Healthy Vegetables For Pigs: Potbellied, Mini, All Pigs,

Wild pigs have an omnivorous diet Logo Final

Yesterday, I gave my pig a few plums that got overripe before I had the chance to eat them. It was only an hour or two later that I started to worry. What if he choked on one of the pits? I quickly ran outside to check on him and was relieved to find him snuffling about in his enclosure as usual.

Pigs will eat almost anything you put in front of them, which is why, as pig owners, we need to be selective about what we offer. 

What do pigs eat? Pigs eat meat, grain, fruits, and vegetables. They will eat almost anything, including roots, worms, eggs, insects and leftovers. Some foods, such as pork, are not good for them. They enjoy fruits and vegetables and will even tuck into some weeds with apparent relish. Wild pigs have an omnivorous diet consisting of roots, plants, insects, worms, raw eggs, and other delicacies.

Our pigs enjoyed a biweekly feast of carrot tops and beetroot leaves for many years. As we grew organic vegetables for the market, our pigs benefited from the parts humans don’t want to eat. 

Nowadays, it seems the vervet monkeys that live on the neighboring property get more of our vegetables than we do. We’re subsequently looking at other plants we could grow for our pigs that the monkeys might find less tempting.

28 Vegetables Recommended for Pigs 

Can Pigs Eat Artichokes?

Pigs can eat artichokes, which have been shown to improve weight gain and feed conversion. Artichokes are healthy for pigs to eat, but the artichoke core and stem should be removed so the pig doesn’t choke on them. Pigs can eat fresh, frozen, or cooked artichoke as long as it doesn’t contain high levels of added salt or sugar. Artichokes contain Vitamins K, C, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium. 

Not all pigs like artichoke even though it benefits their health. If your pig doesn’t like eating artichokes, you can add a small quantity with other food to get it used to the taste. 

Studies have found that adding Jerusalem artichoke to a growing pig’s diet leads to “faster growth and improved feed conversion.” It also seems to increase probiotic levels in the pig’s gut.

Pigs enjoy fruits and vegetables on top of their usual diet DLX2 Final

Can Pigs Eat Asparagus

Asparagus is healthy for pigs to eat and provide vitamins and nutrients that benefit pigs. But, not all pigs like the taste of asparagus. All varieties of asparagus (purple and green varieties) are healthy for pigs to eat. Feed young asparagus before it goes to seed or becomes too woody as it will be difficult for pigs to chew and digest. Pigs can eat raw, cooked, or frozen asparagus safely. 

Mini Pigs can also eat asparagus, but not as a substitute for their regular food. 

Asparagus doesn’t provide many calories, so don’t substitute your pig’s regular feed with asparagus, or you may find your pig losing weight. Asparagus contains Vitamins K, C, A, E, phosphorus, folate, and potassium. It also contains iron, zinc, and other nutrients. Pigs can eat asparagus, both raw, cooked, or frozen. 

Asparagus isn’t an exceptional source of protein, but it contains healthy antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your pig will eat it, but if it does like the taste, it’s a healthy treat and source of nutrition.

Can Pigs Eat Green Beans? 

Pigs can eat green beans, pole beans, bush beans, and all parts of the bean plant, including the leaves, flowers, and roots. Green beans provide Vitamins A, C, K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and a host of other minerals and nutrients that are good for pigs. Raw, cooked, and frozen green beans are good for pigs. 

Green beans can be fed as part of an overall portion of your pig’s food, but they don’t contain enough calories for pigs to gain weight. Leftover green beans, freezer-burned beans, or spent bean plants are all good to feed your pigs. Mini pigs, potbellied, and farm pigs can eat green beans. 

Pigs can eat green beans including the leaves, flowers, and roots DLX2 final

Black Beans, Lima Beans, and other Lentils

Pigs can eat cooked black beans and frozen black beans, but cannot eat raw, dried, or canned black beans. Raw black beans (including dried) contain lectin, which is toxic to pigs and can cause major digestive issues akin to food poisoning. Lectins boil out of beans so cooked beans, or cooked then frozen beans, are ok to feed pigs. Canned beans contain too high of sodium to be healthy for pigs. Pigs can eat edama

Sprouted beans should not be fed to pigs until they have been cooked. Studies have found that pigs fed raw beans (up to 15% of their diet) have issues digesting protein and suffer other effects. Pigs should not eat raw lentis including black beans, turtle beans, black eyed peas, garbanzo beans, lima beans, kidney peans, navy beans, pinto beans, split peas, soy beans, mung beans, anasazi beans, or any other form of dried lentils. 

Beans provide high protein and are packed with fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and folate. This makes beans count as a vegetable. They have zero fat, which means that if farm pigs are fed primarily beans, they won’t gain weight as fast. Mini pigs and potbellied pigs can eat cooked beans. Beans have moderate carbs. It’s best to feed beans with corn and other high-calorie foods. 

Are Beets Ok For Pigs to Eat?

Pigs, including mini pigs, can eat raw beets safely, but they may not like how fibrous they are. It’s better to cook beets, feed them young and tender, or chop them up to make them more chewable. They can also eat beet tops, including greens, leaves, and beet pulp. Pigs can also eat frozen and steamed beets. Beets provide high levels of folate and potassium and Vitamins A and C. 

Sugar beets (mangels) are often used for pig feed. The University of Alberta found that feeding pigs sugar beet pulp can help improve their gut health. Most pigs love beets, and most pig owners love the pink noses they get from eating them. They are also a good source of energy.

Pigs, including mini pigs, can eat raw beets safely DLX1 Final

Are Bell Peppers Good for Pigs?

Pigs can eat bell peppers, including green, yellow, orange, and red bell peppers. But bell peppers don’t have many nutrients or calories to a pig’s diet. If pigs eat a lot of bell peppers, they may not gain weight as quickly. Other parts of the pepper plant (leaves, stem, roots) are poisonous to pigs and should never be fed to pigs. Spicy peppers will not harm pigs, but most pigs won’t eat them.

Meat pigs should be fed peppers only for variety (unless you have access to many free peppers).  Bell peppers aren’t particularly nutritious, but they will add variety to your pig’s diet. Mini pigs and potbellied pigs should be fed peppers in moderation only. 

Jalepenoes (And Other Spicy Peppers)

Pigs can eat jalepenoes and other hot peppers, but individual pigs may refuse to eat them. Spicy peppers will not harm pig, but if your pigs refuse to eat them, or food containing spicy peppers, it could negatively affect their nutritional intake. Peppers have some nutrients, but are mostly calorie and nutrient void so pigs cannot eat hot peppers as a primary diet. Test whether your pigs will heat hot peppers in smaller quantities first and be cautious about mixing it into their food incase they refuse to eat the other food as well. 

Do Pigs Eat Broccoli?

Pigs and mini pigs can eat raw or cooked broccoli. Broccoli stems, florets, and leaves are edible to pigs. Never feed your pigs broccoli seeds. If the florets have gone to seed, separate it before letting your pigs eat the rest of the plant. Frozen broccoli is also healthy for pigs. Broccoli contains antioxidants and the vitamins A, C, and K, making it a superfood for pigs.

Raw broccoli is often more appealing to pigs than some humans (especially me!) I enjoy letting my pigs finish off my garden at the end of the season, including my broccoli plants. I just cut off the mature flowers if I have any florets that I missed. 

Pigs and mini pigs can eat raw or cooked broccoli DLX final

Can Pigs Eat Brussell Sprouts?

Mini pigs and pigs can eat Brussel sprouts both raw, cooked, and frozen. The buds, leaves, and stems are all edible for pigs, but the stems are very fibrous and may need to be chopped or cooked. Brussel sprouts pack a high amount of Vitamin C, K, Folate, Calcium, and Iron. The high levels of Vitamin C help boost a pig’s immune system.

Brussell sprouts can be fed to pigs as treats or mixed in with their regular feed. 

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.

Are Carrots Ok For Pigs to Eat?

Pigs can eat carrots, but because of their high sugar, they should only be fed as a treat to pigs. Both the roots and tops (greens) of a carrot are healthy for pigs, but the tops are healthier. When fed in moderation, carrots can provide your pigs with healthy fiber and numerous vitamins, including vitamin A, which pigs need to boost their poor eyesight and keep their reproductive organs functioning properly.

Mini pigs, as well as all pig breeds, can safely eat carrots. 

Everything on our farm eats carrots, from our chickens and goats to our dogs and horses. Our pigs rarely get a look-in except to enjoy the discarded tops. That’s probably a good thing, as the roots have a relatively high sugar content.

Carrots have high sugar and should only be fed as a treat to pigs DLX1 final

Is Cauliflower Ok For Pigs to Eat? 

Pigs can eat cauliflower, but most pigs don’t like it as well as other vegetables. Cauliflower can be fed to pigs in moderation but should not be a significant percentage of a pig’s diet. Raw or cooked cauliflower leaves, florets, and stems are all good for pigs. Cauliflower provides a little of almost every essential nutrient people need and many of the important ones pigs need. It has Vitamin K, B6, C, calcium, folate, and other nutrients. 

Cauliflower is a good treat food for pigs. 

Can Pigs Eat Celery?

Celery is nutritious and healthy for both pigs and mini pigs to eat. The entire part of the celery plant, including the stalk, leaves, and roots, is healthy to pigs. Pigs can eat celery raw, cooked, or frozen. Celery contains many vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for pigs. Celery provides a good source of Vitamin A, C, K, potassium, and folate. It’s also a good source of antioxidants and water. 

Pigs will happily eat every part of the celery plant, including the leaves and roots. On the downside, it offers little fat or protein, so it is only suitable for pigs as part of a balanced diet.

Corn: An Essential Part of a Pig’s Diet

Pigs, including potbellied pigs, can eat all parts of the corn plant, including the grain, stalk, cob, and leaves. Corn is often dried and fed to pigs as part of their base feed routine because it’s high in calories and can fatten up pigs faster than other foods. Corn is a very healthy part of a pig’s diet. Cooked corn is also good for pigs and can help to decrease how much pigs eat by as much as 6% because it makes the corn easier for pigs to digest than raw, dried corn.  

Corn is an excellent energy source for pigs and is widely available as commercial pig food. Corn and soybeans are usually the two main ingredients in pig feed. You don’t have to buy it, though. Pigs will also do well on the leaves and cobs we humans discard. Studies indicate that feeding the whole cob to your pig can improve its “digestive physiology and growth performance.” 

Pigs average 1.7 to 2.0 pounds of corn a day until they finish. Corn offers many essential vitamins and nutrients, including folate, thiamin, phosphorus, Vitamin C, and magnesium.

Pigs can eat all parts of the corn plant, including the grain, stalk, cob, and leaves DLX2 Final

Cucumbers: Nutritionally Void, Great Hydration

Pigs can eat cucumbers, including the entire cucumber plant. The cucumber skins, sprouts, leaves, vines, and flowers are all edible for pigs, which means they can finish off your spent garden plants. Cucumbers provide Vitamins C and K, Magnesium, and fiber, but are low in calories. Spitting cucumbers, a novelty plant from the medditerranian is poisonous and all parts of the plant should be avoided. 

Cucumbers contain high amounts of water and can be a great way to keep your pigs hydrated, but they do not offer enough nutrients or calories to keep your pigs healthy if fed as a large percentage of their diet. Mini pigs and pot-bellied pigs can also eat cucumbers and the plant. 

Can Pigs Eat Peas? 

Pigs can eat fresh peas raw, cooked, or frozen. They can eat all parts of the pea plant including the leaves, flowers, and vines. Dried peas, aka field peas, should not be fed to pigs. Canned peas should be avoided because of the high salt content. Fresh peas, including sugar snap peas, English peas, and snow peas are edible and provide great nutrients for pigs. 

English peas are shelled and the husks are very fibrous, but even the husks are still edible for pigs to eat. Snow peas, or Chinese pea pods are usually eaten before the peas are ripe because of the long time they take for peas to flesh out. Sugar snap peas are a cross between English and Chinese peas. All of these main garden varieties are edible to all breeds of pigs, including potbellied and mini pigs. Peas contain Vitamins A, K, C and Thiamine. They are low in calories and are best served combined with other foods higher in calories. 

Pigs can eat fresh peas raw, cooked, or frozen DLX2 final

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, pigs 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 Pigs Eat Kale?

Kale is very healthy for pigs to eat. Pigs can consume the stems and leaves, but not the roots. Kale is safe to eat either fresh or wilted, although most pigs prefer fresh, crunchy leaves. Never feed your pigs frozen kale. Kale is packed with vitapot-belliedon. It also contains fiber, antioxidants, and calcium, making it a healthy choice for all types of pigs, including pot-bellied and mini pigs.

Kale is a valuable winter maintenance ration for pigs. Pigs can gain weight on a diet of kale, especially if they have some grain in their diet. Fed in excess, kale may cause bloat. 

Is Lettuce A Good Food for Pigs?

Lettuce is an excellent food for pigs; they can eat all parts of the plant, including the roots. It’s high in fiber and contains essential calories, carbohydrates, and protein. During the summer, its high moisture content makes it a refreshing snack, while in winter, it provides nutrients necessary for bone growth. 

Pigs can eat any lettuce variety, although some are more nutritious than others. Romaine lettuce is better for pigs than iceberg lettuce, but whatever the type, pigs can eat as much lettuce as they like. It’s low in calories, so it won’t cause the pig to gain much weight, but its nutritional value makes it an excellent addition to their diet.

Lettuce is an excellent food for pigs DLX2 Final

Can I Feed My Pig Mushrooms?

Not all mushrooms are safe for pigs. If a mushroom’s safe for human consumption, you can be pretty sure it’s also safe for pigs. You should avoid feeding your pig wild mushrooms that you can’t accurately identify as they could be poisonous. However, some types of edible mushrooms are highly nutritious. 

In a study of weaner piglets, researchers found that including oyster mushrooms in their diets reduces the frequency of diarrhea, boosts the immune system, and promotes a healthy digestive system. Mini pigs should be fed a limited diet of mushrooms.

Can Pigs Eat Okra?

Pigs can eat all parts of the okra plant, raw or cooked. Okra is a highly nutritious food for pigs and a good source of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Pigs love okra and will eat as many as they can. Letting them consume large quantities isn’t advisable as okra doesn’t contain enough calories to meet the pig’s daily nutritional needs.

Okra is rich in vitamin C, which helps support the pig’s immune system. It’s also a good source of folate, which pregnant pigs need to maintain healthy milk production and improve piglet performance. Potbellied, as well as the other pig breeds, can all eat okra. 

Are Radishes Ok for Pigs?

Pigs can eat every part of the radish, from its crunchy fruit to its hairy stems and rosettes of oblong leaves. All parts of the plant are healthy and nutritious, although the leaves contain nearly six times more vitamin C than the root. Pigs should only eat radish in small quantities as too much vitamin C can cause bladder stones.

Some commercial farmers grow fields full of forage radish for their pigs. Pigs love rooting around in a pasture full of radishes, but if that’s not an option, a handful of this root vegetable, freshly picked, will go down a treat. Mini pigs usually love radishes as a treat.

Radishes are rich in vitamin C and contain high levels of calcium that pigs need for bone strength, growth, and weight gain.

Can Pigs Eat Spinach?

Pigs can eat all parts of the spinach plant, including the stems, stalks, leaves, and roots. Pigs could choke on the tough roots of older plants, so these should be chopped and cooked before feeding. Studies show that spinach stimulates weight gain in growing pigs while boosting their immune systems and promoting healthy digestion.

Although pigs can eat a lot of spinach, they can also over eat. Spinach contains one of the highest levels of oxalic acid of all the green, leafy vegetables. Too much of it can cause kidney damage and disrupt calcium metabolism. Make sure you don’t feed your potbellied pigs too much spinach if you have an abundance of it.

Pigs can eat all parts of the spinach plant from the leaves to the roots DLX2 final

Is Squash a Healthy Food for Pigs?

All kinds of squash are suitable for pigs, including butternut, pumpkin, and zucchini. Although pigs can eat every part of the squash, including the tough skin, they generally prefer the seeds and firm flesh. Although pigs eat raw or cooked squash, most will turn their noses up at the hairy vines and leaves.

There are over 100 different types of squash, all of which contain healthy vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. They also contain essential minerals such as magnesium, manganese, and potassium. With a high water content, squash hydrates and boosts the pig’s digestive health. 

Pumpkins are also a natural dewormer capable of removing all kinds of intestinal parasites. Cut up pumpkins make a great treat for mini pigs also!

Are Sweet Potatoes Ok for Pigs?

Pigs can eat sweet potato tubers, either cooked or raw. Although the vines and leaves are also edible, few pigs seem to have a taste for them. Sweet potatoes provide a low-calorie snack for potbelly pet pigs, although some owners recommend only feeding them cooked. Raw sweet potatoes are used extensively in commercial pig farming. 

In China, farmers feed their pigs “large amounts of sweet potato at the finishing stage to boost growth.” Other studies also concluded that feeding weaned piglets boiled sweet potato tubers increases their “growth rate and nutrient utilization.” 

The safest way to feed sweet potatoes is by boiling them first. Some cultivars have high trypsin inhibitor levels, which may stop your pig from digesting enough protein. Without sufficient protein, your pig will struggle to gain weight. Sweet potatoes make a great treat for your mini pig. 

Pigs have impressive appetites and the digestive system to handle almost everything they eat DLX2 Final

Can I Feed My Pig Swiss Chard?

Pigs will gorge themselves on all parts of a swiss chard plant, from the roots to the leaves. In some respects, swiss chard is healthier for pigs than spinach because it contains less calcium. Studies show that too much calcium can have an adverse effect on feed intake and phosphorus digestibility, leading to slower weight gain.

Fed in moderation, swiss chard boosts the metabolism and helps maintain healthy muscle function. It’s also high in vitamin C, which researchers at the University of the Philippines say helps them grow faster. Mini pigs can also benefit from some swiss chard in their diets. 

Are Tomatoes Safe for Pigs?

Pigs can only eat the ripe fruits of the tomato plant. The stems, stalks, and leaves of all types of tomatoes contain solanine, poisonous to humans and farm animals. Even green tomatoes pose a danger as they have higher levels of solanine than the juicy red ones. Solanine attacks the cell membranes of the pig’s digestive system, causing gastrointestinal disorders. 

The fruit’s stem needs removing before feeding as this also contains solanine. The ripe fruit, however, has numerous health benefits being high in vitamins C and A. Vitamin A helps maintain the pig’s notoriously poor eyesight. At the same time, Vitamin C boosts the immune system.

Pot-bellied pigs benefit from eating tomatoes just as much as a large Yorkshire or a 50 lb American Mini. Not only are they nutritional, but they also contain lots of water, so they will help your pig stay hydrated. 

Can Pigs Eat Zucchini?

Zucchinis are healthy for pigs to eat, and all parts of the plant is edible, including the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit. Raw, cooked, and frozen zucchini is ok to feed pigs. Zucchini is a very prolific vegetable, and the over-ripe, large zucchinis will make a great addition to your pig’s feed during harvest time.

Zucchini doesn’t have many calories but offers antioxidants, folate, potassium, and Vitamin A. They have zero fat and little sugar so don’t feed zucchinis as a primary part of your pig’s diet. When your plants are spent, feel free to let your pigs have a go at the plants and roots. 

Conclusion

Pigs have impressive appetites and the digestive system to handle almost everything they eat. Despite that, not all fruits and vegetables are beneficial to their health.

If you want to give your pig a refreshing, nutritious snack, choose from any fruits and vegetables listed in this article. If they’re not listed here, it’s probably best to add them to your compost rather than your pig’s trough. 

Nicky Hoseck

I’ve been around horses since the age of six and, 15 years ago, leapt at the chance to leave behind my London-based career in journalism and start life on a small-holding in South Africa. Sharing my experiences with horses, goats, and other farm animals allows me to flex my writing skills and help others find their way to a happy, healthy herd.

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