Pigs, Hogs & Boars: Facts About Swine
Among those species are wild boars, warthogs and pygmy hogs and domestic pigs. A boar is an uncastrated male domestic pig, but it also means a wild pig of any gender. Domestic pigs are descended mainly from the wild boar and the Sulawesi warty pig, according to the Encyclopedia of Life. Boars, pigs and hogs live all over the world, except for Australia, Antarctica, northern Africa and far northern Eurasia, according to the Encyclopedia of Life. Red river hogs, also called bush pigs, are found in Africa; babirusas , or pig deer, are found in Indonesia; and Visayan warty pigs come from the Philippines. A short grunt, a longer growl and a loud roar will warn other pigs of approaching danger, according to the San Diego Zoo. The pigs’ primary defense is speed, but when cornered, their tusks can be formidable weapons. Pigs, boars and hogs are omnivores and will eat just about anything. Domestic pigs and hogs are fed feed that is made from corn, wheat, soy or barley. Free-range pigs find their own food, according to Oklahoma State University. Female pigs, called cows or sows, give birth to offspring twice a year to a litter of around 12 young. Sulawesi warty pigs are listed as “Near threatened”; bearded pigs, Palawan bearded pigs and Philippine warty pigs are “Vulnerable”; Javan warty pigs are “Endangered”; and Visayan warty pigs are “Critically endangered.” Hunting and habitat loss are cited as the causes of declining populations in these species. Domestic pigs have curly tails; wild pigs have straight tails, according to the San Diego Zoo. Winston Churchill once said, “Dogs look up to man. Cats look down to man. Pigs look us straight in the eye and see an equal.” The pig is the one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. “A pig in the poke” comes from a common trick in 17th-century England of trying to give away a cat to an unsuspecting “Shopper” for a suckling pig.
4. What should I feed my guinea pig?
A guinea pig’s main diet should consist of dried timothy hay, supplemented by pellets and fresh vegetables. If grass hay is not feasible, a legume hay such as alfalfa may be substituted, although that should be avoided if possible because too much calcium can cause bladder stones. Whichever hay you use should be available at all times. If grass hay isn’t available at your pet store–or even if it is, and you want something a lot fresher than what most pet stores sell–there are a couple companies that mail order hay. Several people have had good luck with the Oxbow Hay Company in Nebraska, which ships UPS. Three 15 oz bags of Timothy costs $11.55, including shipping and handling. This is a family business and the number goes into their home, so you may get an answering machine sometimes even during office hours. It helps if you leave numbers where you can be reached both by day and in the evening. If you are concerned about your guinea pig becoming obese, you should probably limit pellets to a small amount per day. They should also get a cup or two of fresh vegetables daily–aim for ones with high vitamin C, which guinea pigs need to keep healthy. Avoid iceberg lettuce, since it has next to no nutritional value, and can cause gas and other more serious health difficulties. Other than that, most fresh vegetables and fruits that are safe for humans are safe for guinea pigs. A list of some vegetables with high vitamin C content is below, thanks to Dr. Susan Brown from America OnLine’s “Ask A Vet”. Keep in mind that guinea pigs need about 10 mg of vitamin C per day, so if you aren’t giving them the appropriate amount of the high-C foods below on a daily basis, you will need to give vitamin C supplements. Crushed chewable C vitamins dissolved in the water works well for this. The following chart shows the vitamin C content in milligrams of 1 cup portions of selected foods.
Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
Rabbits in the wild spend more than half their time above ground eating grass and similar foods. Therefore the bulk of your rabbits’ diet should be grass or good quality hay and a rough guide is that they need a pile of at least their own body size every day! Rabbits produce a soft form of poo in the morning which they eat straight from their bottom so that they have a second chance to get nutrition from their grass and hay. Rabbits pick out the bits they like and leave the rest, leading to an unbalanced diet. The food is almost too easy to eat compared to grass so their teeth overgrow which can have fatal consequences and many rabbits eat too much so become overweight. Rabbits would not naturally eat fruits and they are high in sugars and can quickly make your rabbit fat. Rabbits can become ill very quickly so you need to check them twice a day for signs of problems. Rabbits teeth continually grow, so allowing them to graze as they would in the wild will help maintain their oral health and help to wear down the teeth. Rabbits are social animals so it is recommended that you have 2 rabbits, a neutered male and neutered female. Make sure your rabbits are vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. Rabbits can pick up fleas, lice, mites and other parasites. Remember, like rabbits they are also prey animals, so you need to make sure that their accommodation is safe, secure and predator proof. Like Rabbits the Guinea Pigs gut is constantly active, so they need to be able to graze. For this reason you can feed a Rabbit with Guinea Pig food but you should never feed a Guinea Pig with Rabbit food. Like Rabbits, the Guinea Pigs teeth continually grow, so allowing them to graze as they would in the wild will help maintain their oral health and help to wear down the teeth. It is not recommended to keep Guinea Pigs together with Rabbits as this can lead to bullying of the Guinea Pig.