When it comes to eating, hogs are known for being…well…pigs! They seem to eat anything that they can get their snouts close enough to. They will root up veggies from the garden and make a meal of them, and they will go through an entire garbage can to fill their bellies. Many people wonder whether pigs can eat meat. Pigs are omnivores, so yes, they can and do eat meat. But this is just the short answer. Read on to get a more in-depth look at how meat plays a role in a pig’s diet.

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The Benefits of Feeding Meat to Pigs

Wild pigs are scavengers and will eat whatever they come across, including grasses, roots, nuts, seeds, and even fungi. If they come across a dead animal, they will feed on the meat to sustain their diet. Wild pigs tend to eat more meat than domestic pigs do.

Whether a pig is wild, a pet, or is being raised for human consumption, meat can be a healthy part of the pig’s diet. It provides the necessary protein, vitamins, and minerals that are needed for a pig to build healthy bones and a bright brain.

The Kinds of Meat That Pigs Can Eat

Pigs should not be fed raw flesh of an animal under any circumstances because it carries bacteria that can be harmful to both the pigs and the humans that take care of them. Salmonella, listeria, and diarrhea are just a few common problems to consider. Any meat offered to a pig should be fully cooked or avoided altogether.

Pigs will eat any kind of meat that is offered to them, including things like ham and bacon. If you are cooking steak for dinner, you can offer a bite or two to your pig. If you roast a chicken, break a leg off for your pig. If you decide to bake a ham, you can offer a slice up to your swine friend. Blood, intestines, and organs that are not fully cooked should be avoided.

Roasted chicken on a tray
Image Credit: Wow_Pho, Pixabay

The Downsides of Feeding Pigs Meat

When pigs eat too much meat, they can become constipated and may even develop health problems that we humans have, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. So, while meat can be fed to pigs, it should be a moderate part of their diet at best. There are many other foods that a pig should be eating, so it should not be hard to keep meat intake to a minimum.

Other Things That Pigs Can Eat

Pigs can eat a wide variety of things to sustain their nutritional needs as time goes on. They should eat many different foods to ensure that all their nutritional needs are met and to keep meals from becoming boring. In addition to food scraps from the kitchen, you can feed your pig any of the following foods:

  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Soy Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Unsalted Nuts
  • Unsalted Seeds

Pigs can even eat seaweed, chocolate, and potato chips in moderation. They can sustain themselves on many types of foods, but fresh is always best. Anything that comes directly out of the ground or that gets made from scratch in the kitchen can be offered to your pig in moderation.

young pigs on the grass
Image Credit: dyoma, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Pigs can eat many different things, including meat. However, meat should never be the biggest focus of their diet. Fresh, whole fruits and vegetables should always come first. Food scraps are great supplemental ingredients to round out the pig’s diet. A little cooked meat can offer extra protein. What kind of meat are you considering feeding your pig, and how do you plan to prepare it?

Featured Image Credit: Zozz_, Pixabay