Piggies love snacks! What should you offer your potbelly?

Any pig owner will tell you that potbellies love snack time! Like any pet, snacks are great for rewarding positive behavior, training, and for the pigs, to supplement a diet of pig pellets. There are many snacks available–after all, pigs love to eat and will take just about anything offered–but not all choices are good for your piggy. We’ve compiled a list of recommended healthy snacks, and snacks that are good in limited quantities, for your pig. You will find that your pig might not like certain foods; like humans, pigs will develop a taste preference for certain fruits and vegetables. For example, two of our pigs will not eat bell peppers, but the other will!

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Vegetables: always a healthy choice, your piggy will not say no to a tasty green snack. You can use vegetables as a dietary supplement, or to reward positive behavior and training. Hog Haven Farm recommends, in no particular order:

  • Pumpkin: canned (not pie filling, but natural) or fresh
  • Leafy greens: arugula, romaine, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, collard greens, and kale
  • Other greens: celery, bell peppers, snow peas, edamame (soy beans), cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, green beans, leeks, bok choy, brussels sprouts, asparagus
  • Squash: there’s a whole variety of squash, and any or all varieties are acceptable, including yellow squash, zucchini, winter squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, etc
  • Root vegetables: turnips (including the leaves), radishes (including the leaves), carrots, beets
  • Other vegetables: cauliflower, parsnips, eggplant, mushrooms, sweet potatoes (sparingly–starch), spinach (sparingly–sodium), fennel, dandelion flowers and leaves, arrowroot, black-eyed peas

Fruits: feed your piggies any fruit sparingly. The sugar content is high and in large quantities a bad thing! Safe fruits include:

  • Apples (remove seeds)
  • Bananas (peels ok)
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapes
  • Mango
  • Peaches (remove pits)
  • Pears (remove pits)
  • Pomegranate
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

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Other acceptable snacks:

  • Oats/Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Unsalted nuts, including almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and cashews
  • Unsalted seeds: pumpkin, chia, hemp, sunflower, sesame, grape, pomegranate
  • Brown rice
  • Sugarfree apple sauce
  • Yogurt
  • Airpopped popcorn (no salt or oil added)
  • Coconut milk, oil or shavings

Be aware that, like other animals, there are foods and plants out there that are toxic to pigs. Foods to avoid at all costs:

  • Salt–this is top of the list. Avoid salty foods at ALL costs!
  • Acorns
  • Chocolate (in very limited quantities, your pig will be fine)
  • Tomato leaves and vines
  • Moldy potato skins, potato leaves, and green potatoes
  • Virtually all seeds and pits from fruit, including apples, peaches, pears, plums, apricots, cherries, nectarines, etc
  • Flaxseed and flaxseed oils
  • Raw cashews
  • Raw kidney beans or lima beans
  • Corn stalks

If you have questions at any time about appropriate foods for your pig, there are online resources through Mayo Clinic for animals. You can always consult your veterinarian for serious inquiries, and what to do in case your pig consumes something from the above list.

 

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