogs, Pigs, and Boars
Now, the healthiest way to feed your pigs, hogs, and boars is twice a day, once in the morning, and then in the evening. However, the amount, obviously, depends on the size of your swine, as well as its age. They sleep for around nine to eleven hours every day and are diurnal animals.
There is one important point you need to keep in mind, especially if your porkers are free range, and that is the winter. Now, according to the time of year, you can relax if the weather is nice and there are pastures around where they can forage. From spring to autumn you can get away with giving them a standard diet (while giving them much more water during the hot summer days), and even reduce their food intake based on how much they forage during the day. However, cold weather can be a problem. Now, probably the most important part of preparing your animals for the winter is to actually feed them correctly, in advance. If they are healthy and (adequately) fat, they will not only survive but will also thrive during the cold winter months.
Now, if you have given them adequate and high-quality food before winter, they should be healthy and strong. During the winter, it’s best if you feed them with hay. Also, you can and should supplement their diet with real fruit, like apples and pumpkins. Also, if you let your pigs forage around and if you have a forest nearby, you can let them go into said forest, and eat some acorns, or other kinds of nuts. This will not only give them some extra food but will also protect them, since the trees in the forest serve as natural windbreaks.
Attracting Hogs, Pigs, and Boars
A couple of quick tips on attracting hogs. Since hogs are predominately driven by scent, a good idea would be to get a creosote post. They are especially attracted by the scent of this kind of lumber and will come in droves rub themselves on it. Another good idea is to set up a barrel in an area near hog territory and fill it with corn kernels. A good idea is to rub the barrel with some berry scent since this can also help attract them from afar. And finally, you can get some actual chemicals that mimic scents that attract boars the most (like sow-in-heat scent), and spray them around the area where you wish to lure them.
Best Hog Food Plots
Another good idea to lure them in is to plant a food plot. Now, for those of you who don’t know, a food plot is a small patch of land near wildlife that can act as a supplement to their diet. This can help you lure some animals where you want them to go, but can also simply help the animals reproduce, and spread, giving you more opportunities to catch and hunt them. Now, for boars and hogs, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. First, plant away from the road, and make an irregular pattern and shape, so as to look more natural. It’s best if you plant wheat, corn, and barley since they really like these foods. You can, of course, plant other types of plants, but hogs either don’t like them as much or are simply too much of a hassle to grow.
Hog, Boar and Pig Nutrition
Now, as we have already mentioned, giving actual meat to domesticated pigs is a bad idea. Doing this makes room for diseases to occur. That’s why protein supplements must be a part of their diet, in one form or another. You should get pig feed that has protein in it already. Calcium is also important. Furthermore, assorted minerals and vitamins should also be part of their diet, and it won’t hurt if you get some feed that has these in it. Though, of course, remember that all this will be useless without actually feeding them some actual fruit and vegetables from time to time.
Also, here’s one quick tip. These animals prefer their food wet. While you can obviously put some water in a trough, a good idea would be to mix in some milk (goat milk is the best in our opinion). This will give them a nice boost in calories, as well as both protein and calcium.
Now, with all this out of the way, we picked out a couple of products for you that may prove useful.
Pig, Boar and Hog Feeder
Miller’s CO Single Door hog feeder
Now, you obviously need to find a way to feed your hogs, and throwing the food on the ground is very ineffective and wasteful, not to mention it will make it a lot harder to track exactly how much they eat. Now, this thing can be mounted on a wall, or a rail, but can also stand on its own. It’s made from galvanized steel, so it will definitely last for some time. Also, the feed door is made so that the pigs can use it easily, but will keep moisture and bugs out. This gives you a great and efficient way to feed your animals.
Hog, Boar and Pig Waterer
Miller’s Stock Waterer
This waterer has a capacity of 68.8 oz. and is made from galvanized steel, and it has room for half inch pipe or hose to be connected to it. It’s great for any kind of hog, pig or boar (and can be used by dogs and horses as well). It’s also very easy to install.
Hog, Pig and Boar Feed
Nutrena Pig Feed
We have mentioned how you should feed your animals, and here is an excellent example of what quality feed should look like. This is an deluxe mix made by a company that has been in the business for a while. It’s a mix meticulously designed to really make your swine stand out and be as healthy & big as possible. However, if you aren’t in the business of buying particular feed for your swine, you can always get a slop together to be administered via a trough and that is always fine too.
In closing, this should provide a wealth of information to those interested in feeding their swine properly. If you need any more information or have any suggestions, do not hesitate to leave a suggestion below in the comment section. Thank you for your reading and I hope you have enough information to keep your swine healthy and happy!