Have you ever wondered what a pig eats, or how much it would cost to feed a pig? Well, keep reading and you will find out all about the pig’s favorite foods and just how much money you can save by feeding your animal with the food you already have …food that you would normally waste.
Food and Nutritional Needs of a Pig
Pigs are, well, pigs! They eat pretty much everything that they can find to eat and lots of it. Whether they are free to roam the fields or are confined to a pen, pigs still need a variety of foods for a healthy life. Foods like leftover fruits and veggies, fresh, outdated or soured milk …oh they absolutely love milk! Grains and nuts are also needed to balance the needs in a pig’s diet as well, and it’s very important to make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink. Just like humans, pigs need water.
As humans, people have a lot of leftover food from nearly every meal that is stored in the refrigerator, but a lot of times these dishes and desserts are never eaten. What better way to keep from wasting all of that food than to save it for a pig! They do get so much pleasure from the tasty treats that we find not so tasty! So as you can see, keeping and feeding a pig can be very cost efficient!
All of the prep scraps are great too. Potato and apple peelings, apple cores, banana peels, any fruit or vegetable peeling or unused cuts are perfect to add to the scrap bucket; that’s right, a scrap bucket! You should choose one that has a tight fitting lid. Usually, a plastic three or five gallon bucket with a handle and well-sealing lid works best. After each emptying of the bucket, it can be easily rinsed out and used again.
How Many Pigs Are You Feeding?
If you are raising a single pig without having a farm, then you should probably buy a grain mix and add your household scraps to that for a great diet. However, if you have a farm and are raising several pigs, your animals will be even happier and healthier if you throw in some grass hay/alfalfa.
If you have a garden, the pigs can easily cultivate for you when the harvest is finished by eating all of the roots from previous crops. This also loosens the soil which makes it easier to prepare the land for your next planting session, and allows the pigs use their natural instincts to root. Most certainly, rooting is something that pigs all love to do. This is the best natural weed removal also. What more could a farmer want?
The Life of a Pig is Grand!
“Yep, fellas, the grass IS greener on the other side!” “Let’s call it a day, I am stuffed.” “We can start the next field tomorrow.” Can you imagine the snorts and grunts pigs make while eating turned into conversations like yours and mine? Ah, the life of a pig! Eat, sleep,eat, and mud baths!
What more can a pig want?
Have you ever been on a pig farm? When you think about a farm, what animals come to mind that you would see and enjoy? You probably see chickens, pigs, and of course cows. Okay, you may not see the pigs, but you could surely smell them. The reason you don’t see any pigs when visiting a farm is because the pig pens are usually built away from the rest of the farm so the not so pleasant smell won’t bother anyone. A pig has a very distinct odor and if you ever get close to a pig pen you will understand why!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to raise a pig as a pet?
It has been said that pigs are very clean animals when kept as a pet and out of the mud. The television shows ‘Green Acres’ and the movie ‘Charlotte’s Web’ are what most people envision when they consider what it might be like to raise a pig as a pet. Arnold, the pig from Green Acres, was smarter than most of the people of the town! He didn’t make any mess and wasn’t stinky. With Charlotte’s Web, who could not fall in love with the cuteness of that innocent and lonely little piglet named Wilbur. Even in a farm setting, Wilbur, the runt of the litter, was clean and sweet. He may not have been intended to be a pet, but thanks to Charlotte that is just what Wilbur became.
Have you ever wondered why pigs wallow in muddy and mucky water?
Pigs do not have enough sweat glands and they do not have much hair, so the mud and water help with three important problems that may occur. The water helps cool the pigs because without sweat glands they are unable to cool themselves and the soothing mud acts as a natural sun block for the skin since the hair is so sparingly, it also protects them from biting or annoying insects. When mud is not available, you may see pigs rooting up the soil. That is because the deeper the soil, the cooler it feels. Having a little kiddie pool in your yard filled with fresh water would be a wonderful treat for your little pink bundle of joy and it may keep your yard from being rooted as well.
Raising a pig as a pet can be hard work especially if the pig is not house trained. Really young pigs have to be on a diet that will keep them from getting runny stools. That kind of mess would not be pretty nor smell very good, let alone make a pig feel all that great. Once a diet is established, then you may be well on your way to a great experience with your pet.A good diet is one of the first steps to keeping the foul odor away at potty times. Always check with your vet about a diet that is right for your pig.
Did you know that you can train your pig to walk with a leash and learn what the word no means?
Pigs are very intellegent and can retain everything they learn. They can learn to open gates or doors with the help of the mechanics to do so at thier abilitly to reach them. Pigs are like a child, they can be very sneaky and will get into things for entertainment. You should be prepared to spend a lot of time interacting with your little piggy to keep him happy and healthy. They love to socialize and you may even want to get a second pig to help with the constant attention that they require. Keep in mind that pigs breed easily so you may want to get the same sex companion or if the opposite sex is what you choose you may want to have one of them spayed or neutered.
