Do Pigs Eat Meat? Benefits and Risks

I have purchased two pigs a couple of weeks back and am planning to add more to my farm. They look so adorable that I just want to treat them with several food items all the time. However, a little research does not hurt, I have always been careful as to what to feed pigs.

Recently, I saw my friend feeding his pigs some meat, it shook me as I thought meat came under the ‘big no-no’ category. I embarked on a journey to find whether pigs can be fed with meat or not. I asked other farm owners, searched the Internet, and reached a conclusion.

Now, it’s time to share with our beloved readers but first, let’s know about this adorable animal first.

Belonging to the genus Sus, pigs are also referred to as Hogs and Swine. Pigs are quite valuable to humans as they provide them with pork, lard, leather, glue, fertilizer, and a variety of medicines. Pigs are known to be foodies but they are not picky eaters. Pigs will eat anything that comes their way, whether it would be safe for them or not will be a whole other debate.

Pigs are famed for eating leaves, roots, fruit, rodents, and small reptiles. Pigs raised in farms usually have a corn and barley-based diet. Some additional treats and supplements are given to them from time to time.

However, many farm owners are concerned about the health of their adorable pigs as some treats can be deadly to them.

It is always good to do a little research before going out of the way to feed pigs with something new instead of regretting it later.

Do Pigs Eat Meat?

Most people mistake pigs to be herbivores or part of the ruminants family, but the reality is that they are omnivores.

As far as this query is concerned, can pigs eat meat? The answer is yes. In fact, pigs love meat, if fed for too long or too much, they will refuse to eat their regular diet. Just like all other Omnivorous animals, pigs do not just eat a plant-based diet but a mix of both plants and animals.

Is meat safe for pigs?

It is but you have to follow some guidelines to make sure things do not go out of hand. Follow these safety precautions to be on the safe side

  • As Researched, Give them a moderate amount at regular intervals. Avoid feeding it regularly otherwise, pigs will ask for it every day.
  • Do not give raw meat with blood as it will make pigs crave for meat more to the point they will be hunting for it.
  • Only serve them the kind of meat that is safer for pigs.

What kinds of meat should pigs eat?

Pigs are allowed to eat some specific kinds of meat, in many countries it is illegal to feed pigs meat or any animal by-products. However, the following kinds of meat are safer for the pigs to eat

  • Fish
  • Earthworm
  • Bird intestines
meat-for-pigs

What kinds of meat are prohibited for pigs?

You have already been introduced to the meat that is safer for the cute pigs, it would be unfair to keep you in the dark as to what kind of meat you should abstain from feeding the pigs.

  • Blood
  • Raw flesh
  • Rotten or decaying meat
  • the meat of higher mammals like cattle and goats

Can pigs eat raw meat?

They can but be prepared to bear the brunt as it may prove to be unhealthy for pigs.

Feeding raw meat with blood will make pigs go crazy for meat, they might end up hunting down poor little birds and animals to satisfy their cravings.

Even though pigs got a strong digestive system and can digest and break down most of what they eat but pigs can get sick from eating raw meat.

Pig stomach pH stands at 2.5, with such high acidity, they do not have difficulty digesting many treats. However, this does not entitle them to eat whatever comes their way. Infected raw meat carries virus or microbes which transmits various diseases in pigs.

How should meat be served to pigs?

Feeding meat to pigs is not just throwing it in front of them and waiting for pigs to finish.

As you already know raw meat with blood increases their cravings for meat and pigs go to different lengths to get it.

Raw meat can likely be the carrier of multiple diseases. Therefore, it is always safer to boil or cook it first.

That way you can kill all the germs and get rid of the blood as well, it will keep the meat craving in control as well, a win-win situation.

The Pig Digestive System to digest Meat

The pig’s stomach is often dubbed as the ‘stomach of steel’ with a pH of 2.5. Pigs are gifted with a natural ability to digest different kinds of foods.(Source)

Just because they can eat almost anything, does not mean they can get away with the consequences as well.

Many treats and diets directly affect growth, reproduction, health, behaviour, and their entire lifespan. So, an owner should be careful as to what he is feeding the pigs with.

