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  1. #1
    jlocicero's Avatar
    jlocicero is offline Junior Member
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    what should pigs eat?

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    My wife and I are trying to find some good quality pork. When it comes to buying beef, lamb and chickens, we feel we understand what to look for. But pork is a mystery!

    What should the pigs we eat, eat? It's cold where we live (Edmonton, Alberta), and so a lot of the farms feed their pigs rations that include grain or soy, if the pork is to be available year-round. I'm sure we could find a farmer who raises pigs the right way, but we just need to know what way that is. (All farmers think they are doing it right, even when they feed their cows corn...)

    Can anyone help? Thanks!

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    elorajade's Avatar
    elorajade is offline Senior Member
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    They're scavengers, they eat anything and everything.

    Check with the strathcona market vendors, they would be quite knowledgeble.

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    jlocicero's Avatar
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    Thanks for the answer, but I guess I'm asking what they should eat. Just like cows can eat grain, they aren't designed to eat it and the quality of the meat suffers.

    Is it the same with pigs?

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    elorajade's Avatar
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    From what I've read their digestive tracts are much like ours, so I think the short answer would be the same things that WE should eat.

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    lecz0r is offline Senior Member
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    Wild pigs will eat practically anything, but their primary diet is leaves and grasses, roots, fruits and flowers.
    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Pot-Belli...d-Pig-Diet.htm

    ... acorns are a favorite food...
    shrub-lands, tall grass lands, and areas where reeds are abundant.
    And just like them the wild boar eats nearly anything, shrubs, grass, weeds, bird eggs, snakes ( domestic pigs are great snake killers too), grasshoppers, mice, baby and young rabbits,roots, tubers, seeds, nuts, acorns, mushrooms, ( domestic pigs are used to hunt truffles) carrion,( as recently as the 19th century soldiers feared dying in battle and being eaten by wild boars), even manure.


    http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/21760

    Based off this info I'd suspect that you don't need to worry much about specifically what they eat so long as it is found in the wild - I would be suspicious if they were being fed pellets or something man-made as it might have stuff in it that you wouldn't want them to be eating (chemicals, hormones, etc). Grain certainly seems like something they'd eat... but prolly not much of, since they spent most of their time in areas with little grain producing vegetation. If you are getting meat from a local farmer I think you've got the ideal situation - avoid super market specials with mass produced CAFO meat of any sort.

  6. #6
    KC's Avatar
    KC
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    Hi jlocicero,

    I'm not sure what they're supposed to eat, but my husband and I just purchased an entire pig (we're in Ontario) and we were lucky to find a farmer who was eager to seek out an alternate to the usual soy and corn. Although the pig was somewhat pastured, there's no avoiding supplemental feed in our climate. I believe the feed consisted of barley and field pea, and we supplied some ripe fruit as well. So far, the pork has been delicious. I'd like to think it has an improved Omega 6 to 3 ratio but there's really no way of knowing for certain.

    Now, if I could only find a similarly enthusiastic source for pastured poultry ) What on earth did creatures eat before soy and corn?

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    norcalgal's Avatar
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    kc
    sounds like that pig was raised pretty well. pigs eat the same as us in that they are omnivores. but they are definitely not as specialized as we are! they can also digest cellulose in which we cannot. so grass, alfalfa, field sweet peas. all fine.
    "The first wealth is health."
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    jlocicero's Avatar
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    Thank you for the responses! I think we will be happiest to find pork from pigs who were allowed to rummage around in the field/forest - free range pork, I guess.

    So any definitive information on pigs eating soy beans? Does that affect the quality of the pork? There is a local farmer who uses soy, not exclusively, but soy always sounds alarms for us.

    Thanks!

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