Do pigs eat their feces? A lot of you might have seen the new pet pig parents asking similar questions ( even I have been asked several times). It’s natural to ask about unusual things or behaviour and expect a satisfactory answer. When something surprises or grosses you out to the deepest core, then a “Yes” or “No” is never enough.
Most of my readers already know whether the pigs eat their poop or not(they are probably searching for the reason) whereas a few may have no clue whether pigs are that gross or not? I have always tried to bless my readers with all the worth-sharing information so I would keep the tradition alive this time as well.
In this brief article today, we would be discussing whether pigs eat their feces if it’s safe for pigs to eat feces, should they be allowed to eat quite often and some facts you need to know about this particular behavior. Starting with the most Googled question;
Do pigs eat their poop?
Yes, pigs do eat their poop whether you are fine with this behavior or not. Let alone pigs, there are some other animals as well that snack on their feces. It’s just that the pig’s habit got highlighted somehow whereas, the rest of the animals are reaping the benefits of it a little less openly.
Do Pigs like eating poop?
Probably, if they didn’t why would they be eating it “so frequently” in the first place. It’s hard to tell whether they like it or have been eating it solely to get the nutrients because no official clarification has been made about it.
Some livestock keepers do claim that pigs like eating their feces but they have got no reason to support this statement except that why would they be eating it otherwise.
In my opinion, this reason is not enough to believe that pigs enjoy eating their feces. What if they are eating it just as we eat turnips, beets, and Brussels sprouts solely for the nutrients. By the way, turnips, beets, and Brussels are considered the most hated vegetables.
The animals have highly developed senses. They know what to eat, what not to eat, how to escape, what’s dangerous, and what’s not edible. Pigs are eating feces for a definite reason!
The most appropriate answer to this question would be, there would definitely be some pigs that do enjoy eating their feces whereas, the rest of the population may be engulfing it out of habit or for the nutrients.
Actually, the animals whether it’s pigs or not, have their preferences, likes, and dislikes. What one hates is probably the other similar animal’s favorite.
Should they be eating it not?
A lot of us might get bothered by the view and “actually” start thinking should they be eating it not? It’s valid to get concerned for two reasons;
- Pig’s health
- Would the pig’s meat still be healthy for humans to consume?
Well, the answer to the question “should they be eating it not?” Is that they can eat but not so frequently.
Why do pigs eat their feces?
This question might have started bothering a lot of my readers as it’s odd behaviour. Pigs eat their feces especially when they are not being fed properly.
Let alone their feces, the hungry pig would not mind eating human poop as well. I know it’s disgusting! But if we hate pigs for this weird habit we love them for a hundred reasons as well.
So, the one reason why pigs eat their poop is that they are not being fed properly and the other is to digest the undigested nutrients in the poop. Some food content comes out undigested, pigs eat their feces to give their digestive system one more chance to digest the undigested feed content.
Now that the most Googled questions about this topic are answered. Let’s move ahead and discuss it a little more in detail.
Some important facts about this general behaviour that you should know
Let alone their poop, they do not mind eating human feces as well
Normally, pigs eat their poop but they are super hungry they would eat human feces as well. They would not mind eating anything when they are hungry whether you find it disgusting or not. Whatever comes in front of their snouts is engulfed within a few seconds.
Pigs and other animals have been eating their feces since the beginning of time
Pigs and other animals that are known for eating their feces have been eating it since the beginning of time. It’s never fed intentionally but they have somehow figured it out for themselves on their own.
Pigs don’t demand it but they won’t leave it either
Pigs don’t demand you to have feces and even let you throw it but if it’s left to be eaten in the pigpen they would not leave it there at any cost.
Their stomach is full, they would probably never consider eating their poop
Pigs eat poop only because they are not having enough feed every day. Pigs are naturally not that gross, If we keep their cages clean, offer enough food and water, they would probably never bother eating their feces.
Guinea pigs eat their feces more not any pig breed
These miniature “Guinea pigs” are herbivores, their plant-based feed usually comes out undigested. The Guinea pigs eat their poop to digest the undigested food to fulfill their nutritional needs. It’s more normal for Guinea pigs to eat their poop. It’s going to sound gross, but rats are also reported to eat Guinea pig’s feces.
It’s not just pigs that eat poop, there are some other animals as well
Pigs somehow got in the spotlight for eating their poop but some other animals also have the same habit. They have been eating their poop all the time and a lot of us don’t know about it. According to Live Science, The other animals that happen to have the same habit are rabbits, dung beetles, domestic dogs, and chimps. All these animals eat their poop mainly to digest the undigested food content.
Rabbits are selective about the poop they eat but pigs are not
Rabbits are mature enough to the poop called “cecotropes” whereas pigs don’t mind eating any kind of poop.
Cecotrope or night poop is enriched in protein, vitamin B, and fiber. Guinea pigs are however more sensible than other pig breeds, they don’t leave the cecotropes to go wasted.
The other pig breeds are not smart enough to get the advantage of night poop. They can eat it by chance.
It’s not harmful at all
Poop is not harmful to pigs, whether it has the digested content or not. In fact, poop belonging to other species is also as safe as pigs’ feces. Poop is not harmful but i’s alarming because it shows that their nutritional requirements are not being fulfilled and their diet needs an addition.
Now this whole idea and the reason behind this gross but beneficial habit is revealed. Let’s see what else people want to know.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it true that pigs eat their feces?
Yes, it’s 100% true. Pigs do eat their feces either for a biological reason or because they are hungry.
Is it okay to let your pig eat feces daily?
For guinea pigs, it is super beneficial especially the night feces. Whereas for the rest of the pig breeds it can be fed but not regularly. It’s better to fulfill the nutrients through the feed.
Where do pigs poop?
In extensive pig farming, pigs choose to poop somewhere far away from the farm whereas, in intensive farming, they have to poop in their pen. They select a place near the water to poop.
How many times do pigs poop in a day?
Normally pigs poop three times a day. As they eat a lot so they have to poop a lot as well.
What is the color of pig feces?
The pig feces can be of many colors including grey, yellow, green, or white. The color of the pig’s poop depends on the food they have eaten. As they eat a variety of food so their poop can never be of the same color. Moreover, it can be loose or hard as well.
The answer to the most widely discussed question “do pigs eat poop?” If yes, they do eat poop and have been eating it since the beginning of time. Pigs generally don’t get attacked by it unless they are hungry. Poop isn’t harmful to pigs whether it’s their own or any other species. There are some other animals as well that are eating their faeces, pigs are not only gross.
The other animals that have a habit of eating their faeces are rabbits, dung beetles, domestic dogs, and chimps. The night faeces contain a noticeable amount of undigested feed content that is usually digested the second time. For guineas, their poop is exceptionally healthy.