What vegetables can pigs not eat?

Answered by Robert Flynn

When it comes to feeding pigs from the garden, it’s important to know which vegetables are safe and which ones should be avoided. While pigs are generally omnivorous and can consume a wide variety of foods, there are a few vegetables that can be harmful to them and should be excluded from their diet.

1. Unripened tomatoes: While ripe tomatoes are generally safe for pigs to eat, unripened tomatoes contain a toxic substance called solanine. This compound can cause digestive issues and other health problems in pigs, so it’s best to avoid feeding them unripened tomatoes.

2. Raw potatoes: Raw potatoes, especially the green parts, contain solanine as well. Cooking potatoes can help break down this harmful substance, making them safe for pigs to eat. However, feeding raw potatoes to pigs can lead to digestive upset and even toxicity in large amounts.

3. Raw sweet potatoes: Similar to regular potatoes, raw sweet potatoes contain solanine and should be avoided. Cooking or steaming sweet potatoes can remove the toxins and make them suitable for pig consumption.

4. Parsnips: While parsnips are generally safe for pigs to eat, they can cause some digestive issues when consumed in large quantities or in an uncooked form. It’s best to feed parsnips to pigs in moderation and cooked to ensure easier digestion.

5. Celery and celery root: While celery is not necessarily toxic to pigs, it can be tough to chew and digest, particularly the fibrous parts. Similarly, celery root can be hard for pigs to consume and may cause digestive discomfort. It’s best to limit the amount of celery and celery root given to pigs or cook them to make them more digestible.

6. Parsley: While small amounts of parsley are usually safe for pigs, feeding large quantities can lead to digestive problems. It’s best to offer parsley as an occasional treat rather than a staple in their diet.

7. Onions: Onions contain compounds that can be toxic to pigs, especially when consumed in large amounts. Feeding onions to pigs can cause anemia and other health issues, so it’s crucial to avoid including them in their diet.

8. Avocados: Avocado contains a substance called persin, which is toxic to many animals, including pigs. Feeding avocados to pigs can lead to respiratory distress, heart damage, and even death. It’s important to keep avocados away from pigs and ensure they don’t have access to any parts of the plant.

9. Rhubarb: Rhubarb leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, which is toxic to pigs. Feeding rhubarb leaves to pigs can lead to kidney damage and other health problems. It’s essential to remove any rhubarb plants from areas accessible to pigs.

While these vegetables should be avoided, it’s worth noting that pigs can eat a wide variety of other garden vegetables. Some examples of safe and nutritious vegetables for pigs include lettuce, spinach, kale, carrots, beets, turnips, zucchini, pumpkin, and many more. Just ensure that any vegetables you feed them are ripe, properly prepared, and offered in moderation to maintain a balanced diet for your pigs.

I hope this detailed information helps you make informed decisions about what vegetables to feed your pigs from the garden. Remember to always prioritize their well-being and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions about their diet.