Can Pigs Eat Apples?

Apples for pigs, A thought came across my mind as I was thinking of new ways to please the pigs I bought two months ago. Ever since the pigs’ arrival, what I have observed is that they are picky eaters. I have showered them with many treats but they liked only a few.

I have heard many stories that pigs love apples to such an extent that they will eat as many as they can get their mouths on. To check if it was true or some faker misleading others, I decided to feed apples to the pigs in smaller amounts for a month. Here I brought the answer: every new pig owner is dying to know that can pig eat apples?

Can Pigs Eat Apples?

Can Pigs Eat Apples? Yes, they can. Pigs love apples and they will even knock you out in excitement to have one. Apple is considered one of the most nutritious treats that many animals love. Apples, being an excellent carb source, are fed to fatten them up. However, it should be fed with caution which will be discussed later in the post.

Feeding apples to pigs

According to research gate, Apples must be fed with caution and added gradually to the pig’s diet. Apple seed contains cyanide which is life-threatening for the pigs. So, the apple must be cut and seeds are thrown out before feeding to the pigs as the naive creature does not know what to eat and what to leave. A moderate quantity of feeding will cause no harm.

Are apples good for pigs?

Yes, they surely are and the pigs love them. What more can one ask for. However, be it Apple or any other healthy treat, it is only good if it’s being fed in moderation. (source)

Apple seeds

Yes, life-threatening to be precise. If the seeds are swallowed, there is no reason to fret as the risk of toxins absorption is almost non-existent. If the pigs have eaten a whole lot of apples and chewed seeds then the problem may arise. However, the pig may getaway if the apple seeds are chewed in a smaller amount.

What to do If a Pig has eaten apple seed?

If it’s a single seed there is nothing to worry about. If the seeds are chewed in a fairly large amount, it is an emergency and must be treated as such. Call an animal helpline or veterinarian to ask for immediate measures. Ask help if the pig shows any sign of distress.

Rotten Apples

There are many stories circulating that farmers used to feed rotten apples to pigs to flavor the meat. No one can vouch for the aforementioned story, however, feeding rotten and old apples may not bring any good to the pig’s health. It is best to feed fresh apples and who gives a rotten treat anyway.

Should the apple be given whole or cut up?

Pigs are never quite concerned with the fact that the apple is being fed whole or cut up. Nonetheless, it is better to cut to avoid the choking hazard. To be on the safer route, remove seeds as well. 

Precautions of Feeding Apples

Following measures must be taken into account before feeding apples to the pigs

  • Include apples in the diet gradually.
  • Feed the apple in a moderate amount.
  • Treat them with fresh apples, the softer/riper the better.
  • Avoid feeding slimy, moldy, old, and rotten apples.
  • Cut them into pieces to prevent choking.
  • Most important of all, remove the seeds to avoid Cyanide poisoning.

Key Nutrients of Apple for pigs

The loaded nutrients profile of apples may leave behind many other fruits with its nutritional value. Following key nutrients help pigs stay healthy and fit.

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Potassium 
  • Anti-Oxidants

Vitamin C

It is not us, humans, who need vitamin C but animals too. Pigs need vitamin C for numerous metabolic functions and immune regulation. Vitamin C deficiency leads to weakness, fatigue, and teeth loss.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for the vision and bone development of pigs and apples play their part in supplying adequate vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency causes vision failure, abnormal bone development, and reproductive system.

Potassium

A potassium deficient pig is susceptible to weakness, recumbency, and diminished feed intake. Potassium helps in the better functioning of muscles and nerves.

Anti-Oxidants

Apples are rich in antioxidants which favors the pig’s health. Apple contains a variety of antioxidants like Quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid. Antioxidants help prevent cellular damage and maintain the structural integrity of immune cells.

Other Treats for Pigs

Pigs can eat other treats like grapes, onions, chocolates, tomatoes, or potatoes. Make sure you add them just as a treat, not a complete diet.

FAQ’s

Are apples alternative to pig feed?

No, Apple must not be mistaken as an alternative to pig feed by looking at their amazing nutrient portfolio. In addition to the feed, vitamins, minerals, other supplements should be given as per the need. Apples should be fed twice a week or more depending upon the quantity. If there is some deficiency to treat, quantity can be increased.

Can pigs have Apple Juice, Applesauce, or Apple Chips?

Pigs may become vulnerable to problematic teeth and the apple may lose its nutritional value when served in the form of other foods. Apple chips have added sugar and no fiber whereas applesauce and apple juice have high water content, added sugar, and no fiber.

Feeding these food items on a regular basis may lead to weight gain and enamel decay.

Are apples bad for pig’s teeth?

No, it is not. It is believed by many that the sugar in apples may be problematic for the pig’s teeth, however, it is highly unlikely.

apples for pigs

Apple skins work like a toothbrush and the high water content washes the sugar from inside the mouth.
To sum up, if fed in moderation apples are one of the most nutritious treats a pig owner can spoil their pigs with. Apple, being nutrients rich, supplies ample nutrients that may help to treat smaller deficiencies. One tip of feeding apples to avoid any health hazard is to remove the seeds, they are a bit of a trouble maker.

Resources

  • Ajila, C.M et al., Fermented apple pomace as a feed additive to enhance growth performance of growing pigs and its effects on emissions. Agriculture5(2), pp.313-329.

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