What do pigs eat?
Pigs are omnivores. This means they eat all kinds of things. They can eat vegetables, fruit and even bugs. Humans are omnivores too. We can eat plants and animals.
Farmers have to know a lot about pigs to make a healthy pig diet. A diet is the combination of foods that a pig eats to stay healthy and grow.
Most farmers use corn or soybean meal as the main ingredient in a pig diet. Many farmers add an ingredient called dried whey for protein and sugar. Dried whey comes from milk. The sugar gives pigs energy, and the protein in dried whey helps pigs grow strong muscles.
Farmers also give pigs important minerals. A mineral called limestone is a good source of calcium. Calcium helps pigs grow strong bones. Dicalcium phosphate is another good source of calcium.
Farmers also add salt and vitamins to a pig diet. You eat salt and vitamins in your diet too!
Many people want to raise pigs that are bigger and even healthier. To do this, scientists have to study what pigs eat. A person who studies swine diets is called a swine nutritionist.
Swine nutritionists have discovered that farmers can use chocolate candy to replace dried whey. Chocolate candy is also a good source of sugar and protein. Maybe a candy bar isn't so bad every once in a while...