Pigs are popular farm animals that people raise for different reasons. If you plan to raise pigs, you need to keep in mind what they will eat. What do you intend to feed your pigs?
Well, pigs can eat a wide range of foods, as they are omnivorous animals. For example, pigs can eat plant products, insects and other small invertebrates, and animal products. What about vegetables such as cabbage?
Can pigs eat cabbage?
Pigs can eat cabbages, as cabbages provide pigs a lot of nutrients. Every type of pig can eat cabbage so long as the cabbage is clean and free from pesticides and other toxins.
Well, though pigs can eat cabbage, you will need to give them other types of food as well.
When should you give cabbages to your pigs? What else can you feed your pigs with? Continue reading to find out.
Can Pigs Eat Cabbage?
To know why and when you should feed your pigs with cabbages, here are some things to consider:
Benefits of Cabbages for Pigs
Here are some reasons why you should feed pigs with cabbages:
- Presence of vitamins: Vitamins C and K are present in cabbages, which help to boost the immune system of your pigs.
- Presence of minerals: Cabbages are rich in minerals such as manganese, potassium, iron, phosphorus and calcium. These minerals have different uses in pigs, but they all aid in the general growth of the animal.
- Cabbage contains glucosinolates: Glucosinolates help boost the resistance of pigs against so many diseases and infections. Even though the compound is terribly high in cabbages, pigs still benefit a lot from it when they eat cabbages.
- Improves the digestive system of your pigs: Cabbages are rich in fiber and such foods usually help improve the digestive system of animals.
- They fill up pigs quickly: As vegetables that are rich in fiber, cabbages can satisfy the hunger of pigs quickly. This means that if you need to spend less on food for your pigs at a particular time, feeding them with cabbage is a great inexpensive option.
When to Feed Cabbages to Your Pigs?
While pigs can eat as many cabbages as you can give, you also want to give them other nutritious foods. There are different types of feed to give to your pigs, so here are some examples of appropriate times to feed pigs with cabbages:
- When you are low on formulated feed: Formulated feed has just the right amount of proteins and other nutrients for your pigs. They should eat more of this than other types of food. You may supplement the feed with cabbages when you are low on feed.
- Cabbages can be always available: So long as your pigs will continue to have access to formulated feed and other types of feeds with a lot of proteins, you can always give them cabbages.
- Give cabbages to pigs as treats: Pigs love cabbages, so you can use cabbages to train or encourage them. You can use cabbages to train pigs when they are given cabbages as treats. To make this effective, cabbages should not be always available.
Can Piglets Eat Cabbages?
Of course, baby pigs can eat cabbage so long as the cabbage is clean and safe. You only need to remember to wash and slice the cabbage so that the piglets can easily eat it.
Note that if you want the piglets to grow very quickly, you will need to give them other feeds that are rich in proteins. Cabbages are healthy and beneficial to piglets, but they do not encourage speedy growth in pigs.
How to Prepare Cabbages for Pigs
To make sure that your pigs are eating safe cabbages, here are the steps to prepare cabbages for them:
- Wash the cabbages: You want to make sure that the cabbage is very clean. You must wash the cabbage even if you grew it in your garden.
- Slice the cabbages: This step is not entirely necessary, as the pigs can chew the whole cabbage. However, slicing the cabbages can help keep them clean (if there is dirt inside). It will also help the pigs spend less energy chewing the vegetables and enable smaller animals to consume the heads easily.
- Dispose of leftover cabbages: If there are pieces of cabbage remaining when the pigs are done eating, do not leave them there for over 12 hours, as they will start to rot. You do not want to expose your pigs to diseases.
All these steps are to help the pigs to eat safe cabbages.
Are Cabbage Leaves Toxic for Pigs?
Here are some reasons why cabbages may be unsafe for pigs:
- Presence of pesticides: If you grew the cabbages in your garden, you may have repelled pests by using some pesticides. You can keep your pigs safe by washing the cabbages to remove any traces of pesticides or other chemicals.
- Rotting cabbages: When you do not store your cabbages properly, they will spoil quickly. Sometimes, cabbages rot from the inside, so you may not know that it has gone bad except if you open it. Spoilt cabbages are harmful to pigs and other farm animals.
So long as the cabbage is fresh and clean, it is completely safe for the pigs. This is why you must prepare the cabbage (with the steps above) before giving it to your pigs.
What Else Can You Feed Your Pigs?
To increase the growth rate of your pigs and boost their health even further, consider feeding them with the following:
1. Formulated Feed
Of course, this is what you should feed your pigs with, especially if you are not sure of what to give them.
Note that you will need to change the feed as your pig grows.
Ensure that there is formulated feed always available for your pigs. Just as in the case of cabbages, make sure that this feed is always fresh. You can achieve this by only giving your pigs what they will eat for an hour or two so that no remnant will go bad.
2. Grains, Seeds, and Nuts
After formulated feeds, the next type of feed that should be readily available for your pigs are seeds and grains.
Most seeds are rich in proteins, minerals, and fats, so they encourage very quick growth in pigs. Seeds and grains are also very sweet, so pigs love them a lot. Here are some examples of seeds, grains, and nuts that your pigs can eat:
3. Insects and Other Invertebrates
Did you know that pigs are omnivorous animals? As omnivores, pigs are not limited to plants and plant products like other farm animals such as goats and cows. Pigs can eat meat.
However, feeding pigs with meat may be too expensive, as pigs eat a lot and meat is expensive. Therefore, you need to find other sources of animals or animal products for your pigs.
The cheapest sources of animal products for pigs are little animals such are:
- Insect larvae
These animals are protein-rich, and some gardeners say that pork is sweeter when they feed their pigs with animal products. You should consider adding these to your pig’s diet.
Fruits are unbelievably delicious to pigs, so you should give them to your pigs. Fruits are not just delicious, pigs gain a lot from them, as they are also nutritious.
Fruits have a lot of water, sugars, minerals, and vitamins. Fruits also have other compounds that can boost the immunity of your pigs.
Some examples of fruits that pigs can eat are:
This means that your pigs may not grow quickly if you give them too much fruit. Also, note that the excess sugar in a lot of fruits can be harmful to your pigs, especially the little ones. It is best to use fruits as treats.
Pigs love vegetables a lot. Vegetables such as cabbages, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, radishes, beets, etc. are safe for pigs, and you can even use them as treats for the pigs.
Well, remember that vegetables may be nutritious, but they are not very rich in protein. To encourage speedy growth, do not replace protein-rich feeds with vegetables for the pigs.
Surely, pigs can eat cabbages so long as the cabbages are clean. If you grew cabbage in your garden, ensure that you wash them first before you give them to your pigs. Also, remember to give your pigs protein-rich foods so that they can grow quickly.