Leafy greens are often some of the earliest garden vegetables, but it got me wondering if they can be used to supplement a pigs diet. Hogs have different needs than people because they often are being raised to gain weight and go to the market. While people often want to stay thin- skinniness is not considered a desirable quality for pigs.
I’ll address the variety of leafy greens in this article, but check out this article for a complete list of vegetables pigs can and cannot eat.
Can Pigs Eat Lettuce?
Pigs can eat all varieties of lettuce, although lettuce doesn’t contain enough calories to grow pigs or help them gain weight. There is nothing wrong with pigs eating lettuce, but growing hogs and sows should have only a small percentage of their overall diet contain lettuce. It would be best to consider lettuce as part of a hog’s water intake instead of calories food.
Pigs love lettuce because they can consume the entire plant, including the roots. It has a lot of fiber, important calories, carbs, and protein. Its high moisture content makes it a cooling snack in the summer, and in the winter, it gives bones the nutrients they need to grow.
Although some lettuce varieties are more nutrient-dense, pigs can consume any variety. Pigs can consume as much lettuce as they please, though romaine is preferable to iceberg for them. It has few calories, so the pig won’t put on much weight, but it’s still a great addition to their diet because of its nutritional value.
Can Pigs Eat Kale?
For pigs, kale is a very healthy food. Pigs can eat the stems and leaves of kale, though most pigs prefer the fresh, crunchy leaves. Kale is safe to eat both fresh and wilted. Never give frozen kale to your pigs. Vitamins abound in kale. Additionally, it has calcium, fiber, and antioxidants, making it a nutritious option for all pig breeds, including pot-bellied and mini pigs.
For pigs’ winter maintenance diet, kale is a valuable ingredient. Kale can cause pigs to gain weight, especially if they also consume grain. Overeating kale can make you feel bloated.
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, boosting their immune systems and promoting healthy digestion. Although pigs can eat a lot of spinach, they can also overeat. Spinach contains one of the highest levels of oxalic acid of all 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.
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.
Is Malunggay Good for Pigs?
Malunggay, commonly known as Moringa, leaves are good vegetables for pigs because they’re rich in fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and crude protein. I feed Moringa to my weaning pigs to boost their growth. The leaves can also help with digestive disorders in growing and finishing pigs. Moringa-fed pigs produce lean, fatty-watery pork.
According to a study conducted by North Carolina A&T State University on 24 Berkshire pigs, Malunggay contain significant amounts of nutrients that support piglets’ growth and wellbeing. When given as supplements during gestation and lactation, the leaves can also improve the quality and antioxidant capacity of milk as well as the growth and survival of piglets.
Moringa leaves and powder have been shown to be safe to consume. However, you should limit the amount of Morina seeds, roots, bark, and pulp you feed to pigs. This is because the laxative properties of these Malunggay plant parts, while not proven in pigs, cause gas, diarrhea, and upset stomach in humans. They may also lower blood pressure and slow heart rate.
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