Pigs can eat pork, yes. Pigs are omnivores, which means they eat both animals and plants as food. Although pigs can eat pork, they should avoid raw pork as this can cause health problems. And talking about the ethical side of things, you should avoid feeding pork to pigs.
A pig eating some pork is quite weird to imagine. It’s like us eating the flesh of other humans. Still, these animals nonetheless do so, and they even benefit from it.
Let’s get into it more!
Can pigs eat cooked pork?
If there’s pork that pigs cannot eat, that would be the raw ones. So yes, pigs can eat cooked pork, and it shouldn’t cause them any issues.
Pork, along with all other kinds of meat, is safe for pigs to eat. These animals have a wide range of food options, and they can even eat that of their kin.
Still, one disadvantage of meat is that it may carry bacteria that can cause diseases if eaten by pigs.
Thus, feeding uncooked pork or any other raw meat to a pig can lead to cholera or Trichinoses. However, offering cooked pork should be alright.
Feeding pork to pigs is alright as long as you cook it first. Raw pork may carry viruses and bacteria that affect their kin.
Thus, if they eat raw pork, the virus and bacteria it carries may get transferred.
Cooking the meat kills such bacteria and viruses. Further, there is no prohibition in the animal kingdom, where they can’t feed on their kin.
Moreover, both humans and swine have similarities in their anatomy and physiology. For this reason, they also have the same dietary requirements, as well as restrictions.
Since we can eat cooked pork and get sick by eating raw, the same thing can happen with these animals.
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t feed pigs something you wouldn’t eat.
Of course, they can eat leftovers and scraps, but those are a mixture of what we eat.
Since these animals eat whatever they receive, they will surely eat raw meat if you give it. Thus, be careful not to provide them with such.
Related – Can pigs eat chicken feed?
Is it ethical to feed pork to pigs?
While they can surely eat their meat, it does not mean they become unethical.
As animals, pigs don’t act while thinking of what is right or wrong.
Indeed, some animals eat other animals, but not their kin.
Still, since every swine are scavengers, they would feed on whatever is available. If there’s pork in front of them, they will eat it to satisfy their hunger.
As pig owners, it’s always your call if you wish to feed pork to your pigs or not.
One thing you can take into consideration is that these animals kill and eat each other in the wild. Thus, it shouldn’t be so wrong.
More than the ethical inquiries, you should first ask if it’s even legal to feed pork to pigs in your area.
Some countries prohibit feeding pork and other types of meat and human food to swine.
For instance, Australia does not allow feeding meat to these animals. They don’t allow such since it can transfer bacteria and virus to other livestock, and even to humans.
Thus, it’s essential to see if your local and national authorities permit such. For US citizens, it’s not illegal, so it should be sufficient to do so.
Can pigs eat meat?
Pigs are omnivores. Thus, although they feed on vegetables and other plant-based food, they can also eat meat.
These animals can eat almost all kinds of food, even scraps, leftovers, and yes, meat.
Meat contains loads of nutrients that can aid a pig’s growth. In particular, the heart has loads of protein and fats that help in building the muscles.
Further, meat offers energy that is essential in sustaining a pig’s daily activities.
Again, meat can be a great source of nutrients, but the raw ones are still harmful, so avoid giving raw beef.
What kind of meat do pigs eat?
Pigs aren’t picky eaters, and they would eat any meat you can offer—pigs in the wild feed on almost any animal they can catch.
We can offer three main types of meat for domestic ones: pork, chicken, and beef.
As we have said earlier, these animals can eat their kin, and so feeding pork should be alright for them.
They can even eat bacon if you feed it to them.
As long as you cook the pork first, it shouldn’t cause any issues to pigs.
Chicken meat is also one of the best protein sources and a cheaper option than the other two.
Still, it would be best to cook it first, since raw chicken can also be harmful to them.
Raw chicken meat can be tender and soft. However, allowing these animals to eat raw chicken can invite possible viruses in their bodies.
If you don’t want to feed them chicken, you may go for a chicken feed. It’s also another safe food for these animals.
Beef is also a great source of protein. Still, like other meat, it may carry bacteria and viruses if eaten raw.
For this reason, you should always cook beef if you want to feed some to your pig.
Don’t worry about feeding chewy meat. These animals can take it. You can help them by cutting or grinding it into smaller pieces, but they have sturdy teeth, so you shouldn’t worry.
What should you not feed pigs?
Pigs may have a variety of food options, but it doesn’t mean everything is safe.
Here’s a list of food that you should not feed your pigs:
Raw meat and eggs
Like meat, feeding uncooked eggs is also not suitable for these animals. Raw eggs may compromise biotin absorption, so cook it first along with any meat you’ll offer.
Moldy, slimy, or rotten food
Pigs may tolerate rotting and moldy food, but it doesn’t mean it’s safe for them to eat.
As I said, humans and swine have similar dietary requirements. Thus, since rotting and moldy food isn’t good for us, it can also not be suitable for them.
High salt and sugar content
Salty food and the ones with high sugar content can also be harmful to these animals.
Thus, avoid giving salty food. And, if possible, avoid sharing food with artificial sweeteners.
Fruits are also beneficial, but they should only get served as treats and not regular meals.
Pigs can eat pork, and while it looks weird to eat their meat, they benefit from it.
Pork and all other types of meat provide a lot of nutrients that these animals need. Still, it may carry some bacteria, so cooking before feeding is your best option.
The best thing you can do is to create a balance between meat and plant-based food. The balance will optimize your pig’s nutrients and help it grow healthy and quick.
Image credits – Photos by Ben Mater and Edson Saldaña on Unsplash