There is many a joke to that question, such as, what won't they eat!? But in reality, I could give you that list - and it would be as long and demanding as Beyonce's rider.
Pigs, like many animals in the world, are omnivores. However unlike the stereotypical omnivore, pigs will not hunt for their prey and do not eat meat from birds, bovines or other swines. Rather, pigs are known for rooting in the soil for grub, worms and insects. Due to their nutritional requirements and size, this accounts for a very small part of their diet. Largely, pigs stick to a vegan friendly lifestyle - which is what we maintain at the sanctuary.
There are several viable options of food to choose from when shopping for your potbelly pig, however such as choosing food for yourself, each pig's dietary preferences are unique to the individual and can change depending on the day, weather and their mood. I have heard success from many people who feed potbelly pig formulated pellets, others who feed an equine grain called Step 4: Rocky Mountain Crunch, and others who feed a human equivalent diet. I personally have tried out all of the options with Buddy and Billy before deciding on their current meal plan.
So what does a typical day's menu look like for our pigs? Let's take a look at their food selections from today... (Don't worry, baby Olivia eats a little less than the boys!)
Bistro de Piglet
Breakfast - to be served between 8am and 9am
1/2 cup of raisin bran
1 cup of Step 4 grain
1/2 a bartlet pear
1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut almond milk
Lunch - to be served between 12pm and 1pm
1/4 head of romaine lettuce
1/2 cup of baby spinach
1/2 cup of fresh kale
1/2 an avocado
Handful of garlic croutons
Handful of unsalted peanuts
Snack Time - to be served between 3pm and 4pm
Snack ball filled with a mixture of rolled and cracked oats, shared among them and...
1/2 a red apple, sliced
Topped with crunchy peanut butter
Dinner - to be served between 7pm and 8pm
1/2 cup of multigrain Cheerios
1 cup of Step 4 grain
1/2 a banana
1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
So there you have it! Surprisingly, their meals are not so different from many people's choices (aside from the grain that is). We give our pigs as much independence as possible, which includes changing up their menu routinely to avoid boredom, switching foods if one develops a dislike and accommodating their preferences such as warm oatmeal for breakfast on a cold rainy morning.
The payout of watching them enjoy their food is amazing. The way they sift through their bowls, picking out their favourite parts to eat first - and leaving their least favourite (most often the veggies!) for last. Their enthusiastic open mouthed chomping as they revel in the flavours. The pure joy they experience from food is unapologetic, grateful bliss. I wish I could attack my meals with the same excitement and vigour as the pigs do. They never apologize for feeling everything in the now, and appreciating even the smallest of life's offerings.
So the next time someone tells you that you eat like a pig - I'd say you Thank You! (But maybe, close your mouth when you chew.)