Can Pigs Eat Onions? (Will It Change the Taste of the Meat?)

Pigs shouldn’t eat onions. Onions aren’t toxic for pigs, but they’re also not very nutritious. If you give an onion to a pig you keep for meat, it can taint the meat. Some onions might also include hemolytic anemia, so it’s better to avoid them altogether.

Since onions are present in almost every dish, it can be quite worrisome to think it’s not suitable for pigs.

Let’s get into it!

Are onions good for pigs?

Onions are not suitable for pigs. Indeed, there have been statements suggesting that this natural spice is toxic.

First, there’s a big difference between ‘toxic’ and ‘not good.’ Toxic means that consumption may cause problems.

Simultaneously, ‘not good’ means eating it may not cause any harm, but won’t also do any good.

It is for this reason that onions are not acceptable. Feeding onions to hogs won’t exactly provide any nutritional benefit.

Now, it doesn’t mean that onions are entirely safe for pigs to eat. A couple of bites or a small piece may not cause any issues, but too much may harm.

Many people believe that onions taint the meat of pigs, so they should not offer some to these animals.

While this principle applies to all hogs, they mostly pertain to pigs due to get slaughtered.

As a pig owner, the health and safety of our hogs are of utmost importance. As such, I find myself avoiding any problems it may cause by merely choosing other food than onions.

My hogs get their onion treats only through the leftovers I give. The same goes for other spices such as garlic.

As a friendly suggestion, you may not want to test out if onions would harm your livestock.

If you wish to feed onions, try to give it a cooked one, or mix it with other food, not raw and on its own.

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How often can you give onions to pigs?

onions and pigs

If it is possible, don’t give onions to your pigs as much as you can.

A few bites or small pieces won’t cause any issues to other pets like cats.

However, although it won’t harm them, it also won’t do any good for them.

If you have onions to spare, cook it and mix it with other food, rather than feeding it raw and alone.

If you wish to feed your hogs onions regularly, a few pieces mixed with other food may be alright once a week.

If your hogs are still young, it’s best to avoid it as much as possible.

Young hogs have a lower tolerance for active components. While onions are tolerable for the adults, it may affect the little ones.

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Are onions good food for pig growth?

As I said, feeding onions to pigs doesn’t have any nutritional benefit, at least not entirely.

Indeed, onions in itself contain vitamins and other nutritious elements. However, there are better alternatives suitable for these animals.

If you wish to increase your pig’s growth, onions should be on the last of your food choices.

Go for something rich in fats and proteins like meat. Feeding protein-rich food should help improve a pig’s growth.

If you wonder if onions can increase a pig’s growth, they won’t. Opt for other alternatives than onions.

List of food good for pigs

Setting onions aside, pigs have a wide range of food options. Thus, you won’t find it challenging to search for good food for these animals.

Here’s a list of foods that are good for pigs to eat:

Scraps or leftovers

Scraps and leftovers are the easiest and the cheapest food you can offer to these animals.

Hogs aren’t picky eaters, and they would eat even the most-horrible looking leftovers. These leftovers may even have the onions you were wondering if they can eat.

Leftovers still contain nutrients that can be beneficial for them. Be it a dish, bread, scraps, or a mix of everything; it should be okay.


These animals would also love vegetables. The list includes bean sprouts, beets, broccoli, peppers, celery, tomatoes, carrots, and cauliflower.

You can feed almost any other fresh vegetables you can purchase at stores.

Be careful with other crops, though, like potatoes. If you’re feeding such, make sure to cook it first.


Pigs can also eat a variety of fruits such as grapes, bananas, oranges or watermelons.

Pig pellets

The best and safest food option you can give is pig pellets. Although it’s not natural, manufacturers made these pellets solely for hogs.

Such a feed contains balanced nutrients for your pigs, and so it would be the best option you can give them.

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What foods are toxic to pigs?

Although pigs may eat almost anything, there are foods that can cause them to harm if fed. These are:

Moldy, slimy, or rotten food

Moldy and rotting food may affect hogs, especially in large amounts.

Make it a rule to not feed your hogs anything you won’t feed yourself and other animals.

Raw meat and eggs

Meat and eggs are a good source of protein, and they are probably the best you can offer. However, their raw form may cause harm to hogs.

Raw meat may carry bacteria and viruses, which can compromise a hog’s health. Be sure to offer only cooked meat and eggs.

High salt and sugar content

Never give your hogs food that is too salty and sweet. Such feed may cause an upset stomach and other health issues.

It’s also for this reason to feed fruits only in moderation.


Onions may offer a distinct taste to every dish it mixes. However, for pigs, such a spice won’t do any good.

Of course, you may feed your pig some onions, and it probably won’t cause any harm. Still, it’s essential to keep it in moderation to ensure the safety of your livestock.


Image credits – Photos by Pascal Debrunner and Lars Blankers on Unsplash

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