When most people imagine a pig’s diet, they envision a pig being the happy recipient of leftovers and scraps. Few realize that this in no way constitutes a healthy diet for a pig. The average lifespan of an industrial-breed pig (if they were left to live out their life) would be six to ten years. Like most animals bred to be eaten, pigs in the industry are bred to become very large, very quickly. It is not cost effective to have a pig live a long life, as the cost of feeding and keeping them healthy will quickly eat away at profits. This quick and excessive weight gain leads to hoof/leg issues and other health problems that reduce the pig’s well-being and lifespan.
While our sweet girls Anna and Maybelle had the good fortune of escaping slaughter by jumping off a transport truck in 2015, they still bear the burden of man’s interference with their physical health. We pledge to do everything in our power to give Anna and Maybelle the long, healthy lives they deserve. Along with exercise, wellness checks, and affection, one of best things we can do for them is give them a wholesome, healthy diet. With a good diet and a leaner body, we hope to increase their longevity, improve their health, avoid physical ailments, and keep their coats shiny and healthy.
Anna and Maybelle’s Daily Delight
Anna and Maybelle are fed twice a day. The girls get separate feeding bowls and we try to watch them eat so that we know how much food they’re each getting. This can be hard because they’re very good at sharing!
Each bowl contains the following ingredients:
- Champion Pig Food by Ross Mill Farm (softened with water)
Most pig food is designed to promote fast growth and is generally made with fillers, preservatives and animal by-products. Anna and Maybelle’s pig food was formulated by leading experts and veterinarians and is nutritionally complete and balanced to promote good health and disposition.
- “Yummy toppers” – Broccoli, Squash, Tofu, Beans, Kale, Romaine Lettuce
Pigs need a varied diet to stay healthy and so we rotate their produce on a regular basis. When buying canned beans we are careful to buy sodium-free, because too much salt is dangerous to their health. We also limit the amount of fruit they get since the sugar content is so high.
- A Generous Squeeze of Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is also great for keeping their skin shiny.
(*remember that flaxseed oil should always be stored in the refrigerator).
In addition to their daily meals, the girls always have access to:
- Plenty of Clean, Fresh Water
- Fresh Grass
In the spring and summer the girls graze on the grass pastures and root for tubers. This provides natural probiotics and also much-needed mental and physical exercise. Pigs can gain weight quickly when they have access to rich pasture (which our girls do depending on the season) so we always monitor their weight and change feed amounts accordingly.
Want to inspire your kids to eat as healthy as Anna and Maybelle? Try this super fun Lil’ Squeal Project: