Can Pigs Eat Cabbage (Red, Green) Fennel, Bok Choi Etc?

Pigs are omnivores capable of eating a wide variety of foodstuffs. Although they eat insects and other meats, over 90% of their diet is vegetarian, consisting of fruits, vegetables, and other plant matter. 

Domestic pigs get most of their nutrition from commercial grain feeds, but supplementing this with carefully selected fruits and vegetables can boost your pig’s nutrition. 

Although pigs are notoriously indiscriminate about what they eat, trying almost anything that comes their way, studies show that some vegetables harm a pig’s protein digestion capability.

Pigs love green, leafy vegetables, including those that belong to the cruciferous family of plants. All 400 different types of cabbage belong to this family, along with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, radishes, and turnips.

Pigs can eat all cruciferous vegetables and get some health benefits from them. Some of these vegetables are also potentially toxic and could negatively impact the animal’s growth rate and weight gain. 

Can Pigs Eat Cabbage?

Pigs, including mini pigs, can safely eat cabbage, including the leaves, florets, and stems. Raw, cooked, and frozen cabbage is healthy for pigs. But, cabbage that’s been processed or cooked with higher levels of salt should not be fed to pigs. However, don’t feed your pig cabbage seeds or roots, as these are potentially toxic. Cabbage is a good source of fiber and contains beneficial vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron, potassium, and phosphorus.

.I can’t stand the smell of cabbage cooking, but our pigs seem happy to devour it, either cooked or raw. Cabbage is an excellent addition to your pig’s diet, regardless of whether that’s a house-trained potbelly or a free-ranging Duroc.


Cabbages are Highly Nutritious for Pigs

Can pigs eat cabbage? Cabbages are one of the most nutritious vegetables you can offer a pig. They are rich in fiber and packed with vitamins and nutrients. Including cabbage in your pig’s diet boosts its digestive system and increases its disease resistance, but some parts of the plant are toxic. 

All varieties of cabbage have a high fiber content of around 1 gram per 10 calories. Studies show that fiber has “prebiotic effects in pigs,” stimulating their gut health. Eating foods with a high fiber content also helps to prevent constipation and makes your pig feel fuller quicker. 

A high-fiber diet also improves growth and welfare in young pigs and boosts the reproductive efficiency of mature adults.

Cabbages also contain high levels of the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin K – maintains blood clotting mechanisms and improves bone health. 
  • Vitamin B6 – promotes healthy growth and fertility and reduces the risk of diarrhea.
  • Vitamin C – stimulates growth and boosts immunity.
  • Folate – improves growth performance in young pigs and increases the survival rate in newly born piglets. 
  • Manganese – supports healthy growth and reproduction. 
  • Calcium – plays a critical role in the “development and maintenance of the skeletal system.” It also promotes weight gain and helps regulate various bodily functions, including blood clotting and muscle contraction. 
  • Potassium – maintains the electrolyte balance and function of the neuromuscular system 
  • Magnesium – reduces stress and aggressive behaviors 

Parts of the Cabbage are Toxic to Pigs

A cabbage plant consists of several components:

  • Head or vegetative bud
  • Stem
  • Roots
  • Seeds
  • Flowers

Of these, only the leaves are edible for pigs. Humans can also eat cabbage stems but rarely do, despite being packed with nutrients.

As nutritional as they may be for humans, cabbage stems, as are the roots and seeds, are potentially toxic to pigs. My research into the toxicity of cabbage flowers drew a blank, but I wouldn’t recommend feeding them to your pig, just in case.

All these parts of the cabbage contain substances known as glucosinolates. When pigs chew on a cabbage stem or root, the glucosinolates break down, producing a range of substances that can potentially disrupt the pig’s thyroid function.

Studies have also found that these glucosinolate products increase the liver size and reduce growth performance. 

The concentration of glucosinolates in cabbages is relatively low, especially when compared to canola oil, so it’s unlikely to impact your pig’s health unless fed in high quantities. We recommend removing the cabbage leaves from the stem before offering them to your pig.

According to one source, cabbage stems also contain phenylacetaldehyde. This substance is toxic to pigs, causing weight loss, diarrhea, abnormal thirst, hearing loss, and lack of muscle tone. 

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Pigs eat Cabbage either Raw or Cooked 

Many pigs seem to relish the bitter taste of raw cabbage leaves, although my pig Hamilton shows little interest in them unless they’re chopped up and cooked. 

Raw cabbage leaves are higher in vitamin C, while cooking increases its calcium content. Either way, the leaves should be washed and removed from the stem before feeding. 

Red Cabbages have more Health Benefits for Pigs 

Red cabbages are even more nutritious than green ones. They contain more vitamin A, which pigs need to support their tissue development, reproduction, and vision.

Red cabbages also contain more antioxidants. Antioxidants improve your pig’s feed conversion rate and help maintain its intestinal health. 

Mini-Pigs Love the Crunchy Bitterness of Cabbage 

Minipigs might be small, but their digestive systems and appetites resemble standard-sized pigs. Minipigs might struggle to eat a whole cabbage leaf, but they’ll give it their best shot!

To make cabbage more palatable for your mini pig, chop it up and cook it if you’ve got time. You could even mix a few chopped-up cabbage leaves into your mini pig’s usual grain meal to add flavor and nutrition. ,  

Pigs Can Eat Bok Choi in Moderation

Pigs enjoy the crunchy stalks and tender dark leaves of the bok choi. A type of Chinese cabbage, bok choi is rich in vitamins C and K. It boosts your pig’s immune system and bone health. Bok choi is also full of fiber which has a prebiotic effect, stimulating the pig’s digestive health. Bok choi is best fed raw as cooking diminishes vitamin C and K levels.

Potential Dangers of Feeding your Pig Too Much Bok Choy

Although no scientific evidence indicates that pigs will suffer if they eat too much bok choi, it contains an enzyme that, in humans, can potentially lead to hypothyroidism.  

Pigs don’t suffer from hypothyroidism, but you should still monitor the amount of bok choy your pig eats, limiting it to around 20% of your pig’s total daily ration.

Mini-Pigs and Potbellies Enjoy All Varieties of Bok Choy

Mini-pigs and potbellies will happily consume bok choy, pak choy, choy sum, and other varieties of Chinese cabbage. All parts of the plant are edible, including the roots, buds, and flowers. 

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Kale is a Good Winter Food for Pigs 

Kale is a nutrition superstar” for pigs, just like humans. It is high in vitamins A, B6, C, and K and is also a good source of digestible calcium, which is essential for a pig’s growth. Pigs find kale leaves surprisingly palatable, as this video illustrates. 

According to one study, including kale in your pig’s diet over winter can “reduce feeding costs, benefit gut health, immune system, reproductive traits, and welfare.”  

Although the leaves of the kale plant are beneficial to the pig, its roots contain higher levels of potentially harmful glucosinolates.

Pigs can Eat other Cruciferous Vegetables. 

Other cruciferous vegetables that are safe for pigs to eat include: 

  • Arugula 
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Horseradish
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard
  • Radish
  • Turnips
  • Watercress

You can learn more about what vegetables are suitable for pigs in our Healthy Vegetables For Pigs article.

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Is Fennel Healthy for Pigs?

Pigs can eat every part of the fennel plant, including the stalks, bulbs, and leaves. Fennel is nutritious and very good for pigs. It’s high in antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. It has Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron. Because fennel is not strongly flavored, hogs usually love fennel. Pigs can eat cooked, frozen, or raw fennel. 

I love fennel so much that my pigs never get much of it, but perhaps they should. This hardy perennial herb is rich in antioxidants and provides your pigs with a nutritious snack. Feeding the fronds and the bulbs to pigs aids digestion and boosts their immunity. All pig breeds can eat fennel.


Can Hogs eat Cabbage? 

Hogs can safely eat the heads and leaves of cabbages, but you should remove the stems and roots as these contain potentially dangerous levels of glucosinolates.

Can Potbellied Pigs eat Cabbage? 

Potbellied pigs enjoy the nutritional benefits of cabbages as much as any other variety of pig. 

Can Pigs eat Broccoli Stems? 

Pigs can eat the stems and heads of the broccoli plant quite safely, but you should avoid feeding them the roots and seeds. 

Can Mini Pigs eat Broccoli?

Mini pigs enjoy broccoli just as much as hogs or meat pigs. You may want to chop it into smaller pieces to make it easier for your mini pig to consume and to reduce the risk of choking.

Can Pigs eat all Parts of the Bok Choy?

All parts of the bok choy plant are safe for pigs to eat, including the roots and seeds.

Do Potbellied Pigs Like Cauliflower?

Some potbellied pigs enjoy snacking on cauliflower, especially the crunchy stems, heads, and leaves, while others may turn their noses up at it. Cauliflower is edible for potbellies but may not be their favorite vegetable.

Can Mini-pigs eat Kale?

Kale is a nutritious treat for mini-pigs. It boosts their immune system and can help skinny mini-pigs to gain weight. 


Pigs can safely eat most cruciferous vegetables, and many have nutritional benefits that boost the pig’s immune system, stimulate growth, and aid digestion. Some cruciferous vegetables are potentially dangerous for pigs due to their glucosinolate content. 

Whether you plan on including cabbage, broccoli, kale, or bok choy in your pig’s diet, only feed them in moderation.

Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower are all healthy additions to every pig’s diet, as long as they never exceed around 20% of its daily intake.


My Most Used Pig Supplies

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Purina Pig Chow will last well (or Mazuri is popular, but I haven’t tried it), and the stainless steel non-skid bowls that will help keep the mess down.

A pig blanket to keep her warm. This one also has bright colors and helps to provide rooting without the destruction.

Pig Harness for walking and handling your pig. There are a lot to choose from, but this one is pretty easy to use. If you want one that has a separate leash, this looks like a good one.

A large crate for keeping her safe in your house at night and when you leave the house. This is essential. You’ll also want a litterbox, and I like mine with a lid for nighttime. Pine shavings are best, and you may be able to find them in larger quantities locally.

When you have accidents, Odoban will help eliminate odors. When you are potty training, these floor pads work great for keeping your house clean while training her to go in certain places.

You’ll also want an outdoor house to keep her warm when she gets outside time, an essential part of her development.

Dewormer- Ivermectin is the primary dewormer I use, although I do rotate with a non-ivermect ingredient once so that the worms don’t get immune to it.

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