Why Are Pigs Always Hungry?

Mammalian Animal Facts
/ / Why Are Pigs Always Hungry?

If I ask you what animal comes to mind just by giving you the clue that “eats a lot” you will undoubtedly think immediately of the pig.

Pigs eat a lot and eat everything, they have the ability to eat things that other animals can not eat, where does so much voracity come from?

Does the pig really eat too much or is it simply perception and stigma?

Without a doubt, the pig is not even close to being one of the biggest eaters in nature. In fact, many of the animals that eat the most, such as the shrew, are very small and do so because their metabolic activity is very high.

Although the pig could be considered an omnivorous animal, in reality it is essentially vegetarian.

The fact that a pig is always hungry may be due to the fact that pigs are generally quite heavy in weight, and need a certain amount of food daily to meet their caloric requirements. Pigs also produces a lot of glucose and insulin in its body, due to the constant intake of refined carbohydrates.

As an animal that consumes a lot of vegetables, meeting these caloric requirements induces it to eat a lot.

The pig is a non-ruminant animal, in fact, the digestive system of the pig is quite similar to that of the human being, being a simple one-compartment digestive system.

In pigs there can be 2 situations that serve as a signal to stop eating: in the first, energy needs are satisfied before the stomach is filled, satiety is said to be under physiological control.

The second situation, filling of the stomach before energy needs are satisfied. Then, satiety is said to be under physical control. 

It is important in farm animals such as pigs that, from a production point of view, satiety is under physiological control so that the animal can eat as much as it needs.

The satiety signal in pigs starts in their brain, and can take different forms:

  • Gastric: distention of the stomach
  • oropharyngeal: movement of jaw muscles
  • Intestinal: regulation at the hormonal level
  • hepatic: regulation through the liver.

Hunger signal in the pig

The hunger signal in pigs depends on plasma glucose concentration. The hunger signal is given by a drop in blood glucose concentration.

However, this drop is very slight and short-lived because the organism tends to keep the plasma glucose concentration constant thanks to homeostasis.

Homeostasis is the internal equilibrium of living beings. The hunger signal is picked up by the hunger center.

What to do if you notice that your pig chokes when it eats?

If you notice your pig coughing or gagging a little while eating dry pellets, try moistening his food. Simply measure out the appropriate amount and add enough warm water to cover more than the serving. 

Wait a few moments for the food to absorb the moisture and serve. Some pigs prefer their food to be oatmeal in consistency.

Dry feed can be dangerous. The food can get stuck in the esophagus so the pig cannot swallow completely and may even rupture the esophagus. 

Therefore, wet food is recommended. In order to provide good dental health, make sure your pigs have rough things to chew on, such as the raw skin of some of the other recommended dental products for dogs.

How long can a pig go without food?

It is a very common practice among farmers who have pigs and are used to transport them from one place to another, to put them on fasting.

Fasting in this specific case is done in order to avoid nausea and vomiting in the pigs while they are being transported. In general, a pig can withstand a fast of 18 to 24 hours.

During a fasting period a pig can lose 2.6 kg of weight in the first 12 hours and 5.3 kg in 24 hours. This loss is mainly of intestinal contents, but also of tissues.

Why are all pigs fat?

Pigs are vegetarians. Pigs don’t eat meat, pigs don’t eat fat and yet they produce a lot of fat.

How can they make so much fat if they don’t eat fat? How can they always be fat if they don’t eat meat?

The main reason why pigs are always fat is due to their diet, and the level of glucose in their blood, specifically the intake of refined carbohydrates.

But there are two kinds of carbohydrates, refined and natural.

The natural carbohydrate that is highly recommended we are talking about is in its natural state, in vegetables, salads, even fruits when they are not tropical fruits that are very sweet.

 Natural carbohydrate does not tend to be very fattening because it does not have a high concentration of fructose nor is it easily converted into glucose, which is what makes the body fat.

Glucose is the main food of all the cells in the body, everything in the body runs on glucose, the brain, the bones, the cells, the organs, everything runs on the main fuel of the body which is called glucose. 

When you consume a lot of refined carbohydrate a lot of glucose is produced, and when a lot of glucose is produced, a lot of insulin is going to be produced. 

Pigs generally always maintain very high levels of insulin in their bodies, due to the consumption of refined carbohydrates and the production of glucose in their bodies.

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