Avoid feeding leftover, spoiled, and toxic food and it will be harmful to their health.

How does rendering meat go for the pigs?

Through rendering, the animal by-products are processed into useful, safe, and digestible feed. Rendering meat is just not done for the pigs only but it is extended to poultry, fish, and other animals.

Before the pig is served with meat and other animal by-products, the meat must undergo the rendering process.

Tens of rendering methods are carried out to feed pigs with meat, but, the easiest and the cheapest method will be discussed here. Follow these steps for rendering

  • Take the meat you are about to render and wash it thoroughly with water to remove the blood and other impurities.
  • Put the meat on the net and place the net on a pot of water.
  • Heat the pot with fire or any other source of heat
  • Give it thirty minutes or more to boil, once boiled, you are free to spoil your pigs with this delicious treat.
pig-and-meat

Meat Nutrition value for Pigs

Apart from the protein, meat provides five of the B-complex vitamins; thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. It can be a great nutritional source for pigs if served right and in a moderate amount.

  • Thiamin – In combination with other B-vitamins, it promotes growth, health, and regulates the metabolic system. Pork is considered a good source for Thiamin.
  • Riboflavin – Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 is necessary for digestion, metabolic system, and release of energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. 
  • Niacin – Niacin, Nicotinic acid or Vitamin B3 is essential for the nervous system, digestive system, and metabolic functions. It also supports optimal health and maximum productivity in pigs.
  • Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 is involved in energy production and metabolizes carbohydrates and fatty acids. Together with other B vitamins, it plays an important role in intercellular enzyme systems.
  • Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin or Vitamin B12 affects various aspects of a pig’s health. It is important for the nervous system, brain function, and intestinal health. Deficiency of B12 leads to lethargic behavior, weakness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and lack of muscle mass.

What can pigs eat other than meat?

According to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Pigs live to eat, apart from the meat, you can treat this lively creature with Kale, Yams, Beets, Chard, Apples, Avacado, Grapes, Carrots, Melons, Onions, Spinach, Zucchini, Oranges, Pumpkins, Tomatoes, Grapefruit, Snow peas, Cucumbers, All squashes, Pitted apricots, Pitted cherries, Pitted peaches, Cooked Broccoli, Cooked potatoes, and Dark green lettuce. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it illegal to feed pigs meat?

In many states of the UK and Australia, it is illegal to feed pigs meat. As per the Swine Health Protection Act, owners must be licensed to feed pigs with human food waste containing meat, poultry, and fish.

Do pigs eat humans?

Pigs would not refuse to eat human flesh if given the opportunity. A popular story narrates a mob boss being eaten by the hogs when the owners served him to the pigs. So, there is a possibility that pigs do eat and enjoy human flesh.

Do pigs eat pork?

Pigs are heavy eater, they would not shy away from eating their kin. Pigs do not just enjoy pork but also many pork-based products and recipes like bacon. It is not considered ‘weird’ in the pig’s world.

Is meat good for the pigs?

It is safe for the pigs under certain conditions. The meat should be contaminated with blood, germs, virus, or microbes. If the pigs are served infected meat, they are going to fall sick.

What is toxic to pigs?

Though pigs got a ‘stomach of steel’ that does not give them a free pass to eat everything. Some treats like Bracken, hemlock, cocklebur, henbane, ivy, acorns, ragwort, foxglove, elder, deadly nightshade, rhododendron, and laburnum are considered poisonous to the pigs.

What kills pigs?

Sodium Nitrate kills pigs within a matter of hours. If consumed in a large concentration, pigs fall into a coma and die. It works similarly to Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Would pigs eat pig meat?

It is believed that pigs can eat pig meat. Especially, the newborn piglets are kept separately at the farm so as the other pigs might not serve them for dinner. It is always wise to keep them separate as pigs are capable of eating someone from their lot.

Putting it all together, pigs eat meat and they seem to love it. However, it is crucial to follow all the precautionary measures to make this delicious treat safer for the pigs.

  • Hi, I am Waqar, a passionate farmer, and Livestock Expert. I have done my graduation in Agriculture and Animal breedings. Relevant to Farm Desire as a research writer and data recorder. My writing material will help you to find valuable information about farming.

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