Nutrition and the potbellied pig are a complex concern. There are many variables to consider. Potbellied Pigs are omnivorous animals; therefore, they will eat anything. They don't have a thalamus so they think they are. constantly hungry.
They will do anything for food! Keeping this in mind, you as a concerned pig parent must help your pet control her urge to indulge in foods that are not good for her. To help your pet pig live a long and healthy life; NAPPA includes these considerations for your review.
It should be noted by all potbellied pig pet owners that pigs are just like humans concerning their metabolisms. Some pigs can get fat on 2 cups of pig food a day and some will need much more to maintain a healthy body weight. It is imperative to closely watch the development and weight gain of your potbellied pig. Because food makes her so happy, it is easy to overfeed her. This overfeeding can most certainly lead to severe disabling diseases and physical problems. In the extreme case overfeeding your potbellied pig can cause her a very premature death. On the other hand, by underfeeding your pet pig, in the hopes of keeping her small, you do your pet a grave disservice. The skeletal size of a potbellied pig is directly related to her genetic makeup and not to the amount of food she is given. By underfeeding her, you are not allowing her to develop in a positive physical and mental manner. Again, in the extreme cases of underfeeding your potbellied pig, you can cause a very premature death . A method of determining if your pig is in good body condition is to place you fingers on her back at her hip bones and press down gently. You should feel a layer of muscle between your fingers and her hip bone. You should never have to search for her bones under a fat layer or see her bones through her skin. Also the fat around your pig's eyes should not be so abundant that you cannot see her eyes. Your pig should be able to have adequate vision, even if she has small eyes. Your pig's nutritional care is directly tied to her emotional and physical well-being. Remember too much and the wrong types of food can kill or cripple your pet pig. ..
Your pig should be eating a starter ration free choice until she is weaned. Then a piglet should be limited to one cup of food daily. As she matures to 3 months of age, gradually increase her intake to 1-1 /2 cups of feed per day; At the same time begin to move her to a maintenance level potbellied pig feed. It is suggested that you mix the two feeds together as you gradually decrease the starter ration and increase the maintenance ration.
Pigs this age need approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups of a maintenance ration per day. This amount should be divided into at least two meals -- one in the morning and one in the afternoon or early evening.
A daily salad of fresh vegetables is recommended. NAPPA suggests that you limit the intake of fruits due to the unneeded extra calories and the potential harm of too much sugar in your pig's diet. It is suggested that you allow your pig daily outside grazing time. Other acceptable special treats for your pet pig are unbuttered, unsalted popcorn, all natural cereals or crackers that contain NO salt or sugar, and fresh and dehydrated fruits or vegetables. You may choose to give your pig supplemental vitamins, if you deem it necessary.