In my last article, I touched upon some nutritious feed ingredients pigs need to stay healthy. Farm animal feed comprises a large portion of our national corn supply, but certain types are not always good for your pig. For pigs 100 pounds and over, they need feed that is 80 percent carbs and roughly 20 percent protein. Meats can also be an essential part of the diet, since pigs are omnivores. And you must also keep vitamins and nutrients in mind.
Pigs need the same nutrients as humans.
In order proceed with knowing what to feed your pig, try portioning out your ingredients by separating the carbs from the proteins. Carbs can come in the form of corn, grains or wheat. Protein can be meat, rye, sunflower seeds and alfalfa. Consult your local vet to see what portions are good for the ages of your pigs.
If you're making your own pig feed, it is best to follow the same rule when making compost for your plants. Always portion the amount you're making, and never make more feed than necessary to avoid rotting slop.
The healthiest pig feed you can find will be the organic variety, and yes, there are supply chains that have them, but you have to know where to look. If you cannot find organic feed at your local farmer supply chain, then there are a number of online stores that have them.
But to give you an idea of what's in organic pig feed, here is a list of some key ingredients.
Organic Soybean Meal
Organic Dried Whey
And the list goes on.
Basically, any ingredient that is plant and mineral based is ideal for your pig. Any chemical with over five syllables is an artificial ingredient not worth feeding the pig. And you can find organic pig starter and finisher feed for around $30, depending on where you look. Starter feed is for pigs that weigh 20 pounds and the finisher variety is for hogs weighing 70 pounds and over.
And the great thing about these ingredients is that you can buy all of them from your local vitamin or supply store with no problem if you choose to make your own feed. It is a great way for your pig to stay healthy, and to avoid feed that will eventually harm your pigs over time.
The Problem with GMOs
The fact is that GMOs, cross-genetic seeds that are regularly sold on the market, are not fit for any living creature, including your pig. All you need to do is look up photo after photo of lab mice that have been plagued with tumors from eating genetically modified corn. GMOs have also been linked with organ failure and cancer in humans. While corn is an essential ingredient in a pig's diet, GMO corn is not good for the animal, or any other livestock creature you may have.
And it has been shown through a recent study that GMO-based feed has left pigs with stomach inflammation. While not every pig is going to get sick from genetically modified food, it is something to be aware of. It is already very difficult spotting GMO food at your local grocery, and the same applies for pig feed. But a good rule to follow is to avoid anything that does not carry an organic label sticker on it. If you're interested in avoiding GMO feed for your pigs, look for the USDA-certified organic sticker on it.
And you don't have to go organic as well; conventional feed will do just fine, as long as they're not GMO-based.
It will not only be good for your pig, but it may also spare you some hefty vet bills down the road.