Food & Swine

feeding time

Halle Pig Feed

“Mooooooooom!  Are we going to have lunch soon?’ This is a typical question around most homes if lunchtime hasn’t occurred by 12:30 p.m.  The typical answer to the “when is lunch?” question is not usually “You are not eating until your pigs do.”  That’s the answer today in our house. It is a great lesson for the little humans.  There was no resistance, just a desire to help throw the feed together again and document it for you!  After the feeding, we’ll be eating some Old Fashioned Potato Soup (my Grandma Madeline’s recipe I’ll post soon) but until then we’re making a pig-meal!

Many have asked, what exactly goes into making a feeding for these little ones?  We’ll show you.  While Dad is out working today we’re pig-sitting and feeding quite frequently to catch these guys up.  I should let you know that their status is not as critical as it was yesterday.  Steady and holding for now is the best I can do without over-committing and telling you I think they’ll all survive the coming weeks.  They’re doing better than they were.  We’ll stick to that.  After my update post yesterday I got offers of human breastmilk, help to find goat’s milk and more.  I am so appreciative of my family and friends following this little story, your kind words and hopes keep this little adventure interesting! (*A side note: on 12/23 before the Mama sow died I had told my husband that I wished we could find some leftover-out dated human breast milk to give them because I thought that’d be just the thing to help them.  Now that we’re getting them to dry feed we’re hoping it won’t be necessary to give them but such a nice offer from a fellow-baker-new mama friend.)

Here’s what goes into 1 feeding for the 4 piglets.  (Step By Step photos below!)

Gather 2 glass bowls. (They had these for $1 at Target and they are just the right size.) Mix the whole feeding in 1 bowl, then at the end divide the mixture between 2 bowls and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

1/2 tsp BlueLite by TechMix (water soluble hydration product for pigs)

4 scoops Similac Infant formula (we have used Alimentum and now we have another type but very similar and more plant based which is seeming to really help the pigs.)

2 tsp Cherry Jell-O (regular cherry Jell-O, not sugar free)

3 heaping TBSP instant mashed potato flakes, plain

scant 1/4 C Ultra Care Gel by Land O’ Lakes (nutrition for pigs weighing 7-15 lbs.)

Gather all dry ingredients into 1 bowl.  Set aside.  Microwave Ultra Care Gel for 25 seconds.  Add 1/2 C hot water to dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Add Ultra Care Gel and stir until incorporated.  Divide mixture into 2 portions.  Serving warm to pigs born on 12/23/13.

Here’s the BlueLite to get them vital electrolytes: (in our big barns this is administered through the waterers)

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Then onto the infant formula powder:

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Then some Cherry Jell-O to make it IRRESISTIBLE!

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Mashed potato flakes to give them some energy and bind their stool up a bit.  This is all for the dry ingredients.  Set them aside while you get the rest of the concoction ready to go!

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Onto the Ultra Care Gel, this will give them everything they need to be more of a pig and less of a human!  Ha!

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Get a nice scant 1/4 C for the 4 wee ones. Yes, it looks totally disgusting.  Smells okay, but let me tell you, the consistency of all of this would make me puke if I were pregnant.  Thank goodness I am not.  Definitely NOT!

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Gotta warm up this scrumptious nutritious stuff… 25 seconds in the microwave!

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While you warm the gel up… get your tap water ragin’ hot! 1/2 cup of it will do.

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Now, pour this hot water over your dry ingredients.

Stir them well until they are combined, then pour the gel feed over the top.

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Mix well until you have a homogenous paste.  (If it is too thin, go ahead and add a few more potato flakes.)

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Divide mixture between 2 dishes.  Serve immediately.

*We have to push the bedding back away from the front corners of the pen, place each container in the 2 corners (away from the heat lamp) and run away because the pigs get excited and want to jump and see us which means they jump in their food!  We return within 10 minutes and this mixture is devoured.  Thank goodness!

I am just realizing that I wrote this as if it were a recipe you’d make yourself.  Ha!  I know you won’t but maybe someone out there in the world will see this and be able to save their tiny orphan pigs.

For now… time to eat human lunch!

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  • Reply r January 6, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    I love your writing style and the pics of the kiddiepoos. I can’t believe how big they are getting, especially little miss.

  • Reply r January 7, 2014 at 12:10 am

    I keep mine like a regular recipe at the barn too. Not all pigs need the same thing at the same time and my hubby does chores if something comes up with Monster. Then he knows what goes into which batch and who gets that batch of slop.

    • Reply mikeandcristen January 7, 2014 at 1:12 am

      Thanks R! :) Hopefully we’ll get ahead here with all of your tips and tricks.

  • Reply r January 8, 2014 at 12:56 am

    did the bananas work?

  • Reply candi April 1, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    I need your help!! I have an orphaned weanling pig that wont eat from the bowl. I live in an area where pig food is scarce. Let alone the gels and such you spoke of. She is getting thin and I am not sure what to give her so she gets what she needs

    • Reply Cristen April 2, 2014 at 12:44 am

      Candi, my husband (who is the swine nutrition guy) will be home shortly and I’ll have a plan for you. Do you have access to sheep or goat milk? A syringe? Some of our babies did not drink from a bottle. Did you try a bottle yet? Needs hydrated and to be kept warm. Calf milk replacer is good too. Can you give me the age and weight of the pig? Thanks, Cristen PS: You can email me at if that works better for you. I’ll help you out the best I can!!!

    • Reply r April 5, 2014 at 3:17 am

      If need be you can usually “hook ’em” with a titch of honey. But be careful with it, it’s addictive. Sometimes I’ve had to use the football hold freeing the other hand because they don’t know what to do with a bottle or bowl. Love mashed potatoes & cherry jello for “hooking ’em”. Anything is better than nothing until you can get supplies, right?

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