Have you ever seen a pig’s foot up close?
Did you know that a pig has four toes on each foot and the two back toes on each foot do not touch the ground when they walk? The back toes are used for balance and the toes are actually hooves just like a horse and they have to have them filed and clipped occasionally or it can cause ankle problems for them.
Enjoying Pigs On the Farm
If you ever get to enjoy a day on the farm, this is a great opportunity to find out several things you never knew about pigs. If you decide to take a piglet to keep as a pet, make sure you understand the responsibility that comes with this, and have the time to properly train, feed and care for your new little animal. If you are leasing your home or have a roommate, you’ll also want to ensure that a pet pig will be greeted with a warm welcome.
Have you ever wondered why people say piggyback when they do not ride a pig? Nor do you ever see anything being packed on the back of a pig. When you envision a large pig, the scene will usually include a muddy pig pen. You might also entertain images of a seemingly lazy pig enjoying a day in the mud, or snorting at the ground because there’s a tasty treat below the surface. If you’ve been around pig pens in the past, you might also remember the pungent aroma which is often overwhelmingly disgusting.
Piggyback: an Extortion of the English Language
The word piggyback doesn’t make sense, right? Who would want to carry anything on the back of a nasty and stinky pig? So where did this particular English terminology originate from? Piggyback was actually born by a slip of the tongue, creating the word we commonly use today. It was common practice to use one’s own back, or the back of an animal such as a horse, donkey or mule, to carry a person, package or other heavy load.
So where does a pig fit into all of this?
Think of all the words used today that are twisted and changed to carry new meanings. People today are especially bad about it. Here are some examples. Just for fun, see if you can guess the term.
- Promiscuous female versus garden tool?
- Physically ill versus super awesome?
- Broken vase versus street drugs?
- Carbonated soda versus illegal substance?
- Mechanic’s tool versus unclean woman?
- Baby bed versus cool hangout?
- Supernatural creature versus unlikable online user?
- Small body of running water versus file delivery?
- Popular bottom feeding fish versus unattractive internet dater?
The list goes on and on (oh, and you can find answers to the above questions at the end of this blog post) It is therefore no surprise that the term piggyback has an evolved meaning as well.
History of Piggybacking
In earlier times, people would use the term ‘pick a pack’ when man or beast needed to carry a heavy load. Over the years, the term was slowly changed to ‘pick a back’ which kind of makes sense, right?
Still more time passed and the term piggyback was shortened to today’s popular word, piggyback, as it rolled off the tongue easier. People found the term to be less of a mouthful, or easier to say, and the term stuck. Now, everyone associates the word piggyback with someone carrying something on their back.
Would You Consider Pig Riding?
Could you imagine someone actually riding a pig? You may be thinking that riding pigs sounds like a fun sport for young children. It would no doubt be very entertaining to watch the little ones being bounced up and down very quickly on the back of a speeding piggy! Surely, the size of the human would have to be paired with an appropriately sized pig so that the pig would not be in any pain or discomfort. The pigs would also need to be very tame for safety reasons. Since pigs do not buck like horses, and they do not try to throw off their riders like bulls, it seems like a fun idea to host a pig riding race.
Pig Races? Yes, Pigs are Quick!
Now, keep in mind that pig racing could be a very smelly sport, and perhaps not for everyone, but it would certainly draw large crowds. This is the kind of event you might find at a rodeo or a county fair, where unique entertainment is in high demand. During most rodeos in the Midwest, officiates often play rock music during bull rides and other events. The sound is typically upbeat with a lot of bass, such as ACDC’s ‘Bad to the Bone’ and Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’.
Could you imagine one of these songs playing while you were on a piggyback ride? How about Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘That Smell’? Now that would be a kicker to get those pigs moving! This thought may leave you to wonder why pig riding has never become an event for rodeo fans to enjoy. If the sport hasn’t been developed, could it be because of the smell and the mess?
Who’s in Charge of Pig Related Requests?
If the smelly mess is the only reason pig riding is not popular today, why not use only the pigs which were raised in a clean environment? Clearly, pigs are trainable or there wouldn’t be so many kept as indoor and outdoor pets. Therefore, it seems plausible to have pig trainers domesticate these pigs so they would be tame and docile enough for somewhat organized racing.
Of course, not so organized pig racing sounds like even more fun! Not only would this be highly entertaining for rodeo fans across the U.S., this could also open a plethora of new opportunities for breeders and animal trainers too. Would you attend something as unique and unusual as pig races, or flock to a rodeo advertising such a unique venue?
By the way, here are the answers to the above mentioned questions, in order.
If you can think of other common words that have evolved with entirely new meanings, leave a comment to share them on the blog!