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Can Pigs Eat Meat?

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Do you want to raise pigs or are you planning to add pigs to your farm? Have you thought about what you will feed your pigs once they arrive?

Most people think that pigs are herbivores and ruminants just like cows and goats. Some, however, have seen pigs eating insects, scraps, and other animal products.

Is it safe for pigs to eat meat? What should you know about pigs eating meat? Read this article to find out.

Can pigs eat meat?

Yes. Pigs can and will eat meat. Unlike cows and goats, pigs are omnivores.

two pink pigs behind fence on a farm

They eat grass, cereals, fruits, and of course, meat. It is completely safe for pigs to eat meat, but there are a few guidelines you should follow when feeding meat to your pigs.

Are there dangers with feeding meat to pigs? What else can you feed your pigs?

Pigs Eating Meat: What You Need to Know

Pigs are omnivores. Omnivorous animals eat products of both plants and animals. Unlike goats and cows, pigs do not rely solely on plant products.

Pigs can eat meat. As a matter of fact, they often prefer meat and can reject other foods if they get too much of it. People who raise pigs and chickens together have to be very careful that their pigs do not equate the taste of chicken with the live birds because if they do, they will actively hunt and eat the chickens.

Should Pigs Eat Meat?

Even if pigs are able and like to eat meat, there are guidelines (depending on your region) that you should follow. Most importantly, know that giving raw flesh with blood to pigs will make your pigs view every animal (including you) as food.

Once they have the taste for raw meat, pigs will search for any meat they can find. They will start hunting birds and other smaller mammals to satisfy their cravings.

As omnivores, pigs benefit from having products of both plants and animals in their diets. Many farmers give the following animal matter to their pigs:

  • Earthworms
  • Grub worms
  • Processed feeds
  • Chicken intestine
  • Rendered meat and flesh

It is not advisable to feed pigs with raw flesh or flesh of higher mammals.

Do Pigs Get Sick from Eating Raw Meat?

You must have heard that pigs have a stomach made of steel. Pigs have a stomach pH that can be as low as 2.5. With such high acidity, pigs can break down most of what they eat safely.

Though they are capable of eating almost anything, however, it does not mean that they should eat raw meat.

Raw meat and by-products can be a means for the transmission of disease in pigs. If they eat infected meat, they may become sick with the virus or microbes themselves. Before giving meat to your pigs, it is best to boil or otherwise cook it.

Later in this article, we will discuss how to render meat and other items safe for feeding.

fresh raw pork meat on wooden chopboard

Different Kinds of Meat that Pigs Can or Cannot Eat

In some places (such as Australia and the United Kingdom), it is not legal to feed products containing meat to pigs. Before giving meat products to your pigs, make sure to research the guidelines and laws in your area.

Here is a list of animal meat products that pigs can eat:

  • Fish
  • Earthworms
  • Bird intestines

Below are some kinds of meat that you should not give to your pigs:

  • Blood
  • Raw meat
  • Rotten or decaying meat
  • The meat of higher mammals (such as goats and cows)

Now that you know what kind of meat to feed (or not feed) your pigs, let us discuss what rendering is and how to render meat for pigs.

Rendering Meat for Pigs

Rendering is the process of converting animal by-products into safe and digestible feed for poultry, fish, pigs, and other animals.

For example, chicken feathers, though they look useless, contain around 70% protein. Before animals can eat and digest feathers, however, the feathers must undergo rendering.

There are so many different methods of rendering, but for now, you will learn the easiest and cheapest method to render meat for pigs.

To render meat for pigs, follow the procedure below:

  1. Collect the meat that you want to render
  2. Wash the meat with water to remove the blood and other impurities
  3. Place the meat on a net
  4. Place the net on a pot of water (just like on a grill, but this time, water is the coal)
  5. Place the pot of water on fire or a source of heat
  6. After 30 minutes of boiling, you can remove the meat and do what you want with it.

Please take note of the following:

  • The net should not be very close to the boiling water
  • You must not cover the pot (if you do, there is no difference with boiling the meat)
  • If you do not want to give the rendered meat to your pigs in that form, you can use it to make more highly processed feed for your pigs.
two pigs on the farm eating

Other Items that Pigs Can Eat

Some favorite foods of pigs are:

  • Kale
  • Yams
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Carrots
  • Melons
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Oranges
  • Pumpkins
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Snow peas
  • Cucumbers
  • All squashes
  • Pitted apricots
  • Pitted cherries
  • Pitted peaches

You can feed or treat your pigs safely with any of the items listed above. They will thank you for it!

Final Thoughts

Pigs do not just eat meat, they love eating meat. Pigs have been reported to hunt and eat chickens after they tasted them, so avoid giving raw chickens or other meat to your pigs. Make sure you give your pigs some of the healthy treats listed in this article!