Pot Bellied Pigs/Horse feed for mini pig?
I take in rescues occasionally (usually dogs, cats, rats, hamsters, etc) but I was called to take in a mini/pot belly piglet (roughly 8 weeks) who I am picking up this Monday. I agreed seeing as I have a small farm as it is, though I plan on keeping him indoors for now until its warmer when he'll then be an indoor/outdoor pig.
Anyway, I'm confused about feeding. I was doing some research, and I found a few sites that said you can feed them horse feed as long as it has B Complex and isn't sweet feed with a ratio of 50% horse feed mixed with 50% rabbit feed. Is this accurate?
I really liked the sound of Mazuri food, but I would have to order online and its really pricey. As a rescue, I run off donations and I just wouldn't be able to consistently afford that so I want something I can rely on having at all times.
So, my question is, would this be an adequate diet along with veggies? Or is there a way I can mix my own feed?
Thank you so very much!
When it comes to feed, the stuff inside the bag is more important than the name on the outside. The best food is one balanced for pot-bellied pigs. If you have a source for horse feed, ask them about pot-bellied pig food. Their distributor may carry a house brand, or they may be able to get a national brand for you.
Complete horse pellets (not sweet feed) is very close to pot-bellied pig food, but it is higher in copper. Sweet feed has molasses which makes pigs fat. Hog chow is Ok in an emergency but not for long term use. Some multi-animal feeds may be good, too.
Look at the ingredient list and look for recognizable things, like alfalfa or oats. Avoid feeds with ingredients like "animal products" or "animal by-products". Look for low protein (12% - 14%) and fairly low fat. Experts now think too little fat in a long term diet may contribute to joint problems, this is just one of many other issues, like chronic skin problems, that can develop when pigs are fed food intended for other animals for a long time.
Some large scale sanctuaries use horse feed because it's cheaper than pot-bellied pig food. These sanctuaries supplement with veggies, fruits, and grazing time. I know people have used a couple of pounds of rabbit food in a pinch when nothing else was available. I don't personally know of anyone who has used rabbit food long term because it's much more expensive than pot-bellied pig food. But if someone is donating free rabbit food to you, and the ingredients on the rabbit food look wholesome, it could not hurt to try a pig/rabbit blend. Personally I would stick to a 25%-30% rabbit, the rest pot-bellied pig. Of course, keep an eye on piggy's weight and health in general.